Essraa Nawar, First Egyptian American Associate Dean for Library Initiatives at Chapman University

November 11, 2023

Egyptian American Essraa Nawar has been promoted to Associate Dean for Library DEI Initiatives and Development at Leatherby Libraries, the first ever Egyptian American to hold this new position at Chapman University Libraries 

Essraa Nawar has been at the forefront of Leatherby Libraries’ DEI efforts since Spring 2021 and has spearheaded Development and Fundraising initiatives since Fall 2015. This promotion underscores the importance of her work, aligning it with Chapman University’s strategic goals for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and the Library of Tomorrow fundraising campaign.

Having joined Leatherby Libraries in October 2009, transitioning from a successful career at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt, Essraa’s diverse roles span marketing, events, DEI, donor relations, and academic librarianship. Currently serving as a liaison librarian for the Argyros College of Business and Economics and the Religious Studies Department, Essraa has played a pivotal role in shaping the library’s approach to diversity, resulting in multiple national and international Diversity Awards.

In her fourteen years at Leatherby Libraries, Essraa has curated over 100 library events and exhibitions, given a popular international TEDx talk on Diversity and Inclusion, and implemented the library’s inaugural Marketing Strategy, earning it an American Library Association PR Award. She has raised over six million dollars in support of the library.

Known for her innovative solutions and commitment to diversity, Essraa fosters community collaboration and library development, ensuring a comprehensive representation of perspectives within the university. Her strategic partnerships extend beyond the university, involving relationships with city mayors, the university president, board members, and various Orange County councils.

Beyond her library leadership, Essraa is actively involved in community organizations, holding roles such as President of the Egyptian American Organization and Vice President of the Interfaith Youth Alliance. She launched her own TV show, “Salon Essraa Nawar @ CSAT,” in September 2022, aiming to preserve Egyptian cultural identity and promote coexistence.

Essraa’s contributions have earned her recognition, including ACRL Member of the Week, IFLA Fellowship, ALA award, and acknowledgment as one of California’s Women of Influence in 2022. She is a Board Member of the Orange County United Nations Association and has participated in the Emerging California Library Leaders program. Essraa is also a prolific author, regularly contributing to publications like the Huffington Post and the Orange County Register, as well as appearing on the IFLA podcast. She speaks on a variety of topics ranging from Diversity and Fundraising in Libraries to Motherhood, Mental Health, and Interfaith.

In her various roles and pursuits, Essraa Nawar exemplifies leadership, diversity advocacy, and community engagement, leaving a lasting impact on both Leatherby Libraries and the broader Chapman University community.

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