Carnegie Mellon University


Farnam Jahanian (interim)

The Board of Trustee appointed Dr. Jahanian interim president of Carnegie Mellon University, effective July 1, 2017. 

As the university's provost and chief academic officer beginning in 2015, 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. He joined CMU as vice president for research in 2014, where he was responsible for nurturing excellence in research, scholarship and creative activities.

Jahanian holds faculty appointments in the School of Computer Science (Computer Science), the College of Engineering (Electrical and Computer Engineering) and Heinz College (Information Systems and Management) at Carnegie Mellon University.  To access his faculty page, please visit

Prior to CMU, Jahanian led the National Science Foundation Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) from 2011 to 2014. With a budget of almost $900 million, he was responsible for directing CISE programs and initiatives that support advances in research and cyber infrastructure, foster broad interdisciplinary collaborations, and contribute to the development of a computing and information technology workforce with skills essential to success in the increasingly competitive global market. During his tenure at NSF, CISE led several administration initiatives with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, including the National Robotics Initiative, the National Big Data Research and Development Initiative, and US Ignite. He also served as co-chair of the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council Committee on Technology, providing overall coordination for the R&D activities of 17 government agencies.

Jahanian was on the faculty at the University of Michigan from 1993 to 2014, where he held the Edward S. Davidson Collegiate Professorship in the College of Engineering, and served as Chair for Computer Science and Engineering from 2007 to 2011 and the Director of the Software Systems Laboratory from 1997 to 2000. Previously, he held research and management positions at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center.

While at the University of Michigan, Jahanian led several large-scale research projects that studied the growth and scalability of the Internet infrastructure, which ultimately transformed how cyber threats are addressed by Internet Service Providers. His research on Internet infrastructure security formed the basis for the successful Internet security services company Arbor Networks, which he co-founded in 2001. Jahanian served as Chairman of Arbor Networks until its acquisition in 2010. His work on Internet routing stability and convergence has been highly influential within both the network research and the Internet operational communities and was recognized with an ACM SIGCOMM Test of Time Award in 2008.

The author of over 100 published research papers, Jahanian has also served on dozens of national advisory boards and panels. He 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 Computing Research Association (CRA), the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT), the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARMInstitute, and the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, among others. 

Jahanian has testified before Congress on a broad range of topics, including cybersecurity, next generation computing and “big data” analytics. He 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.

The recipient of numerous awards for his innovative research, commitment to education and technology commercialization activities, Jahanian was named Distinguished University Innovator at the University of Michigan in 2009 and received the Governor's University Award for Commercialization Excellence in 2005. In 2015, he received the Computing Research Association’s Distinguished Service Award and in 2016, he was honored in Carnegie Corporation of New York’s “Great Immigrants — The Pride of America” campaign. 

Jahanian holds a master's degree and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Jahanian has been married to Tris since 1989 and they have three children.

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