Abu Dhabi, UAE: NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) announced today the receipt of a generous grant from famed investor and philanthropist Alan Howard. The donation will be used to establish the Alan Howard Distinguished Professorship in Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Alan Howard Global PhD Fellowship in AI, with the aim of supporting the development of local talent and preparing them for jobs of the future.

NYUAD Professor of Electrical Engineering Anthony Tzes will hold the inaugural Alan Howard Distinguished Professorship. Tzes leads the University's Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR), advancing groundbreaking research and applications in AI and robotics. His research has been funded by NASA, the National Science Foundation, the European Union, and the European Space Agency.

Mr. Howard’s donation follows the establishment of Brevan Howard’s regional headquarters in Abu Dhabi’s ADGM last year. The investment firm, which he co-founded more than 20 years ago, already has more than 80 employees in Abu Dhabi and has established a local graduate program to foster the development of young talent, recruiting from local educational institutions including NYUAD.

NYUAD Vice Chancellor Mariët Westermann said: “We would like to extend our deepest thanks to Mr. Howard for the generous gift, which represents a significant milestone for NYU Abu Dhabi. The investment serves as a vote of confidence in the ability of NYU Abu Dhabi and the UAE to help shape the future of AI research and innovation, enhancing NYUAD’s strong position in AI research and serving as a vital tool in the region’s future development.”

At NYUAD, AI fuels research across clusters of excellence in Science, Engineering, Social Science, and the Arts, with the University’s scientists, scholars, and artists playing a significant role in the AI revolution. Signature initiatives in AI research include the Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Center for Cybersecurity, Center for Quantum and Topological Systems, CaMEL Lab for natural language processing in Arabic, the Public Health Research Center, and Center for Genomics and Systems Biology.

The University connects AI innovation to youth through the annual NYUAD International Hackathon for Social Good, the largest university hackathon in the region. The event brings together computer science and engineering professors, startup founders, technology professionals, and venture capitalists to guide teams of computer science students from all over the world to create quantum computing and AI applications for social good, in fields from health and education to sustainability, music, and transportation.

These initiatives are designed to contribute to global innovation in AI and are well aligned with the UAE’s 2071 Centennial Plan to diversify and shift to a skills-based knowledge economy. NYUAD participates in the active efforts of universities and organizations in the country to develop cutting-edge AI across sectors and equip the next generation with the skills and capabilities needed for a thriving economy and society.


About NYU Abu Dhabi


NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and research campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. Times Higher Education ranks NYU among the top 30 universities in the world, making NYU Abu Dhabi the highest-ranked university in the UAE and MENA region. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly selective undergraduate curriculum across the disciplines with a world center for advanced research and scholarship. The university enables its students in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, and arts to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from over 120 countries and speak over 100 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.