Chaouki T. Abdallah, Ph.D. was appointed the Executive Vice President for Research (EVPR) at Georgia Tech on September 1, 2018. Prior to that, he was a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at the University of New Mexico (UNM). He also serves as Fellow at the Gardner Institute.
Chaouki Abdallah previously served as Chair of the ECE department at UNM between 2005 and 2011, as Provost of UNM between July 2011 and August 2018. On January 2017 he became acting President, then interim President in June 2017, and finally the 22nd President, a position he held until February 2018 when he returned to his position as Provost until August 31, 2018, when he assumed his current role at Georgia Tech. He is also Professor & Provost Emeritus at UNM. As a direct report to President Ángel Cabrera and a member of the president’s cabinet, he serves as chief research officer for the Institute. This position provides overall leadership for the more than $1 Billion annual research enterprise, as well as economic development, and related support units within Georgia Tech.
Abdallah was the first recipient of ECE’s Lawton-Ellis Award for combined excellence in teaching, research, and student/community involvement. Professor Abdallah also received the School of Engineering senior research excellence award in 2004, and was the ECE Gardner-Zemke Professor between 2002 and 2005. He received the 2017 UNM Staff Hero award for his “advocacy for staff during difficult financial times and for his support of Staff Council.” He was the recipient of the 2017 Spirit of New Mexico cited because “Despite the challenges, Abdallah has earned the support of faculty, students, the business community and lawmakers.”
He has published eight books (three as co-editor and five as co-author) and more than 300 peer-reviewed paper. As Provost, he assembled a team to improve student success focusing on underprepared and underrepresented students. Within 7 years, under his leadership, UNM increased the first-year retention rates by 8%, the four-year graduation rate by 300%, the five-year graduation rate by 8%, and the six-year graduation rate by 15%, while closing the retention achievement gap and narrowing the graduation achievement gap. During his tenure as Provost, he has also increased the ranks of Tenure Track faculty by around 10%, and led three equity salary adjustment programs that affected around one third of the UNM faculty. He also led the development and implementation of a long-range Academic plan and initiatives in 2011.
Abdallah obtained his Bachelors of Engineering (BE) degree from Youngstown State University in 1981, and his MS and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1982, and 1988 respectively. Abdallah conducts research and teaches courses in the general area of systems theory with focus on control, communications, and computing systems. Abdallah is a senior member of IEEE, is a recipient of the IEEE Millennium medal, and is fluent in English, French, and Arabic.