Albert Carnesale


Albert Carnesale is UCLA Chancellor Emeritus and holds professorial appointments in UCLA’s School of Public Affairs and Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. His research currently focuses on issues in international affairs and security and in higher education.

Carnesale served as Chancellor of UCLA from July 1, 1997 to June 30, 2006. As chief executive officer, he led an institution comprising more than 38,000 students and 27,000 faculty and staff; was responsible for all aspects of the University’s mission of education, research, and service; managed an enterprise with an annual budget of $3.5 billion; and served as principal spokesman for the university community.

While he served as Chancellor, Carnesale taught an undergraduate course in international affairs and security for several years. He is a sought-after speaker on that topic, as well as on issues related to higher education. He is the author or co-author of six books and more than 50 scholarly articles on a wide range of subjects, including the control of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, international energy issues, the effects of technological change on foreign and defense policy, and challenges and opportunities facing higher education.

Under Carnesale’s leadership, UCLA garnered recognition and accolades for excellence across the full span of its enterprise. Among the interdisciplinary endeavors launched during his tenure were the California NanoSystems Institute (a joint endeavor with UC Santa Barbara); the “Genetics and Society” initiative, which gave rise to the Center for Society and Genetics; “UCLA in LA,” an umbrella program designed to strengthen and expand the University’s extensive engagement with the broader community; and the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Medicine, which conducts embryonic and stem cell research that may lead to better treatments for HIV, cancer, and neurological disorders.

UCLA’s research program thrived under Carnesale’s leadership. The amount of funding that the University received per year through competitively awarded contracts and grants doubled during his nine-year tenure, reaching more than $821 million in 2004-05 — one of the highest levels of research funding among all universities in the United States.

Carnesale also guided UCLA to unprecedented achievement in private fundraising. He presided over the public phase of Campaign UCLA, the largest and most successful fundraising endeavor in the history of higher education. The Campaign raised over $3 billion — more than double the original goal that was announced shortly before Mr. Carnesale’s appointment.

Prior to assuming the chancellorship of UCLA in 1997, Carnesale was at Harvard University for 23 years, serving as Provost of the University from 1994 to 1997. He held the Lucius N. Littauer Professorship of Public Policy and Administration at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he served as Academic Dean (1981-91), and Dean (1991-95). His earlier career included positions in the private sector and in government.

Carnesale has represented the United States Government in high-level negotiations on defense and energy issues (including the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, SALT I), and has consulted regularly for several government agencies and companies. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering and a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering, has been awarded three honorary doctorate degrees, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


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