Elaine El-Khawas

Obituary of Elaine H. El-Khawas

Elaine El-Khawas, of Friendship Heights MD, died on November 18, 2022 after living with metastatic cancer for several years. She had a long career in education research and policy, followed by an active retirement.


She earned a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1984, following a B.A. from George Washington University. She was tenured professor at the University of California at Los Angeles. 1996-2000, and at George Washington University, 2000-2014. A creative, engaged professor, she enjoyed guiding students in completing their doctorates and launching their careers.


She was vice president at the American Council on Education (DC) for 14 years, publishing studies on issues facing colleges and universities, including annual reports called Campus Trends. At ACE she also established an office on self-regulation, which worked with other associations to set voluntary standards of safeguard. Student rights. Dr. El-Khawas was president of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, 1993-94, and received its leadership award in 2006. She was awarded an honorary degree from Emmanuel College in 2017.


Dr. El-Khawas authored more than 100 articles and chapters, held research grants, served on many boards and often spoke on college campuses and at conferences. She was active with World Bank, OCED, UNESCO, the Society for Research  in Higher Education (UK) and the European Consortium for Higher Education Research.


She was a long serving member of the board of trustees of Emanuel College. Recently, she established the Horizon Fund at the College to support first-generation students on summer research projects..


In retirement, Elaine explored new pursuits in art, music, and theatre, delved into her Irish family history, and relished new friends with the Encore Chorale, the Women’s Club of Chevy Chase, a book Club, Hope Connection, and meditation groups. With family and friends, she enjoyed the bright light, ocean views and tranquility of a second home in Bethany, DE.


Elaine was deeply devoted to her husband Mohamed El-Khawas, Ph.D. and treasured their personal and professional adventures for nearly 60 years. She had great love for Michael and Courtney, her kind and caring son and daughter-in-law. She leaves warm memories of time with a dear brother John (MA), loving sister Janice (VT), nephews Scott and Mike, niece  Christine and many friends, colleagues and memories. Her parents, Ralph and Mary Hughes (Saugus, MA) and brothers Jim and Leo, predeceased her. Services are private. Elaine will be remembered for her love for life and enduring optimism. Her family encourages you to be kind and curious, ready to laugh, and to live fully.

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A Memorial Tree was planted for Elaine
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Advent Funeral and Cremation Services - Falls Church