Pradeep K. Khosla

Chancellor, University of California, San Diego

Pradeep K. Khosla, an internationally renowned electrical and computer engineer, is the eighth Chancellor of the University of California, San Diego, and a Distinguished Professor.  At UC San Diego, he initiated and led a comprehensive, all-inclusive strategic planning process to unify the campus and define UC San Diego’s future.  The initiative resulted in a Strategic Plan that outlines five overarching goals, four grand research themes, and 13 strategies to fulfill our sharpened mission and vision as a student-centered, research-focused, service-oriented public university.

Before his current appointment, Khosla served as Dean of the College of Engineering and Philip and Marsha Dowd University Professor at Carnegie Mellon University. There, he set the strategic direction for undergraduate and graduate education and research, and initiated undergraduate curriculum reform, successful diversity efforts, multidisciplinary research centers and graduate offerings, and international programs. Khosla 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 received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology – Kharagpur in 1980, and his MS and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and computer engineering in 1984 and 1986 at Carnegie Mellon. In 2014, he received an honorary doctorate of science from the Indian Institute of Technology – Kharagpur.


Chancellor Khosla serves as chief executive officer for UC San Diego, one of 10 campuses in the world-renowned University of California system. Located on 1,200 acres on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean and in the heart of the biotech community on the La Jolla mesa, UC San Diego is home to the world-renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the UC San Diego Health System, which includes a School of Medicine, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, two hospitals, and multiple primary and specialty care outpatient centers.

The campus encompasses six undergraduate colleges, five academic divisions, and five graduate and professional schools. UC San Diego’s programmatic offerings – more than 130 academic degree programs – are both impressive and highly ranked, ranging from science, management, engineering and medicine to social science, international studies, and arts and humanities. In addition to its highly rated graduate research programs, UC San Diego offers professional degrees in medicine, management, pharmacology and pharmaceutical science, and international studies. Specialized campus resources include the San Diego Supercomputer Center; Qualcomm Institute for Telecommuications and Information Technology, the UC San Diego Division of Calit2; Center of Interdisciplinary Science for Art, Architecture, and Archaeology (CISA3); Center for Research in Computing and the Arts; Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies; Institute of the Americas; Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation; and UC San Diego Extension.

UC San Diego is the third largest employer in San Diego County with annual revenues of $4.3 billion in fiscal year 2014-15. UC San Diego enrolls more than 33,000 students, nearly 27,000 of whom are undergraduates. All incoming freshmen graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class. The exceptional quality of UC San Diego’s 1,900 Academic Senate faculty is reflected in the range of faculty honors among the campus faculty, including: Nobel Prize, Fields Medal, Balzan, National Medal of Science, Pulitzer Prize, Kyoto Prize, MacArthur Fellows (“genius award”), Tony Award, and Academy Award. UC San Diego’s research prowess has catapulted the campus to the top ranks of national and international academic standings. U.S. News & World Report ranks UC San Diego as the 8th best public university in the nation, and the National Science Foundation lists the campus 5th among top U.S. universities in total research and development expenditures for fiscal year 2013. UC San Diego is also ranked 1st in the nation by Washington Monthly, for six consecutive years, based on three criteria: social mobility, research and service.


In addition to his appointment as Chancellor in 2012, Khosla is a distinguished professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at UC San Diego. He began his teaching career at Carnegie Mellon as an Assistant Professor of electrical and computer science engineering in 1986; he was promoted to Associate Professor in 1990 and Professor in 1994. Having been awarded the Philip and Marsha Dowd Professorship in 1998, he was elected University Professor in 2008, the highest distinction a faculty member could achieve.

In 1999, he received the George Westinghouse Award for Education “in recognition of distinguished contributions to teaching for students of engineering.” He also received the Academic of the Year Award “for excellence and leadership in technology, education and business” from SiliconIndia in 2000.


Khosla’s research interests encompass the areas of internet-enabled collaborative design, collaborating autonomous systems, agent-based architectures for distributed design and embedded control, software composition and reconfigurable software for real-time embedded systems, reconfigurable and distributed robotic systems, integrated design-assembly planning systems and distributed information systems. His research has resulted in three books and more than 350 journal articles and conference and book contributions. He is also the founding director of the Carnegie Mellon CyLab and the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems, which pursues interdisciplinary projects.

Khosla is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Association of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and the Indian Academy of Engineering. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Indian Academy of Science. His other awards include the 2012 Light of India Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the W. Wallace McDowell Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society. In 2012, he was named as one of the 50 most influential Indian-Americans by SiliconIndia.


Khosla currently serves on numerous San Diego regional advisory boards, including Rady Children’s Hospital and Health Center, La Jolla Playhouse, the Cecil and Ida M. Green Foundation for Earth Sciences, and the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine. He also serves on advisory boards for other non-profit and government organizations, venture capital firms, and high-tech start-up companies. He is a member of the Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology for NIST and Chair of the Jury for the prestigious Infosys Foundation Prize in Engineering and Computer Science. He has served as a member of the Strategy Review Board for the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan; the Council of Deans of the Aeronautics Advisory Committee, NASA; the National Research Council Board on Manufacturing and Engineering Design; the Pennsylvania Treasury Advisory Board; and the Senior Advisory Group for the DARPA Program on Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems.