Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad is an academic who has occupied numerous positions in teaching, administration, and research for over three decades. She assumed the presidency of Qatar University from 2003 until 2015. Before assuming the presidency, she served the university as Vice President for Research and Community Development (2000–2003), Head of the Department of Foundations of Education (1992–1995), and as a member of the University Council (1986–1989; 1998–2004).
Al-Misnad received her undergraduate training at Qatar University, where she attained a Bachelor of Education in 1977, and subsequently a postgraduate diploma in Education in 1978. She went on to enroll in doctoral studies at Durham University in the United Kingdom, where she was awarded the title of Doctor of Philosophy in Education in 1984. Al-Misnad has been at the forefront of Qatar’s educational reform movement since the past decade. In 2003, she was enlisted to head a reform project to develop Qatar University into one of the leading higher education institutes in the region. Aside from Qatar University, she has also been involved in implementing reforms to the country’s primary, secondary and private education system.
A member of Qatar Foundation’s board of directors since 1999, she has played a significant role in the governance of several of the educational institutes which constitute Education City, most notably Qatar Academy and The Learning Center. She is a former member of the Board of Governors of both institutes. Al-Misnad is regarded as one of the most active members of the Supreme Education Council’s project to develop a modern education system in which the independent schools are privately operated but publicly financed.