mahfouz, julia

Julia Mahfouz

Assistant Professor
  • School of Education & Human Development

Julia Mahfouz, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Leadership for Educational Organizations program, School of Education and Human Development at the University of Colorado-Denver. She has been recently selected to be part of the inaugural cohort of CASEL Weissberg scholars. Her research explores the social, emotional, and cultural dynamics of educational settings placing specific emphasis on Adult SEL, specifically school administrators and the integration of systemic SEL into principal preparation programs. She also investigated how preparation programs, professional development, and certification standards can be strengthened to enhance effective leadership by supporting principals to deepen their social and emotional competencies.  

Her research has been published in journals such as Journal of Educational Administration, Educational Management Administration and Leadership, International Journal of Leadership in Education, Education and Urban Society, Mindfulness, College Student Affairs Journal, and in practitioner outlets such as The Learning Professional and Education Canada. 

She is currently (2022-2023) the outgoing program chair of Social Emotional Learning Special Interest Group (SIG), program chair of International Studies SIG, and the chair of Leadership for School Improvement SIG under American Educational Research Association (AERA). 

She is also one of the co-editors of book series, Educational Policy and Leadership in the Middle East and North Africa. Her co-edited book, titled, Supporting Leaders for School Improvement through Self-Care and Wellbeing will be out in 2023.  

Areas of Expertise

  • Social Emotional Learning
  • School Improvement
  • Principal Preparation programs
  • Leadership Development
  • Qualitative & Mixed Methods

Education, Licensure & Certifications

  • Ph.D., Educational Leadership The Pennsylvania State University
    • Minors: Curriculum & Supervision
    • Comparative & International Education
  • M.A., English Literature, American university of Beirut
  • Post B.A. Teaching Diploma, American university of Beirut
  • B.A., English Literature, American University of Beirut



  • Inaugural CASEL Weissberg Scholar (2021-2023)
  • Donald J. Willower Award of Excellence in Educational Administration, The Consortium for the Study of Leadership and Ethics in Education (2019)
  • Dissertation of the Year Finalist of Leadership in School Improvement SIG (2018)
  • Donald J. Willower Dissertation Award in Educational Leadership (2017)
  • Recipient of Dissertation Research Initiation (2016 - 2017)
  • David L. Clark Scholar (2016)
  • Barbara Jackson Scholar, UCEA (2015 – 2017)
  • Recipient of Robert Mitstifer Memorial Award (2016)
  • Recipient of Robert F. Nicely, Jr. & Donna C. Nicely Doctoral Student Research Fund in Education (2016)


  • University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA)
  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)
  • Comparative and International Education Society (CIES)
  • American Mindfulness Research Association (AMRA)
  • Consortium for the Study of Leadership and Ethics in Education (CSLEE)
  • American Educational Studies Association (AESA)
  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • The Maxine Greene Center for Aesthetic Education and Social Imagination