GW in Brief

AP mistakenly identifies Iraqi leader as GW alumnus

The Associated Press goofed last week when it falsely reported that the newly appointed Iraqi president is a GW alumnus.

An AP story filed on Monday reported that Ghazi al-Yawar, who was chosen by Iraqi officials last week to lead the terror-stricken nation, graduated with a master’s degree in civil engineering from GW’s School of Engineering and Applied Science.

While the AP later corrected itself and said that al-Yawar studied engineering at nearby Georgetown University, the erroneous report created a frenzy of activity at GW’s Media Relations department.

“We’ve been getting calls from different news agencies all morning about it,” said Matt Nehmer, the department’s assistant director, when The Hatchet called on Tuesday for more background about al-Yawar. “Right now it looks like he didn’t graduate from here.”

Douglas Jones, the engineering school’s associate dean for academic affairs, also said the AP’s original report was incorrect.

Nehmer said jokingly that it would have been nice if the AP’s original report was correct, since it would result in some good publicity for the University. But the AP’s gaff is just the latest in a series of mistaken identity miscues concerning GW and its prestigious neighbor (Vice President Al Gore committed a similar error when he thanked Georgetown for hosting him at a speech at Ross Hall in October 2002).

Despite the AP’s correction, several news agencies, including Time magazine, The Seattle Times, The Tallahassee Democrat and The Washington Post, were reporting Wednesday and Thursday that Iraq’s new leader is a GW graduate.

-Gabriel Okolski

National Security Archive releases Kissinger tapes

The National Security Archive, housed in Gelman Library, released 20,000 pages of transcripts of former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s telephone conversations last month.

The recordings had been housed in the archive’s office on the seventh floor of the library. Kissinger was a member of the Nixon and Ford administrations, and his conversations date back to his tenure as national security advisor under Nixon.

The conversations, many of which were between Kissinger and Nixon, address some diplomatic and national defense issues, such as the 1968 My Lai massacre, where U.S. troops killed Vietnamese civilians in the My Lai village. During these conversations, senior administration officials discussed the photos of the massacre and considered options for keeping them from the public eye.

The transcript also quotes Kissinger as saying that Nixon was too drunk to talk to the British prime minister during the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.

The National Security Archive was established in 1985 and has been located in Gelman Library for nine years. A non-governmental organization, it currently holds the world’s largest collection of declassified documents. Students can access the archive’s extensive collection between 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on weekdays.

University announces new media relations director

GW appointed a new director of Media Relations to serve as the University’s spokesperson and head of media operations.

Prior to her appointment at GW, Tracy Schario was most recently the vice president for Strategic Communications Group in Silver Springs, Md. Schario has also held international communications posts with the Department of State.

Schario, who began her new job June 1, fills a position that has been vacant since Gretchen King became assistant to the vice president for Communications last summer. Bob Ludwig, who acted as interim director while officials searched for King’s replacement, left GW in March for undisclosed reasons.

A graduate of Ohio State University and Ohio University, Schario has taught various communications courses at the Institute for Business Management and Technology in Surabaya, Indonesia, and at De LaSalle and Ateneo de Manila universities in the Philippines.

Hospital appoints new director

The GW Hospital recently appointed a new CEO/managing director to oversee its operations.

An Anesthesia and Critical Care professor at GW, Richard Becker has served as the hospital’s medical director for almost five years and as interim CEO since March.

Becker received his medical degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine and completed his residency in anesthesiology at GW.

The former CEO, Dan McLean, left his post to oversee a group of six hospitals in southern Texas owned by the same medical corporation that owns GW hospital, Universal Health Services, Inc.

-Caitlin Carroll

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