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New GMU President Brings Global Perspective

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George Mason University, named earlier this year the second most "up-and-coming" school by U.S. News and World Report, announced Angel Cabrera as its new president Thursday.
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George Mason University, named earlier this year the second most "up-and-coming" school by U.S. News and World Report, announced Angel Cabrera as its new president Thursday.

George Mason University in northern Virginia has named Angel Cabrera as its next president. He'll succeed President Alan Merten -- who is retiring this summer.

Cabrera is currently the president of the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Ariz. -- a private graduate school recognized for its international MBA program. Cabrera is also a native of Spain and says he hopes his international perspective will serve him well in his new position.

"We all are the result of our own life stories and in my case I am a product of Spain but I'm also a product of American higher ed," says Cabrera. "I have developed an understanding of higher ed internationally and I hope that will become an asset."

Cabrera comes to George Mason at a time of growth for the school. Since 1996 enrollment has increased from 24,000 to 33,000 students. Meanwhile, the university has become more selective in admissions, dropping its acceptance rate from 75 percent to 50 percent.

Cabrera says George Mason is one of the top up and coming universities -- capable of a strong impact in the community. He also praises its focus on multidiscplinary programs.

"It's an institution that is trying new things and becoming much better as a consequence," says Cabrera.

Cabrera does not have experience at a public university or with budget battles involving state legislatures. Members of the school's Board of Visitors say they selected Cabrera because of his entrepreneurial spirit, his energy and people skills. One member says the those strengths outweighed his lack of experience at an American state school.

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