Speaking Engagements

Since joining as Vice Chancellor in 2019, Mariët Westermann has spoken across the world on a variety of topics reflecting both institutional and global priorities, including sustainability, inclusion, diversity, belonging, and equity (IDBE), philanthropy, higher education, leadership, and arts and culture. 

At NYU Abu Dhabi, as well as regularly opening and moderating international conferences and speaking at community events, she also hosts a series of Vice Chancellor’s Roundtables with CEOs and industry experts focused on leadership and career building. 

In addition to the Vice Chancellor’s academic scholarship, she has also written for publications including the Times Higher Education and The National.

Mariët Westermann,
Vice Chancellor

Arts and Culture

As an Art Historian, Vice Chancellor Westermann has spoken extensively on cultural heritage, the role of arts, culture, and museums, and her own research with organizations such as the Department of Culture and Tourism, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Abrahamic Family House, The Inclusive Museum, the Sea of Culture Foundation, and the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation.


Higher Education

Given NYU Abu Dhabi’s role in the region and beyond, the Vice Chancellor is often asked to speak on international education, the future of higher education, innovation within the higher education space, and key trends such as artificial intelligence. She has spoken at Times Higher Education conferences across the world, including Abu Dhabi, New York, and Sydney, and at events organized by other leading organizations such as the United Arab Emirates’ and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Education, the International Association of Universities, the Asian University for Women, the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, Columbia University, and the Council of Independent Colleges.



The Vice Chancellor is also often asked to speak to leadership, and she has spoken alongside former US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Lord Michael Hastings, member of the House of Lords of the United Kingdom, and the Future Talent Council.

Most notably, she was featured as part of the Majlis Mohamed Bin Zayed and as one of the “Dreamers Who Do” at the Dubai Expo 2020 UAE Pavilion.


NYUAD Vice Chancellor Mariët Westermann joins former US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on a panel hosted at NYU Abu Dhabi.


Drawing on her previous experience, including her time as Executive Vice President of the Mellon Foundation, the Vice Chancellor has spoken about philanthropy alongside other notable leaders such as billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates, former UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Gara LaMarche, President of the Democracy Alliance, and Angella Migally, Executive Director of the Salama Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation

Under her leadership, NYU Abu Dhabi also launched the Strategic Philanthropy Initiative (SPI), and Vice Chancellor Westermann has spoken and moderated at conferences with the SPI in collaboration with organizations such as the Pearl Initiative.



As a major institutional priority for NYU Abu Dhabi, and with NYUAD’s support of the UAE’s hosting of COP28, the Vice Chancellor often speaks about sustainability and showcases NYUAD’s groundbreaking research, including with the UAE’s Ministry of Climate Change and the Environment, AmCham Abu Dhabi, UPS, and the Times Higher Education, as well as speaking at the Netherlands Pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020, and at the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute in collaboration with the Office of Sustainability and Stewardship.


NYUAD Vice Chancellor Mariët Westermann speaks at the Times Higher Education Global Sustainable Development Conference.

Vice Chancellor’s Roundtables

The Vice Chancellor’s Roundtable series, hosted in collaboration with the NYUAD Career Center, is a series of conversations with leading industry leaders and experts such as Alan Howard, billionaire hedge fund manager and co-founder of Brevan Howard Asset Management LLP, former UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Ellissar Antonios, Chief Executive Officer of Citi UAE, Amit Sevak, Chief Executive Officer of the Educational Testing Service, Mohamed Alabbar, founder of Emaar, and NBA legend Ray Allen.