Robert J. Birgeneau became the ninth chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, on September 22, 2004. An internationally distinguished physicist, he is a leader in higher education and is well known for his commitment to diversity and equity in the academic community.
Before coming to Berkeley, Birgeneau served four years as president of the University of Toronto. He previously was Dean of the School of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he spent 25 years on the faculty. He is a fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society of London, the American Philosophical Society and other scholarly societies. He has received many awards for teaching and for his research on the fundamental properties of materials.