Nayef H. Samhat, the 11th president of Wofford College, is a native of Detroit, Michigan. He holds a B.A. in international affairs from George Washington University’s School of International and Public Affairs, a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in political science from Northwestern University.
Samhat came to Wofford in July 2013, after having served as provost and professor of political science and international studies at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. Prior to his time at Kenyon, he was the Frank B. and Virginia B. Hower Associate Professor of Government and International Studies and an associate dean of the college at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.
His academic interests include international relations theory, international political economy, and the politics of the Middle East, especially international relations in the Middle East. He has contributed articles, papers, reviews, and essays on these and other topics to a variety of journals. He is also a staunch advocate of the liberal arts educational experience.
While provost at Kenyon, Samhat worked to secure several high-profile grants to enhance academic offerings at the institution. He also initiated various programs to support curricular offerings and development, including an all-campus retreat on liberal arts and the creation of a Center for Innovative Pedagogy.
He is married to Prema Samhat. They have three daughters, Alia, Jehan, and Leila.