Subra Suresh, an eminent Indian- origin scientist in the US was today named as the President of Singapore’s prestigious Nanyang Technological University. Suresh, 61, will begin his term as the fourth president of the NTU on January 1, 2018, taking over from current president Bertil Andersson. Prof Suresh joins NTU from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) where he was President for the last four years. Chairman of the NTU Board of Trustees, Koh Boon Hwee (Chairman of Agilent Technologies, Inc, former Chairman of both Singapore Airlines and DBS Bank), announced Prof Suresh’s appointment in an email to NTU faculty, staff, students and alumni this afternoon, the NTU said in a statement. “The succession planning started last year and in line with international best practices of universities, NTU had conducted a global search for its next president in Singapore and internationally. The eight-member search committee chaired by Koh unanimously selected Prof Suresh for the top role at NTU, and his appointment has been strongly endorsed by all members of the NTU Board of Trustees,” the statement said.
“Prof Suresh understands the Singapore higher education and research systems, as well as those in North America, Europe, China and India, having actively engaged with various public and private agencies and boards, and as a member of a number of national academies of science and engineering. He is an educator, scientist, advisor, inventor, entrepreneur and leader all rolled into one,” Koh said. Suresh is considered one of the most distinguished scientists in the US, if not the world. He was chosen by former US President Barack Obama to serve as Director of the National Science Foundation, the agency charged with advancing science and engineering research and education in the US between 2010 and 2013. His undergraduate degree was from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in Chennai.
In 2013, he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in the US. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, making him one of the only 19 American scientists to be elected to all three branches. He also holds the distinction of being the first Asian- born professor to have served as engineering dean of the famed Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he attained his doctorate in science. In 2011, Suresh was honoured with the Padma Shri by the President of India.