Elliot Hirshman
Elliot Hirshman

Dr. Elliot Hirshman

San Diego State University

Office of the President


Dr. Elliot Hirshman has served as president of San Diego State University since 2011 — a period in which SDSU has raised its profile as a major public research university. SDSU ranks in the top 15 for students studying abroad and for ethnic and economic diversity; Forbes, Fortune and U.S. News & World Report rank it in the top 25 for entrepreneurship; and the university has produced 85 Fulbright student scholars in the past decade.

Under President Hirshman’s leadership, SDSU has implemented an integrated budget and financial strategy, created a new strategic plan, raised more than $700 million in private philanthropy for scholarships and new initiatives and programs, established and endowed its Honors College, and built and remodeled facilities across campus. The Campaign for SDSU’s final phase is raising additional funds to endow scholarships, professorships, programs and research and to build a new Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences complex.

President Hirshman is committed to ensuring that students from all backgrounds achieve excellence and go on to personal and professional success. The university is recognized nationally for increasing retention and graduation rates — rates that are equal across ethnic and racial groups. It is among the nation’s leaders for graduating students of color.

Dr. Hirshman is an incoming member of the NCAA Board of Directors and former chairman of the Mountain West Conference Board. He is president of the SDSU Research Foundation Board and a member of the university's Campanile Foundation Board. He also serves on the boards of the San Diego Economic Development Corporation and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Academic Experience

President, San Diego State University, 2011 to present

Provost and Senior Vice President, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 2008 2011

Chief Research Officer, George Washington University, 2005 2008

Chair, Department of Psychology, George Washington University, 2002 2005

Chair, Department of Psychology, University of Colorado at Denver, 2000 2002

Special Assistant to the Provost, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1998 1999

American Council on Education Fellow, Office of the Provost and President, Arizona State University, 1997 1998

Professor of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2000

Associate Professor of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1995 2000

Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1989 1995


Post-Doctoral Fellow, National Institute of Mental Health Fellowship, New York University

Ph.D., Cognitive Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles

M.A., Cognitive Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles

B.A., summa cum laude, Economics and Mathematics, Yale University