Caltech’s President Will Depart for Top Job at Saudi University

Jean-Lou Chameau, who has served as the California Institute of Technology’s president since 2006, will depart the institution later this year to become the next president of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, in Saudi Arabia, both institutions announced on Tuesday. Kaust, as the Saudi university is known, enrolled its first students in 2009 and is trying, with the government’s help, to flourish as a higher-education powerhouse despite being located in one of the world’s most restrictive countries.

In a letter reflecting on his tenure at Caltech, Mr. Chameau said he and his wife had believed they would complete their careers at the university, and did not expect to be presented with the “unique and life-changing opportunity” that his new job represents. He added that he would dedicate his energy to leading the Saudi institution “toward achieving its bold vision.”

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