Photo courtesy: Carnegie Mellon University
(Oct. 30, 2018) – UTSA alumnus Farnam Jahanian ’82 is the new president of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). He was formally installed as the university’s tenth president during an inauguration ceremony at the university, located in Pittsburgh, last week.
Jahanian earned his bachelor of science degree in computer science, math and systems designs from UTSA in 1982. Being a Roadrunner runs in his family, His wife, Tris Jahanian, received the same degree in 1986. Nearly 25 years ago, while working for what is now Fiserv, Inc., she patented the algorithms that allow banks to "talk" to each other during ATM transactions. His brothers, Farah and Frazan, also hold degrees from the UTSA College of Business.
Prior to being named president, Jahanian served as provost at Carnegie Mellon and later as interim president before his appointment this March.
A nationally recognized computer scientist, entrepreneur, public servant and higher education leader, Jahanian brings to CMU extensive leadership and administrative expertise, not only in advancing research and education within and across disciplines, but also in translating research into technologies and practices that benefit society.
He first joined CMU as vice president for research in 2014, where he was responsible for nurturing excellence in research, scholarship and creative activities. In his role as provost and chief academic officer from May 2015 to June 2017, Jahanian had broad responsibility for leading CMU's schools, colleges, institutes and campuses and was instrumental in long-range institutional and academic planning and implementation.
Prior to coming to CMU, Jahanian led the National Science Foundation Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) from 2011 to 2014. He guided CISE, with a budget of almost $900 million, in its mission to advance scientific discovery and engineering innovation through its support of fundamental research. Previously, Jahanian was the Edward S. Davidson Collegiate Professor at the University of Michigan, where he served as chair for Computer Science and Engineering from 2007 to 2011 and as director of the Software Systems Laboratory from 1997 to 2000.
Jahanian has been an active advocate for how basic research can be uniquely central to an innovation ecosystem that drives global competitiveness and addresses national priorities. His highly influential research on Internet infrastructure security formed the basis for the Internet security company Arbor Networks, which he co-founded in 2001 and where he served as chairman until its acquisition in 2010.
Jahanian serves as chair of the National Research Council's Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB), sits on the executive committee of the Council on Competitiveness, and is a trustee of the Dietrich Foundation. He is also a board member of the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT), the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute, and the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, among others.
In addition to his UTSA degree, Jahanian holds a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
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