President Robert Brown

Boston University

Dr. Robert A. Brown, a distinguished chemical engineer, has served as president of Boston University since 2005. During his tenure, Boston University produced and has begun executing its firststrategic plan, Choosing to be Great, which focuses on strengthening the quality of undergraduate andgraduate programs, attracting world-class faculty members, and facilitating their research andscholarship. Significant progress has been made toward these goals, as evidenced by enhanced quality.


Significant progress has been made toward these goals, as evidenced by enhanced qualityof the incoming undergraduate class, increased the ranking of the University and, in 2012, the University was invited to join the Association of American Universities, which includes the 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada. Also in 2012, the University launched its firs comprehensive fundraising campaign to raise $1 billion by 2017. This goal was achieved well ahead of schedule. The University passed the $1 billion mark in April 2016.


Because of the pace and the success of the campaign, the Board of Trustees has extended the campaign and raised the goal to $1.5 billion. Thecampaign already has led to important new academic initiatives including the Kilachand Honors College,a unique discovery-based approach to fulfilling the general education requirement for our most talentedundergraduate students, and the Pardee School for Global Studies within the College of Arts andSciences. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy ofEngineering, and the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Brown also is a director of the DuPont Company,a trustee of the Universities Research Association, a director of the American Council on Education, andhas served on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology for President George W.Bush. He also serves as chairman of the Academic Research Council of the Ministry of Education of theRepublic of Singapore, is a member of Singapore’s Research Innovation and Enterprise Council, and is atrustee of The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC).

Before coming to Boston University, Dr. Brown held a number of leadership positions at MIT,including provost, dean of the School of Engineering, and head of the Department of ChemicalEngineering. He has published more than 250 papers in areas related to mathematical modeling of transport phenomena in materials, and he served as executive editor of the Journal of ChemicalEngineering Science from 1991 to 2004. He was named an honorary citizen of the Republic of Singapore 2005 and in 2008, was honored as one of the top 100 Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era by theAmerican Institute of Chemical Engineers. In September of 2014, the National Academy of Engineering awarded Dr. Brown the prestigious Simon Ramo Founders Award for his contributions to engineering and his leadership in transforming disciplines in institutions. In that same year, he was also elected as aFellow of the National Academy of Inventors.


He earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in chemical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota. He and his wife Beverly have two grown sons.