top of page

New President for DWU

Professor Fr Philip Gibbs SVD OBE will be the new President of Divine Word University as of 1st January 2021. Professor Gibbs, who is currently the Deputy President of DWU, will take office on 1st January 2021. Chairperson of the University Council Archbishop Dr Douglas Young SVD delivered the announcement to the DWU Community in a letter dated 16th September 2020 (yesterday), on the occasion of the 45th Independence Anniversary of Papua New Guinea. 

Professor Gibbs will take over from Professor Cecilia Nembou PhD, the first layperson and woman academic to have held the position since the establishment of DWU and its predecessor Divine Word Institute. Professor Nembou attained her Bachelor of Science degree (in Mathematics) from UPNG few months before PNG attained independence on 16th September 1975. She went on to attain postgraduate qualifications overseas in subsequent years: Master of Science (Operations Research), Postgraduate Diploma (Statistics) and PhD (operations research) and has spent most of her professional career life working in academia in universities in PNG and overseas. Prof Nembou's term expires on 31 December 2020 after serving after taking over from founding President of the University Professor Fr Jan Czuba SVD (1995-2015) in 2016.

Professor Gibbs, from New Zealand, who first came to PNG in 1973 is a prolific social researcher and academic besides his other engagements as a Catholic missionary. He holds a Doctorate in Theology from the Gregorian University in Rome and a Master of Business Administration from DWU among several other postgraduate and undergraduate qualifications. The DWU Council made him a Professor Social Research in 2017. The PNG Government recognised Prof Gibbs for services to PNG and was awarded The Order of the British Empire (OBE) from Queen Elizabeth II in 2018.

Fr Phil Gibbs & Sir Bob Dadae.jpg

Prof Gibbs is in the photo shared below with Governor General Grand Chief Sir Bob Dadae at the Government House in Konedobu after the investiture ceremony. Archbishop Young informed the DWU Community that a handover/takeover ceremony will be held at a date to be announced. The profile of Professor Fr Philip Gibbs SVD OBE can be viewed on his personal website at this link:

bottom of page