Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI) Announces New Leadership


Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI), which offers the region’s first multidisciplinary Bachelor of Design, is pleased to announce the promotion of Dean Hani Asfour to Vice President – Innovation and Institutional Partnerships and the appointment of Dr Amir Zeid as Dean.

The appointments come as the university works to build up its research and development arm through public and private partnerships.

Mohammad Abdulla, President of DIDI, said of the appointments, “Global economic ambitions require that education evolve to help students prepare for tomorrow’s challenges and opportunities by leveraging new technologies and innovation. DIDI is committed to helping students develop creative, technical, emotional, and divergent thinking skills to effectively lead economic and social development. I am confident that the new appointments will continue to advance our vision for multidisciplinary talent development and innovating education.”

Asfour was among the founding members of DIDI, which offers a curriculum crafted with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and The New School’s Parsons School of Design. He will be instrumental in forging strategic partnerships with key government, public and private stakeholders and driving innovation in his new role.

Hani Asfour said, “DIDI is growing fast, and its leadership must remain agile and responsive to the needs of the school and students. Our goal now is to strengthen DIDI’s network and offerings with strategic partnerships that reflect our university’s commitment to preparing students for the future of work. I look forward to this new challenge and congratulate Dr Amir Zeid on his new role – I am certain he will bring to our students the same commitment that has defined his career thus far.”

Taking over the deanship, Zeid brings a doctorate in Computer Science from Carleton University, Canada, and over two decades of experience in academia, research and software engineering.

Dr Zeid was formerly the Founding Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at The American University of Kuwait (AUK), where he was instrumental in broadening AUK’s academic offerings and accreditations. Under his stewardship, the college built robust industry relationships and bolstered the university’s reputation in research, innovation, and academic accomplishment.  

Dr Zeid said of his new position, “DIDI represents the bright future of higher education in a digitally dependent world. I am thrilled to join such a bold and future-minded institution, where I aspire to create an academic atmosphere that genuinely excites students and faculty members. I look forward to working with the exceptional staff, faculty, and students to promote creatively solving the world’s most pressing problems while nurturing skilled talent.”

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