Gillian M. McCombs is Dean and Director of Central University Libraries at SMU with responsibility for the Fondren libraries, the Science and Engineering Library, the DeGolyer Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library, Institute for the Study of Earth and Man reading room, the Norwick Center for Digital Services, and library services at SMU-in-Plano and SMU-in-Taos, N. M. She is currently overseeing the planned renovation of the Fondren Library Center, with a completion date of May, 2016.
McCombs has published extensively in the areas of organizational culture, technology and digital services, leadership and management, fundraising and historical children's literature. She has won numerous awards in the library profession and currently serves on the editorial board of portal: Libraries and the Academy. She has represented the U.S. on the International Federation of Libraries Association, Academic Libraries standing committee, and most recently gave papers at this conference in Helsinki and Kuopio, Finland.
McCombs began her professional career in England as the music librarian at Huddersfield Public Library in her native Yorkshire. Her professional career in the U.S. has taken her from Washington, D.C., where she worked at the Landscape Architecture and Garden Library at Dumbarton Oaks, as well as such federal libraries as the National Library of Medicine, the Federal Reserve, and the Department of the Interior, to the University of Albany, SUNY, where she worked for 16 years as Assistant Director for Technology Services before joining SMU in 1998.
McCombs received a Bachelor's degree in French and European Literature (Hons) from the University of Warwick and a Master's degree from the Leeds School of Librarianship, She received a Master of Public Administration degree from State University of New York at Albany in 1995.