Pradeep K. Khosla
Eighth Chancellor, University of California San Diego

Photo: Pradeep Khosla

Brief Biography

Pradeep K. Khosla became UC San Diego’s eighth Chancellor on August 1, 2012. As UC San Diego’s chief executive officer, he leads a campus with more than 40,000 students, seven undergraduate colleges, six academic divisions, and six graduate and professional schools. UC San Diego is also home to the prestigious Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the UC San Diego Health System. With annual revenues of $5.4 billion in fiscal year 2019, UC San Diego is an academic and research powerhouse, with faculty, researchers and staff attracting more than $1.45 billion in sponsored research funding a year. UC San Diego is recognized as one of the top 15 research universities in the world and is the largest civilian employer based in San Diego County.

Khosla initiated and led UC San Diego’s first-ever Strategic Plan and the ambitious $2 billion Campaign for UC San Diego. The Campaign, which is aimed at transforming the university physically and intellectually, has raised $2.31 billion in eight years. Khosla has significantly expanded college access and affordability for underserved populations, initiated interdisciplinary research initiatives to foster collaboration and solve societal challenges, and strengthened university and community relationships and partnerships. The campus is currently in the midst of a $2 billion-construction plan aimed at expanding classroom and research space and doubling the number of on-campus housing units.

An internationally renowned electrical and computer engineer, Khosla previously served as Dean of the College of Engineering and Philip and Marsha Dowd University Professor at Carnegie Mellon University. He spent the majority of his career at Carnegie Mellon, rising through the ranks from his first position as Assistant Professor in 1986 to his appointment as Dean in 2004. From 1994 to 1996, he also served as a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Program Manager in the Software and Intelligent Systems Technology Office, Defense Sciences Office and Tactical Technology Office, where he managed advanced research and development programs.

Khosla is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Engineering and the American Society for Engineering Education. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Association for Advancement of Science, the American Association of Artificial Intelligence, the Indian Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Inventors. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Indian Academy of Science. Khosla is also the recipient of numerous awards for his leadership, teaching, and research, including the 2012 Light of India Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the George Westinghouse Award for contributions to improve engineering teaching. In 2012, he was named one of the 50 most influential Indian-Americans by SiliconIndia.

View Chancellor Khosla's full biography.

Pradeep Khosla at a Glance


  • Bachelor’s degree in technology from Indian Institute of Technology (Kharagpur, India), 1980
  • Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE) from Carnegie Mellon University, 1984
  • Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, 1986

Previous Positions

  • Dean of the College of Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University (2004-2012) and Philip and Marsha Dowd University Professor, Carnegie Mellon University (2008-2012)
  • Founding Director, Carnegie Mellon CyLab (2001-2008)
  • Director, Information Networking Institute (2000-2004)
  • Head, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (1999-2004)
  • Philip and Marsha Dowd Professor of Engineering and Robotics (1998-2012)
  • Founding Director, Institute for Complex Engineered Systems (1997-1999)
  • Professor of ECE and Robotics (1994-2012)
  • Program Manager, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (1994-1996)
  • Associate Professor of ECE and Robotics (1990-1994)
  • Assistant Professor of ECE and Robotics (1986-1990)

Professional Societies

  • Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Member, National Academy of Engineering (NAE)
  • Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
  • Fellow, American Association of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI)
  • Fellow, American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • Member, American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)
  • Honorary Fellow, Indian Academy of Science
  • Fellow, Indian National Academy of Engineering
  • Fellow of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

Awards and Honors

  • 2012 Light of India Award
  • IBM Faculty Award
  • (Inaugural) Academic Excellence Award, Pan IIT
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, ASME
  • Cyber Education Award, Business Software Alliance
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, IIT
  • W. Wallace McDowell Award, IEEE Computer Society
  • SiliconIndia Leadership Award for Excellence in Academics and Technology
  • ASEE 1999 George Westinghouse Award for Education

Other Recognition

Photos and Videos

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The Role of the Chancellor

A successful Chancellor has to be an executive with the political skills to respond to internal and external constituencies; an administrator with the technical expertise to manage billion-dollar budgets and thousands of employees; and an entrepreneur who can create a compelling vision for the future of the campus that inspires faculty, students and staff, as well as private donors whose support the Chancellor must cultivate. The Chancellor is essentially an academic and thought leader, mayor, CEO and lead fundraiser rolled into one. The Chancellor must also be a resourceful and creative problem-solver who can manage a campus that is an economic and innovation engine.

Read more about the role of the Chancellor.