Caltech’s Chameau to Step Down for Move to Saudi Arabia

Jean-Lou Chameau, president of the California Institute of Technology, will step down later this year to become leader of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia.

Chameau said he was presented with a life-changing opportunity to become president of the Saudi school known as KAUST, according to a statement today on Caltech’s website.

“KAUST is positioned to have a dramatic impact on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Middle East and the world,” Chameau said. “For that reason, it is more than a university. It is an undertaking of historic importance.”

Chameau, who holds a Ph.D. in civil engineering from Stanford University, led Pasadena, California-based Caltech for seven years. He will be the second president of KAUST, which was founded as an international graduate research university in 2007 and enrolled its first students in 2009, according to a KAUST statement today.

Details about the search for a new president at Caltech will be forthcoming from David Lee, chairman of Caltech’s Board of Trustees, and John Dabiri, the faculty chair, Chameau said in the statement.

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To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lisa Wolfson at

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