Carnegie Mellon University
February 11, 2015

Farnam Jahanian Named Carnegie Mellon University Provost

By Ken Walters / 412-268-1151

Farnam JahanianFarnam Jahanian, vice president of research at Carnegie Mellon University, has been appointed as CMU's provost. Jahanian, an accomplished scientist and successful entrepreneur, brings extensive leadership experience in higher education administration, an impressive background in scholarly achievement, and a strong commitment to teaching and learning to his new role.

Jahanian will report directly to President Subra Suresh, serving as a key member of his leadership team. As the university's chief academic officer, Jahanian will have broad responsibility for leading CMU's schools, institutes and campuses, and will be instrumental in long-range institutional and academic planning and implementation. He will begin his new role at the end of the 2014-15 academic year.

"I am pleased to have Farnam assume this role," said President Suresh. "He has shown an extraordinary ability to engage members of the faculty and broader community through his visionary leadership and skill at fostering cross-departmental strategic collaboration and innovation. His commitment to teaching and scholarly research, demonstrated by his impressive personal and professional accomplishments, bring unique insights to this key leadership position."

Jahanian was appointed CMU's vice president for research in April 2014, leading the university's efforts in expanding CMU's world-class research and innovation ecosystem. Building on his role as vice president for research, in his new role Jahanian will focus on supporting and advancing the teaching and scholarship of CMU's faculty with the support of the academic deans, as well as providing leadership for all other facets of the university's academic life.

"I am honored by this appointment and eagerly anticipate the opportunity to work closely with President Suresh and the CMU faculty, deans, and the campus community to help shape the university's future," Jahanian said. "Carnegie Mellon is a remarkable institution with deep traditions in promoting excellence in education and research. The way in which science and technology are intertwined with social science, humanities and the arts at CMU creates a nurturing environment for learning and discovery that advance human knowledge and the human condition. I admire and personally share CMU’s commitment to this mission."

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 foundational research, foster broad interdisciplinary collaborations, and contribute to the development of 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 and the National Big Data Research and Development Initiative. Jahanian has testified before Congress on a broad range of topics, including cybersecurity, next generation computing, and "big data" analytics. 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 federal 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.

Jahanian's research on network routing and 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. He has been an active advocate for how basic research can be uniquely central to an innovation ecosystem that addresses societal priorities and drives global competitiveness. He has received numerous honors for his scholarly research and commitment to education excellence. 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.

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).