Sawsan has helped teams work more effectively for over 15 years while wearing different hats in various professional and cultural settings.
Sawsan started out on the lab bench in the biological sciences, with a BSc (Hons) from the University of Reading and a PhD from the University of London. Early on in her academic career, she took a sideways leap into the computational sciences, and from there into leadership roles at the University of Miami (UM), where she became the first Director of Engagement for UM’s Center for Computational Sciences. In this capacity, she worked with scientists, engineers, artists, architects, journalists, and colleagues in the humanities, breaking down disciplinary barriers, enhancing collaboration and catalyzing innovation. She is currently affiliated to the University of Exeter Medical School, and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a resident at Kaleider, Exeter.
Throughout her career, Sawsan’s work reached outside academia and into the business and the not-for-profit worlds. While still a young trainee, she developed an international project with the World Conservation Union and the EU on cedar tree conservation around the Mediterranean region. Sawsan is an active member of the team science community in the US, and co-wrote the first Team Science Glossary. With a systems thinking approach, she teamed up with the start-up tech industry in Miami, with USA Girl Scouts, and local schools to encourage girls into STEM careers with events such as Women in Tech Careers (2015) and the She Innovates Tech conference (2016). She won the SEEDS You Choose Leadership Award in 2014, and is featured in the Super Cool Scientists Coloring Book (Sara MacSorely, 2017).
Sawsan has lived, worked and made friends in the UK, the US, the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon, where she is originally from. She is a native bilingual in English and Arabic, and comfortable in French and Spanish. Years ago she learnt some Dutch and some Greek, and random phrases make miraculous returns when she visits those countries. She is a married working mum, enjoys traveling, global cultural traditions, and Inspector Morse repeats.