Qatar National Library (QNL) has announced the appointment of Dr Sohair Wastawy to the position of Executive Director. Dr Wastawy brings more than 30 years of international library and university management experience to the position, and has practiced and taught librarianship in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the US.

Prior to her new role, Dr Wastawy worked as Dean of Libraries at Florida Institute of Technology. She held the position of Dean of University Libraries at Illinois State University, and was the first Chief Librarian for the new Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt. Dr Wastawy also served as Dean at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago from 1988 until 2004.

Fahad Saad Al Qahtani, President of Community Development at Qatar Foundation, said: “We are delighted to welcome Dr Wastawy as the new Executive Director of Qatar National Library. This is an exciting time for QNL as it prepares for the forthcoming opening of the National Library’s new library building designed by architect Rem Koolhaas at Education City.  We are confident Dr Wastawy’s extensive library experience in the Middle East, particularly at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt, will further enhance Qatar Foundation’s drive towards building a knowledge based economy in Qatar through spreading knowledge, preserving the nation’s heritage, and engaging local and international communities in Qatar’s cultural history.”

Dr Wastawy began her library career at Cairo University Library, Egypt, and taught librarianship in the first women’s library programme in Saudi Arabia. She holds a Doctor of Arts in Library and Information Management from Simmons College, Boston, MA; and a Masters in Library and Information Science from The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC.

Dr Wastawy said: “I am thrilled to be joining Qatar National Library at this exciting time and look forward to working with all the team to further develop the outstanding library services, collections, and facilities you have built here.”

Dr Wastawy continued: “I have been observing QNL over the past few years, and its focus on the idea of inclusiveness, learning, service, and developing an agile and flexible organisation is a huge part of the creative approach that will make this library a great asset for the nation and the world.  I look forward to rolling my sleeves up and working with you to continue building QNL and reach new heights.”

As well as her work in library management, Dr Wastawy has worked as a consultant to many not-for-profit organisations, corporations, and accreditation commissions, and has been the recipient of international awards, including a Peace Fellowship and a Fulbright Scholarship.