In perhaps the biggest break yet for an Indian American in American academia, Subra Suresh, an IIT alumnus, was on Tuesday named the next president of Carnegie Mellon University.
Carnegie Mellon is among the top 25 US universitites, and Suresh’s appointment marks a new high for him personally and the community, widely respected for academic excellence.
Suresh goes to Carnegie Mellon from the National Science Foundation, a $7 billion federal science agency he was named to head by President Barack Obama in 2010.
Suresh takes over from Jared L Cohon on July 1.
“Dr Suresh possesses the strategic vision, international expertise and commitment to technology research and education that will continue to build CMU’s (Carnegie Mellon University’s) reputation as a world leader in higher education,” said Raymond J Lane, Hewlett-Packard chairman and head of Carnegie Mellon’s board of trustees.
“The extraordinary ability of the CMU faculty and students in bringing together cutting-edge research and education across multiple disciplines positions CMU uniquely to address global challenges,” said Suresh.
Indian Americans hold some of the most prestigious positions in US schools: Nitin Nohria is the dean of Harvard Business School and Soumitra Dutta is dean of SC Johnson Graduate School of Management at Yale.
Vijay Govindrajan, professor at Tuck School at Dartmouth and author of Reverse Innovation, said: “This is a great honour for Dr Subra Suresh and a recognition of the importance of Indians in US Universities. The twin forces of globalisation and technology will remake higher education. Dr Suresh is the ideal leader in this changing global landscape.”