Deborah Crawford


Vice President for Research, George Mason University


Web: Mason Page  LinkedIn

Phone:  703-993-2268
Address:  4400 University Drive
Fairfax, Virginia 22030   


From 1993 to 2010, Crawford worked at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in executive and program management positions in the Directorates for Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Education and Human Resources, and Engineering, and in the Office of the Director. Crawford also served as NSF’s liaison to the National Science and Technology Council, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the National Institutes of Health. She was recognized by the President of the United States for her contributions to science and science policy, receiving a Presidential Rank Award in 2006 and in 2010.

Prior to joining NSF, Crawford’s research interests were in high-speed optical and optoelectronic systems in work done at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the University of California Santa Barbara, and AT&T Bell Laboratories.

A native of Glasgow, Scotland, Crawford earned her PhD in Information Systems Engineering from the University of Bradford, and her B.Sc. (Hons) in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from the University of Glasgow.


University of California, Santa Barbara
Postdoctoral Fellow
Electrical and Computer Engineering
1988 – 1990

University of Bradford
Ph.D. Information Systems Engineering
1986 – 1989

The University of Glasgow
BS Eng
Electronic & Electrical Engineering
1981 – 1985


Vice President for Research
George Mason University
May 2016 – Present
ICSI – International Computer Science Institute
Director ICSI – International Computer Science Institute
Sep 2014 – Apr 2016
Berkeley, California
Drexel University
Senior Vice Provost for Research
Drexel University
Sep 2010 – Aug 2014
National Science Foundation
Senior Executive
National Science Foundation
1993 – Aug 2010 Arlington, VA

Article in Mason News

Michele McDonald | Feb. 16, 2016

Deborah Crawford is bringing her extensive experience in research at the federal, university and nonprofit levels to George Mason University as vice president of research.

“I am delighted to be joining the university, and look forward to working closely with faculty and student colleagues to strengthen Mason’s growing research enterprise―and what a privilege it is to join just as the institution is recognized as one of the nation’s leading research universities,” Crawford said.

This month the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education moved George Mason into the highest research classification, reserved for universities performing research at the highest level.

Crawford is the director of the International Computer Science Institute, an independent research institution affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley. She also served as senior vice provost for research at Drexel University for four years and spent 17 years at the National Science Foundation.

“We are confident in Dr. Crawford’s deep commitment to research, and in her desire to empower and support the colleagues with whom she works,” said Mason provost S. David Wu. “We look forward to sharing news about innovative partnerships, groundbreaking research and reinvigorated programs to support major strategic initiatives under her leadership.”

Crawford attended the provost’s security symposium on Feb. 12.

“The university has pledged a clear commitment to ‘research of consequence,’ which makes our partnerships with corporate and other organizations especially important,” she said. “I am excited about the opportunities to both broaden and deepen Mason’s contributions to the region’s and the nation’s innovation ecosystem.”

She begins her new role at Mason on April 25.



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