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02/19/2013 10:09:23

Chameau to Step Down as Caltech President

Jean-Lou Chameau, the eighth president of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), announced his intent to step down from the position in a letter to the Caltech community today. Chameau plans to leave later this year.

 "President Chameau has served Caltech with excellence and distinction, stimulating innovation and expanding resources for high-risk, high-reward research," said David Lee, chair of the Board of Trustees. "We are extremely grateful for his leadership as president, and we wish him success in his next endeavor." Chameau informed the full Board of Trustees of his decision today. 

Caltech was named #1 on the Times Higher Education World University Rankings in 2011 and 2012. The international publication noted that Caltech's faculty have the highest research citation rate in the world and are regularly recognized with the top honors in their fields. Since 2006, Chameau has promoted Caltech's multidisciplinary approach to research and education, supporting the development of programs in areas of societal impact, including energy, information technology, medical science, and the environment. Chameau also led initiatives to enhance students' educational experiences, increase the diversity of the community, advance entrepreneurial opportunities for faculty and students, and enhance the partnership between Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA.

As Chameau reflected on his tenure at Caltech, he identified the greatest accomplishments as belonging to the Institute's faculty and students, whom he described as talented colleagues who share a commitment to excellence and the desire to have a disproportionate impact on science and society. "The discoveries, recognition, and impact of the Caltech faculty in a typical year are the envy of our peers. The opportunity to interact with such a special group, and to support their endeavors, is a reward in itself," said Chameau.

Upon his resignation, Chameau will lead the recently created King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. Chameau, holder of the Sonja and William Davidow Presidential Chair at Caltech, was formerly provost of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech).

Board chair David Lee continued, "Caltech is in a much stronger position now compared to a few years ago. Together with John Dabiri, chair of the faculty, we are organizing the presidential search committee to recruit and select the next president to serve Caltech."

About the California Institute of Technology: Caltech is a private university in Pasadena, California, recognized for its highly select student body of approximately 900 undergraduates and 1,200 graduate students, and for its outstanding faculty. Since 1928, Caltech's faculty and alumni have garnered 32 Nobel Prizes and 68 have been awarded the National Medal of Science or Technology. Over one‐third of Caltech's 300 faculty members have been elected to the U.S. National Academies.  In addition to its prestigious on-campus research program, Caltech operates the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the W.M. Keck Observatory in Mauna Kea, the Palomar Observatory and the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). For more information, visit www.caltech.edu.