In January 2021, Joseph I. Castro became the eighth chancellor of the California State University. He is the first California native and first Mexican American to be appointed to oversee the 23-campus university.Previously he had served since 2013 as president of California State University,Fresno, which was ranked Number 17 in the nation by Washington Monthly, recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the nation’s leading public universities for graduation rate performance, and ranked among the top 50 in Money Magazine’s best public colleges for 2018-2019. Dr. Castro is a Professor of Educational Leadership in the Kremen School of Education and Human Development. He is a gifted scholar in the fields of leadership and public policy who has mentored hundreds of other scholars and practitioners, including many other university presidents and senior officers.
From 2006 to 2013, he served as Vice Chancellor of Student Academic Affairs and Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). UCSF is widely recognized as the leading health sciences university in the nation. Dr. Castro led UCSF’s programs that served the academic and health care needs of its talented and diverse students. Earlier in his career, he held faculty and/or administrative leadership positions at four other University of California campuses –Berkeley, Davis, Merced, and Santa Barbara.
Dr. Castro serves on a number of boards, including the WASC Senior College and University Commission, Mountain West Athletic Conference Board, Stanford University Graduate School ofEducation Advisory Council, HispanicAssociation of Colleges and Universities’ Governing Board, Jumpstart National Board, and the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium.
Dr. Castro’s leadership has been recognized by many different organizations. In 2018, he was named as CSU President of theYear by the California State Student Association and City of Fresno District 4 Man of the Year. In 2017, he received the Mayor of Fresno’s Community Partnership Award. In 2016, he received the Alumni Excellence in Education Award from the Stanford University Graduate School of Education and the Ohtli Award, which is the highest honor granted by the Government of Mexico to leaders in the United States. In2014, he was selected as Alumnus of the Year by the UC Berkeley Richard and Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy. Dr. Castro received the University of California Student Association’s Administrator of the Year Award and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award from UCSF in 2010.
Dr. Castro is the grandson of farmworkers from Mexico. He was born and raised in Hanford, CA and is the first person in his family to graduate from a university. He and his wife, Mary, have three children, Isaac, Lauren and Jess. Dr. Castro received a B.A. in political science and M.P.P. in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley and Ph.D. in higher education policy and leadership from Stanford University. He has also successfully completed three advanced seminars on presidential leadership at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.