CPS Leadership Changes, Acting Dean Feuer at the Helm

Melissa Feuer
September 10, 2020

Melissa Feuer, the college’s associate dean for student and academic affairs, officially began her new role as acting dean of the College of Professional Studies on Sept. 1.

Feuer steps in to replace Dr. Christopher J. Deering, who will be taking a sabbatical this upcoming year and returning to the faculty. The College also says goodbye to Adele Ashkar, associate dean for academic excellence, who retired August 31.

George Washington University Provost M. Brian Blake announced in an Aug. 6 GW Today story that Melissa Feuer, the College of Professional Studies associate dean for student and academic affairs, will be the college’s acting dean.

“Melissa has spent more than a decade teaching students and improving student services in CPS and therefore has played a considerable role in its growth and success,” Dr. Blake said. “She is an excellent choice to lead the College, and I look forward to the added benefit of her knowledge and partnership as she becomes a member of the senior leadership team.”

Ms. Feuer has served in a number of roles at CPS. “I have been lucky to experience GW as an administrator, an instructor and a parent,” Ms. Feuer said. “I have greatly enjoyed all three roles, and I think they give me a perspective from a number of viewpoints that will be valuable in this new position.”

She joined the university in 2007 as an adjunct professor and one of the first instructors in the new CPS online paralegal studies program, launched the same year. Since then, she has taught in the paralegal and homeland security programs. In 2010, Ms. Feuer became director of career services for CPS, and two years later, she assumed responsibility for all student services. She was named CPS assistant dean of students in 2015.

While in her current role, Ms. Feuer created a student success coaching model at CPS that provides high levels of interaction and personal attention for the school’s professional, non-traditional students. She also recently graduated as a fellow of the first cohort of the GW Academic Leadership Academy.

Prior to joining GW, Ms. Feuer worked with mid-career attorneys at a private outplacement firm in the D.C. area, where she specialized in resume and cover letter critique and interview preparation. A former practicing attorney, she was also senior in-house counsel at a public real estate and management company and a real estate and commercial lending associate at a large corporate law firm based in Boston.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University and her law degree from the New York University School of Law.

Ms. Feuer said she looks forward to continuing to grow CPS’s existing programs and exploring opportunities to bring new programs to the college.

“CPS students are emerging leaders in their fields who are dedicated, professional, intellectually curious and a pleasure to work with,” Ms. Feuer said. “Hearing the many success stories of our graduates and welcoming a new group of students every semester is a true joy. I am excited to work with our new and continuing students in the fall.”


Saying Goodbye to Our Colleague Dean Deering

Chris Deering

Christopher Deering announced that in July, after more than two years of service, he would conclude his appointments as dean of CPS and dean of the Virginia Science and Technology Campus (GW Today, Aug. 6).

In these capacities, he accomplished several significant achievements including gaining national accreditation from the Planning Advisory Board for the Sustainable Urban Planning program and improving technological and academic infrastructure in the GW education centers and at VSTC.

He will return to the faculty in the Department of Political Science following a sabbatical this upcoming school year.

“We say goodbye to two of the most supportive, talented, and respected leaders CPS has ever had - CPS Interim Dean Chris Deering and Associate Dean and Landscape Design Program Director Adele Ashkar,” wrote Feuer to CPS staff and faculty in late August. “

“Their professional accomplishments are vast and luminous. I want to say thank you on behalf of the college and myself for the tremendous contribution each of them has made. Their compassion, humor, dedication, and leadership have been key in making CPS a special place both to learn and to work. I will miss them greatly, as I know we all will.”

Professor Deering has a long and distinguished career as a political science professor. His areas of expertise are the American political system, the U.S. Congress, congressional committees and related topics. He is co-author of Committees in Congress (1984, 1990, and 1997), co-editor of Interest Groups Unleashed (2012), and editor of Congressional Politics (1989). In addition to a variety of edited works, his research has appeared in American Politics Quarterly, Congress & The Presidency, International Political Science Review, Journal of Public Policy, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Political Research Quarterly, Publius, and White House Studies.

During his time at GW, he has also served as senior associate dean and associate provost for administration and operations for CPS and VSTC, chair of the Political Science Department, associate dean of Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, director of academic planning and development for the APSA Congressional Fellowship Program, and academic director of GW’s Legislative Affairs program.

He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.