Board of Directors
Renu Khator, Ph.D.
Renu Khator is president of the University of Houston and chancellor of the UH System - which includes the University of Houston, UH-Downtown, UH-Clear Lake and UH-Victoria, teaching centers at Sugar Land and Cinco Ranch, and KUHT, the nation's first educational television station, and KUHF, Houston's National Public Radio station.She assumed this dual appointment in January of 2008. In her capacity as chancellor, Khator oversees a system with an annual operating budget that exceeds $1 billion, serves more than 57,000 students and has an overall economic impact of $3 billion on the Greater Houston area each year. All told, the system components are engaged in more than 800 community, corporate and research partnerships. As president of the University of Houston, she is the chief executive officer of the largest and oldest of the four UH System universities. The University of Houston offers more than 300 undergraduate and graduate programs and awards 7,000 degrees each year. It is the most ethnically diverse urban research university in the country. Its internationally recognized faculty includes and has included members of the Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as a Nobel Laureate and winners of the Pulitzer and Tony Awards. Each year, University of Houston students provide nearly one million hours in volunteer service and internships to the community.Khator, who was born in Uttar Pradesh, India, earned a bachelor's degree at the University of Kanpur. She received her master's degree and her Ph.D. in political science from Purdue University. A noted scholar in the field of global environmental policy, President Khator has published five books and several articles on various aspects of this subject. Prior to her appointment at the University of Houston, she was provost and senior vice president at the University of South Florida, capping a 22-year career at that institution. In January 2007, she and her husband Suresh Khator - who is now a faculty member in the UH Cullen College of Engineering - were awarded the prestigious Hind Rattan (Jewel of India), given to nonresident Indians for making outstanding contributions in their field. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services included her among its 2006 Outstanding Americans by Choice awardees. The award recognizes achievements of naturalized U.S. citizens. Also in 2006, Khator received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Purdue University's College of Liberal Arts and the Outstanding Educator Award from the American Foundation for Greek Language and Culture for Enhancing Hellenic studies. President Khator and Suresh have two daughters, both of whom are ophthalmologists. She enjoys biking, practicing yoga and writing poetry and short stories - several of which have been published. Her life philosophy, she says, is simple: "When life gives you lemons and everyone else is busy making lemonade, think about making margaritas!"