​​​KAUST Former Presidents

2013 - 2017

Professor Jean-Lou Chameau

Professor Jean-Lou Chameau took office as the President of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) on July 1, 2013. Prior to KAUST, he was president of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in the United States, which he led for seven years.

After receiving his engineering degree in France at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts et Metiers and earning his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Stanford University, he had a distinguished career as a professor and administrator at Purdue University and the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Chameau then served as president of Golder Associates, a geotechnical consulting company, before returning to Georgia Tech as Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar and Vice Provost of Research. He became Dean of Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering, the largest in the United States, and then Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs until 2006, when he joined Caltech.

2008 - 2013

Professor Shih Choon Fong

Professor Shih Choon Fong was the Founding President of KAUST, and assumed his duties on December 1, 2008. Prior to KAUST, he was the president of National University of Singapore (NUS). Shih received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1973. Thereafter, he led the Fracture Research Group at the GE Corporate Research Lab in the US. In 1981, he joined Brown University.

Shih has made significant contributions in nonlinear fracture mechanics and computational methods for fracture analyses. He has about 150 publications in leading scientific journals to his credit and is among the highly cited researchers in the world for the category of engineering compiled by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). Shih has been a consultant to the National Aeronautics Space Administration, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.