The annual Distinguished Alumni Reception recognizes the accomplishments of an exemplary alum from each of the academic programs in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Those honored are nominated by department chairs, faculty and staff, based on criteria that includes professional accomplishments, awards, philanthropy, service and contributions to the college and university community. In Fall 2017, the Department of Communication honored Rana Novack.
Rana is the Leader of IBM’s Global Business Services North America Communications Strategy, Solution Owner of IBM’s Refugee and Migration Predictive Analytics Solution, and a Syrian American advocate for refugees and civilians in conflict. She is passionate about innovative, technology-based solutions and partnerships to solving global social challenges and is currently leading a global team from across her organization to develop a first-of-a-kind solution, leveraging machine learning and cognitive computing to enable government agencies and humanitarian aid organizations to better manage refugee and migration crises.
She has been published in the Wall Street Journal, WIRED magazine, and her work has been cited by Yale University and the Foreign Policy Initiative. She is a Non-Resident Scholar and Global Policy Center Affiliate of the University of Virginia’s Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, and recipient of the 2017 George Mason University Department of Communication Alumna of the Year Award.