Dr. Joseph I. Castro serves as the eighth chancellor to lead the California State University (CSU). He is the first Californian and first person of color to serve in this role. The grandson of immigrants from Mexico and the son of a single mother, Dr. Castro was the first in his family to graduate from a university. He earned a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in higher education policy and leadership from Stanford University. He is a renowned and gifted scholar in the fields of leadership and public policy, and has mentored hundreds of other scholars and practitioners, including many university presidents and senior officers.
Prior to his appointment as CSU chancellor in September 2020, Dr. Castro served as president of California State University, Fresno, beginning in 2013. He also worked in the University of California system for 23 years, serving as vice chancellor of Student Academic Affairs and as professor of Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco from 2006 to 2013. Earlier in his career, he held faculty or administrative leadership positions at four other University of California campuses: Berkeley, Davis, Merced and Santa Barbara.
Dr. Castro formally assumed the CSU chancellorship in January 2021. The California State University is the nation's largest and most ethnically and economically diverse four-year university, comprised of 23 campuses with more than 485,000 students and 53,000 faculty and staff. The university is nationally recognized for its emphasis on student success, and boasts more than 3.8 million living alumni around the world.
Dr. Castro’s leadership has been recognized by many different organizations. In 2019, on behalf of Fresno State, he received his fifth Excellence and Innovation Award from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. In 2018, he was named CSU President of the Year by the California State Student Association, and the 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.