Professor Tony Chan assumed his role as the third president of KAUST in September 2018 after nearly a decade as president of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). He led a strategic planning process to lead KAUST into its second decade, including growing the faculty and students by up to 50%. He has expanded KAUST’s research emphasis from energy, water, food and environment to include digital and health, launching new initiatives in Artificial Intelligence and Smart Health. He is increasing investment and capacity in innovation, entrepreneurship and knowledge transfer to fulfill the second mission of the University. By positioning the University to leverage KSA’s ambitious Vision 2030 strategic plan, he is strengthening its engagement with the Nation. Finally, he is leading efforts to enhance the global and national visibility of KAUST.
Before joining HKUST, President Chan was Assistant Director of the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate at the US National Science Foundation from 2006 to 2009. He taught Computer Science at Yale University before joining UCLA as Professor of Mathematics in 1986 and was Chair of the Department of Mathematics in 1997 and later Dean of Physical Sciences. He was a co-founder of the US NSF funded National Math Institute IPAM.
He received his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Engineering from Caltech and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University. He is an elected member of the US National Academy of Engineering.