Dean Nadershahi Receives Gies Award for Vision and Leadership

ADEA President and CEO Dr. Karen West congratulates Dr. Nader A. Nadershahi. (photo courtesy of ADEA)

ADEA President and CEO Dr. Karen West congratulates Dr. Nader A. Nadershahi. (photo courtesy of ADEA)

Dr. Nader A. Nadershahi says he is humbled by the prestigious national award from the ADEAGies Foundation that he recently received honoring his vision and leadership throughout a career of excellence in dental education.

Dr. Nadershahi was one of three recipients of the William J. Gies Awards. The honorees were chosen by a distinguished panel of industry experts, including the ADEAGies Foundation Board of Trustees. Other awardees were Alison F. Doubleday, Ph.D., M.A., M.S. of the University of Illinois Chicago College of Dentistry who received the Gies Award for Innovation and the Santa Fe Group which received the Gies Award for Achievement.

The awards were presented March 11, 2024 during the American Dental Education Association’s Annual Session and Exhibition in New Orleans, Louisiana. Dr. Nadershahi served as chair of the association’s board of directors from 2022 to 2023.

Named for dental education pioneer William J. Gies, Ph.D., the Gies Awards honor ADEA members, intuitions or public/private partners whose work represents the highest order of innovation, achievement or vision and leadership in oral health and dental education.

“The tireless work of the 2024 awardees has resulted in lasting change, extraordinary advances and vital solutions to current and emerging challenges facing oral health and dental education,” said Marsha Pyle, D.D.S., M.Ed., president of the ADEAGies Foundation and ADEA senior scholar in residence. “The profound impact and visionary leadership of these luminaries will be revered throughout our next century.”

Dr. Nadershahi has led milestone projects such as strategic planning and implementation; the design and implementation of the school’s integrated curriculum and competencies; raising $69.3M in a comprehensive fundraising campaign — the largest in the school’s history — that concluded in 2022; development of the university’s San Francisco campus facilities and online masters programs; accreditation oversight; and the launch of new health science programs leading to the eventual creation of Pacific’s School of Health Sciences. 

Most recently, he helped spearhead the vision of the Pacific Health Care Collaborative and is leading the team that is designing and constructing the Collaborative’s facilities at the Sacramento Campus.

Dr. Nadershahi has been actively involved in organized dentistry, dental education and the broader community through many leadership roles at the California Dental Association, American Dental Association, American Dental Education Association, Santa Fe Group, California Health Workforce Education and Training Council, Bay Area Council and San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.

According to colleagues, his capacity to be an effective organizational leader, his professionalism and well demonstrated integrity, and his promotion of humanism and ethical behavior by setting an example in the positions he has held have contributed and lifted the profession of dentistry. 

“This award recognizes the mentors, teachers, colleagues and students who have touched my life over the years,” said Dr. Nadershahi. “I feel fortunate to be a part of oral health education and this great profession.” 

Gretchen Edwalds-Gilbert, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at University of the Pacific commented, “Nader has succeeded in taking a student-centered approach to professional education, emphasizing collaboration and building community while putting patient care at the forefront.”

Students, faculty and staff from the Dugoni School family gathered to celebrate Dean Nadershahi’s honor.  (photo courtesy of ADEA)

Students, faculty and staff from the Dugoni School family gathered to celebrate Dean Nadershahi’s honor.  (photo courtesy of ADEA)