Dr. Farnam Jahanian has begun serving as Carnegie Mellon University’s 10th president. In announcing the appointment this afternoon, the Chairman of CMU’s Board of Trustees, Jim Rohr, said Jahanian “has the vision to take us to the next level.”
What else do we know about CMU’s new leader?
He’s not new here. Although the school conducted an extensive international search for its new president, Jahanian has been in Pittsburgh since leaving the University of Michigan for CMU in 2014. He served first as vice president for research, then for two years as provost. Jahanian was named interim president last July.
His computer-scientist background doesn’t keep him from valuing CMU’s arts programs. He mentioned in his acceptance speech today that while technology and business prowess are central to what CMU is today, “so is cleaning up at the Tonys.”
He fully understands the connection between academic research and bringing products to market. As an expert in cybersecurity, Jahanian founded the company Arbor Networks to commercialize his innovative solutions for network security. CMU says his technology is now used by hundreds of major companies and organizations worldwide and has “ultimately transformed how cyber threats are addressed today.”
He’s got serious school spirit. Jahanian frequents the university’s athletic competitions and student-run service events. He also pointed out with a smile during his acceptance speech that he has “helped students get into the dunk tank” at CMU’s carnivals.
Beyond being the school’s president, Jahanian is also a CMU parent. In his acceptance speech, Jahanian proudly mentioned that his daughter, Sarah, is more than halfway through her junior year.
“Thank you,” he told her from the stage today, “for always letting me embarrass you in front of your friends.”