M. Brian Blake

Photo of M. Brian Blake
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
[email protected]

During a career solidly grounded in private-industry experience, M. Brian Blake, Ph.D., has held senior positions at five leading American universities, where he has fostered innovative approaches to learning, diversity, research and strategic planning.

Prior to joining GW, Blake served as provost at Drexel University where, as the university’s highest ranking academic officer, he oversaw all academic programs for more than 25,000 students across 14 schools and colleges. His signature initiatives at Drexel include the development of an academically focused strategic vision entitled “Creating the 21st Century Academic Experience,” the hiring of over 70 tenured/tenure-track faculty and six deans, the creation of a new student advisory group to enhance the campus climate for all students, and a faculty-led grassroots set of initiatives to reimagine the academic experience at Drexel and promote experientially-influenced education.

At Drexel, Blake oversaw the establishment of three contemporary research centers: the Center for Functional Fabrics; The Weight, Eating, and Lifestyle Science Center; and a new Gaming Center. As a result, awards of sponsored research increased by 15 percent over a recent two-year period. Drexel, along with MIT, also received the collaborative award of the $75 million National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) grant, entitled Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA). Blake oversaw establishment of a new Graduate College, with enrollments to master and professional graduate programs up by 10 percent. Blake also initiated a Provost’s Fellows program that created 10 positions in his office to work on strategic areas to enhance the academic mission.

Blake also served as vice provost for academic affairs and dean of the Graduate School at the University of Miami, where he had oversight and advocacy of university-wide graduate programs (including the medical campus) consisting of over 155 programs housed in 12 schools and colleges comprised of more than 5,700 students. As vice provost for academic affairs, Blake had special responsibilities for the advocacy, enhancement, and policy matters regarding research programs for disciplines on the Coral Gables campus, including architecture, arts and science, business, communication, education and human development, engineering, law, music, and nursing. Also as vice provost, he oversaw university-wide faculty enhancement and diversity efforts with respect to initiatives for faculty recruitment, hiring, retention and promotion, and equity. During his tenure in Miami, Blake was cited by a “Resolution of Tribute” issued by the Board of Trustees to have universally elevated the visibility of graduate education and significantly enhanced the environment for faculty success at the University of Miami.

At the University of Notre Dame, Blake was the associate dean for research & graduate studies and professor of Computer Science and Engineering from 2009-2012. He provided oversight for research programs and graduate studies in the College of Engineering. During his term, the College of Engineering had record increases (~100%) in research awards and expenditures and the graduate program grew by over 30 percent.

Prior to Notre Dame, Blake was on the faculty of Georgetown University where he served as chair of the Department of Computer Science, among other posts. His initiatives included orchestrating several STEM initiatives including a new professional Master program in Technology Management and collaborative efforts with the Departments of Biostatistics and Radiology, both in the Medical School.

Across multiple institutions, Dr. Blake has held distinguished professor positions in the Departments of Computer Science and Electrical & Computer Engineering with joint appointments in various Colleges of Medicine. He has advised to completion 15 postdoctoral fellows and PhD students. Blake has served on five National Academies’ studies or committees and on the National Science Foundation’s Advisory Committee for the Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Directorate. He has served as Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Internet Computing and former Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Service Computing. Blake’s scholarly activities have been funded by more than $12 million in sponsored research.

In industry, Blake spent six years as a software architect, technical lead, and expert developer with General Electric, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and The MITRE Corporation. Concurrent with his faculty appointment, he served as an expert-level systems consultant in the intersection of information technology and software engineering supporting the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Justice, the Department of Defense, and several legal firms. Dr. Blake is an ACM Distinguished Scientist, Sr. Member of the IEEE and Governor of the IEEE Computer Society.

Provost Blake has a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Mercer University, and PhD in Information and Software Engineering from George Mason University. Blake and his wife, Bridget, also a Georgia Tech Engineer and MBA from Johns Hopkins, have two sons.