The system's Board of Regents said Dr. M. Brian Blake, currently the provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs at George Washington University in D.C., was the candidate.
Dr. Blake is a Georgia native who holds a master's in science from Mercer University and a bachelor's in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech. In his position at GWU, he is the school's highest-ranking academic officer overseeing 28,000 students.
"He also spearheaded GWU’s university-wide, post-pandemic plan to assess new innovations in teaching and course modalities. He is a professor of computer science and electrical and computer engineering within GWU’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences," a release by the University System of Georgia said.
“As a native Georgian, I am honored and humbled to be named finalist for the presidency of Georgia State University – the largest institution of higher education in my home state,” Dr. Blake said in a statement. “With the incredible progress made over the past decade, Georgia State has an outstanding reputation combining excellence in both research and accessibility. It’s built for the next generation of students, scholars and practitioners, and I would be delighted to have the opportunity to contribute to the next chapter of the institution.”
The USG chancellor, Steve Wrigley, said Dr. Blake is an "outstanding candidate to lead one of the nation’s top universities for innovation in student success."
“Georgia State University has set a national standard for helping students of all backgrounds attain their degrees while achieving records through strong financial management and faculty research. Its next president should build on those successes while understanding why families seek better opportunities through higher education," Wrigley said. "Dr. Blake, as a first-generation college graduate with a passion for software and computing, is just that person. He also happens to be Georgia-born and USG-educated, and I am pleased he’s been selected as the finalist for president of Georgia State.”
Dr. Blake has also previously held high-ranking positions at Drexel University in Philadelphia and the University of Notre Dame. He began his career in academia as a professor at Georgetown University. He earned his Ph.D. in information and software engineering from George Mason University.
He's also previously worked at companies including General Electric, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and the MITRE Corporation.