KAUST Appoints New President

The University has named Dr. Tony Chan, KAUST board member and former president of HKUST, as President Designate of KAUST.

KAUST has appointed Dr. Tony Chan as its third president, to assume office on September 1, 2018. Chan joins KAUST after nearly a decade as president of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).

KAUST Board Chairman H.E. Khalid Al-Falih said of the appointment,"We are delighted to welcome Dr. Chan as the next president of KAUST. His outstanding record as a leader in higher education and innovation will help us accomplish our ambitious goals in this important time of national transformation. With Dr. Chan's leadership, I am confident that KAUST will be well positioned to contribute in a meaningful way to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia achieving its Vision 2030 objectives, which are aimed at addressing global challenges and the betterment of humanity as well as national challenges."

"Leading an institution like KAUST is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I look forward to playing a role in not only the next chapter of the university, but in the new era of innovation for Saudi Arabia," said Chan. "My deep history with KAUST and in higher education has allowed me to see firsthand the significant way the University has influenced the global research agenda, and I believe we are only at the beginning of a bright future."

Chan has been a close partner of KAUST since 2007, when he hosted the founding team of the University for meetings in Washington, D.C. as Assistant Director of the U.S. National Science Foundation. He has been a member of the KAUST Board of Trustees since 2011 and, while he was the President of HKUST, he hosted the Board of Trustees for a meeting in Hong Kong.

During his tenure at HKUST, Chan has driven major advancements, including enhancing the university's global visibility and reputation; increasing international recruitment and exchange; nearly tripling the number of endowed professorships; and championing the use of new technology in education, including placing HKUST as the first Asian university to offer Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs). Under Chan's leadership, HKUST has become widely known as one of the leading universities in the world, rapidly increasing its global and regional rankings to 30th in the QS World's Top 1000 Universities, 12th in Global University Employability Ranking, and 2nd in the Times Higher Education Top Young University Rankings.

Before joining HKUST, Chan was Assistant Director of the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate at the US National Science Foundation and the Dean of Physical Sciences at UCLA. Chan's professional field is computational mathematics with interests including image processing and computer vision, physical circuit design and computational brain mapping. He is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of AAASIEEE, and SIAM. He has mentored over 35 Ph.D. students and 25 Postdocs. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Engineering from Caltech and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University.

For Chan's full biography and curriculum vitae, please click here