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Indian American Sunil Kumar Named President of Tufts Becoming the First Person of Color to Head the Institution

Indian American Sunil Kumar Named President of Tufts Becoming the First Person of Color to Head the Institution

  • He is currently the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Johns Hopkins University.

Tufts University has named Indian American Sunil Kumar as its new president, effective July 2023. He becomes the university‚Äôs 14th president and the first president of color. He will succeed current president Anthony Monaco who will depart in February after 12 years of service, according to a university press release. 

Kumar is currently the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Johns Hopkins University, ‚Äúwhere he serves as the chief academic officer and second-ranking member of the university‚Äôs senior administration,‚ÄĚ Tufts said. He is the first Asian American appointed to the position of president or provost at Johns Hopkins.

His work at Johns Hopkins has included building the Vivien Thomas Scholars Initiative, which provides funding to sponsor students from diverse communities. Kumar also spearheaded the Fannie Gaston-Johansson Faculty of Excellence Program, an effort to increase faculty diversity at Johns Hopkins.

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Before his tenure at Johns Hopkins, he served as dean and George Pratt Shultz Professor of Operations Management at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Prior to it he was the Fred H. Merrill Professor for Operations, Information and Technology at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, where he worked for 14 years.

Born in India, Kumar graduated in 1990 from Mangalore University with a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Two years later, he earned a Master of Engineering in systems science and automation from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. He received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is married to cancer researcher Sumati Murli. 

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