Carnegie Mellon makes network security guru Jahanian president

Chalk one up for the infosec nerds: Arbor founder takes top uni post

By Shaun Nichols in San Francisco


Carnegie Mellon University has named computer science professor and Arbor Networks founder Farnam Jahanian as its new president.

The researcher-turned-entrepreneur-turned-administrator takes over the permanent position after an eight-month temporary turn as president. Previously, he had led the university's academic department as provost of the school.

"A rigorous, international search has made it clear that Dr. Jahanian possesses a rare set of qualities and experiences that make him exactly the right leader for this university at this extraordinary moment in its history," Carnegie Mellon board of trustees chair James Rohr said of the move.

"Dr. Jahanian embodies a bold, boundary-crossing, creative approach to the most important issues of our time — the very qualities that define and differentiate Carnegie Mellon, positioning this university to shape our world at the nexus of technology and human life."

Jahanian made his name in the network security markets and previously served as head of the National Science Foundation's Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering.

In 2001, he co-founded network security company Arbor Networks, chairing the board of directors up to its 2010 acquisition by Tektronix (now owned by Netscout).

He was also the chair for computer science and engineering at the University of Michigan from 2007 to 2011 and helped coordinate the US government's networking and information technology R&D programs through the National Science and Technology Council Committee on Technology.

"It's a remarkable honor and privilege to work with the students, faculty and staff who are seizing the possibilities of this century and solving its problems," Jahanian said of his appointment.

"As data and digital technology transform our world, Carnegie Mellon is positioned like no other institution to bring about world-leading breakthroughs in those realms, but also in the fields that help humanity benefit from this revolution, from policy to ethics, business to the arts and humanities."

Jahanian will be formally inaugurated into the position in the Fall. ®

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