THUWAL, Saudi Arabia, Feb. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - The King Abdullah University of
Science and Technology (KAUST) is pleased to announce that, on February 16,
2013, the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to
appoint Jean-Lou Chameau as the next President of KAUST.
Dr. Chameau, who has served since 2006 as the President of the California
Institute of Technology, will become the second President of KAUST later this
The Chairman of KAUST's Board of Trustees, H.E., Ali I. Al-Naimi, the Minister
of Petroleum and Mineral Resources for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, announced
the appointment today: "We could not have found a better President for KAUST.
Jean-Lou Chameau's track-record as a researcher, educator and distinguished
academic leader make him uniquely qualified to lead the next phase of KAUST's
Chairman Al-Naimi also thanked the Board of Trustees and, particularly, the
search committee, "for ten months of hard, careful, and now fruitful work to
find and recruit the perfect leader for KAUST, Dr. Chameau."
The incumbent President of KAUST, Choon Fong Shih, expressed his delight with
the Executive Committee's decision, noting that, "Having worked with Jean-Lou
in the past, I have observed his broad understanding and deep insights in
research and education. He has a genuine affection for his faculty and
students. Our KAUST community is thrilled at the prospect of his taking up
the baton to lead KAUST in its journey to build a research university with
global reach and impact."
A native of France, Dr. Chameau received his undergraduate education at the
Ecole Nationale Superieure d'Arts et Metiers in France and later received his
PhD in civil engineering at Stanford University. He has had a remarkable
career in a number of US institutions. Prior to joining Caltech, he had an
exemplary record as the dean of engineering and then provost at Georgia Tech.
He was appointed President of the California Institute of Technology, which is
more commonly called Caltech, in September 2006. Dr. Chameau is credited with
promoting a multidisciplinary approach to research and education at Caltech
and encouraging the development of programs in areas of societal impact,
including energy, medical science, and the environment. Dr. Chameau also
placed great emphasis on improving students' educational experiences, and
advancing entrepreneurial and international opportunities for faculty and
Caltech, which is also home to the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, was ranked
number 1 among those research universities in the world which were ranked by
the Times Higher Education in 2012-2013.
According to Dr. Chameau, "Until recently, I believed I would complete my
career at Caltech and retire in Pasadena. I did not expect, however, to be
presented with a unique and life-changing opportunity to lead KAUST. Like
many other academics around the world, I heard about KAUST not too long after
it was founded and was impressed with the clarity of the vision to establish a
21(st) century university that serves as a beacon for learning and research
and for contributions that both make to human welfare. As I considered
accepting the position at KAUST, and spoke with members of the Board and the
academic leadership, I was impressed by the dedication of effort and resources
to realize that vision and the attention paid to establishing a culture of
Dr. Chameau added, "Because of its unique location, and its charter as a new
international center of learning and research, KAUST is positioned to have a
dramatic impact on the Kingdom and the world. For that reason, it is more
than a university; it is an undertaking of historic importance. I will
dedicate my energy to lead it toward achieving its bold vision."
Mr. Andrew Gould, the Chairman of BG Group and former CEO of Schlumberger, led
the search committee of the Board. Mr. Gould said, "Jean-Lou Chameau quickly
emerged as the ideal leader for KAUST and I am tremendously pleased that he
has accepted the position."
The search committee's sentiments were echoed by other Board members as well.
Charles Vest, the President of the US National Academy of Engineering, former
President of MIT and a member of the KAUST Board of Trustees, said: "Jean-Lou
Chameau is one of the world's most respected academic leaders. He was
remarkably accomplished at Caltech and Georgia Tech. He has always been
global in his outlook and perspective. I can think of no one better prepared
to lead KAUST to fulfilling its goals."
KAUST was founded as an international graduate research university in 2007 and
enrolled its first students in 2009. The third class of MS students
graduated, along with the first ten PhD graduates of KAUST, in December 2012.
Samia Falimban, Head of University Communications, +966 54 470-1203,
SOURCE: King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)
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