WASHINGTON, March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Georgetown University's School of Continuing Studies (SCS) has appointed Starwood Hotels executive Gray Shealy as Executive Director for the new Master's in Hospitality Management program. His global vision and hands-on leadership will play a pivotal role in the experience of this fall's inaugural class.
"I envision Georgetown's Hospitality Management program as a platform for innovation in the industry," said Shealy. "Washington, D.C. is undoubtedly the epicenter of the global hospitality business. By partnering with executives from the world's largest hotel chains, as well as international hospitality trusts and associations, transportation and tourism leaders, and prominent consulting firms, we will give our students unique experience and guide them on their path to leadership."
Prior to Georgetown, Shealy served as the Global Design Director for W Hotels, setting the standard for design innovation while overseeing the evolution of the brand into a global powerhouse. Before W Hotels, he worked as Director of Design for Le Meridien, where he also led the transformation of the design experience during that brand's worldwide re-launch.
"At Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide [the parent company of W Hotels and Le Meridien], I was charged with designing a holistic guest experience that would redefine the expectations of an ever-sophisticated customer base," said Shealy. "My endeavors were focused on translating branding, design strategy, and key programming into everything from industry-focused events to award-winning, flagship hotels."
The Balance of Global and Local
The new Hospitality program will explore the industry on both a domestic and an international level, examining the intersection between global and local influences. "I am always seeking out new trends and new experiences—not only from hotels but also from architecture, fashion, cuisine, and more," said Shealy. "I believe that hospitality management plays an important role in framing the way in which travelers see other parts of the world."
Students in the program will have the opportunity to travel overseas as part of the applied curriculum. In addition to American hospitality standards, graduates will be well versed in the expectations of audiences in emerging markets of the world.
A Tested Visionary
A frequent speaker and published author, Shealy was named a "Wave of the Future" Honoree by Hospitality Design magazine in 2011. This award is given annually to eight design professionals "young enough to be considered visionary, but tested enough to be proven accomplished."
As a seasoned veteran who has worked across all facets of the industry, Shealy plans to incorporate the full spectrum of hospitality disciplines into the curriculum and establish an inclusive program that will benefit the diverse players of this expansive field.
"Gray Shealy brings both expertise and passion to the field of hospitality management," said Dr. Christopher Metzler, Senior Associate Dean of the program. "He is a remarkable asset for the Hospitality program and his unique perspective and experiences will encourage innovation both inside and outside of the classroom."
About Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies
Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies offers graduate programs in professional and liberal studies, more than 25 professional certificate programs, custom and corporate training and education, summer school, and special programs, as well as the University's only part-time bachelor's program. The School's innovative educational programming creates opportunities for students and professionals to connect with field and industry leaders through learning, research, and service.
Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies
SOURCE Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies