On behalf of the Franklin Foundation, the Board of Trustees, and the Presidential Search Committee, we are pleased to announce that Samuel Martín-Barbero, Ph.D., Presidential Distinguished Fellow & Academic Innovation Fellow at the University of Miami, has been selected to become the fifth President of Franklin University Switzerland as of August 1, 2022. He will succeed P. Gregory Warden, Ph.D., who has masterfully served as Franklin President since 2012.

Dr. Martín-Barbero was the unanimous recommendation of our Presidential Search Committee and was elected by the trustees and appointed by the Franklin University Foundation. The year-long presidential search was exhaustive. The candidate pool was extraordinarily experienced and diverse. However, Dr. Martín-Barbero’s profile and significant accomplishments made him a compelling candidate, as he possesses a unique blend of leadership and experience in higher education, a proven research track record, combined with corporate experience. A special thank you goes out to all of the members of the presidential Search Committee for the time and dedication that they devoted to this very important search.

Dr. Martín-Barbero is a higher Education Leader, Administrator and Academic Innovator, with a keen appreciation for interdisciplinarity, intrapreneurship and internationalization across different institutional models, including college/liberal arts and business school.

Prior to his current position, he was President/Rector and Faculty Member at the University Camilo José Cela, in Madrid, where he was the Chief Academic and Operating Officer, with full academic, institutional, and financial responsibility over two campuses and two affiliated centers: 4,500 students and over 500 faculty and staff members.

Dr. Martín-Barbero has also held notable senior executive, entrepreneurial and academic roles at IE University and IE Business School, as Founding Dean and Professor at IE School of Communication, Secretary General of the International Advisory Board at IE University and Associate Dean at IE Business School. Furthermore, he has been for more than a decade actively engaged with several working groups at the World Economic Forum. WEF, in CH: Informed Societies, Knowledge-Universities and the Latin America Region. In terms of industry experience, he has also worked in the past as project manager at the E-learning division of Telefonica Group and has been trained as a media reporter in the Culture and Society Section at Prisa Group (El País, Cadena Ser and Canal Plus).

Among his many achievements was an ‘interdisciplinarity-innovation-internationalization strategy’. Inception of a Liberal Arts and Sciences model, with three new schools, in Health-Education, Business-Technology & Humanities Communication. Active learning, civic action, and cultural immersion in four continents. The university positioned itself among the top 200 in the Shanghai Global Ranking-Academic of World Universities (2018) for research in Sports Sciences. Gender parity was accomplished within the Senior Leadership and Academic Team.

Dr. Martín-Barbero has many affiliations and recognitions, including the Top 100 Economic Leaders of Tomorrow (Spain), and the International Leadership Program by the US Department of State. He is the author of many publications on specialized media and academic journals, and speaks English, Italian, Spanish and French. Among his personal interests are piano, biking, tennis, and house museums.

“Thank you all very much for entrusting me with this mission” stated Dr. Martín-Barbero “It is hard for me to put into words what this means to me. I feel humbled and privileged in equal measure. Rest assured that I shall put not just my higher education experience and professional capabilities to the task but also my full heart into it “.

“Franklin couldn’t have chosen a better candidate to take over my Presidency,” said President Greg Warden “After many years of work and numerous milestones reached, Franklin is very well positioned to continue in its role as a unique Academic Liberal Arts and Science institution, bringing the world to students from all continents.”

Under the leadership of Dr. Warden, Franklin has grown and expanded in many areas. These include the launching of additional Graduate Programs, some in partnership with UNITAR, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, important partnerships with leading US academic institutions, university accreditation by the Swiss Authorities, with the consequent name change to Franklin University Switzerland. Executive Education was launched and successfully implemented by the Taylor Institute. Finally, the Campus 3 project, consisting of a state-of-the-art building was completed. Its visibility, facing one of the most important roads in the greater Lugano area, is proof of Franklin’s significant contribution to the growth and internationalization of the region.

We are confident that Dr. Martín-Barbero is the right person to lead Franklin University Switzerland into our bright and bold future. Please join me in welcoming him to our community and in giving him our passionate support and encouragement.


Kim Hildebrant, Chair of the Board of Trustees and Co-Chair of the Search Committee


Cabell West, Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees and Co-Chair of the Search Committee