A Picture of Chaouki Abdallah Smiling
Official Job Title
Professor; Exec VP-Research at Georgia Tech
Email Address
Technical Interest Group(s)

Dr. Chaouki T. Abdallah is the Executive Vice President for Research (EVPR) at Georgia Tech and a professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The EVPR directs Georgia Tech’s research program. As a direct report to the President and a member of the President’s Cabinet, the EVPR serves as chief research officer for the Institute. This position provides overall leadership for the research, economic development, and related support units within the Institute.

Dr. Abdallah began his college career at the Faculté d’ingénierie (ESIB) of the Université Saint-Joseph, then obtained his Bachelor’s of Engineering (BE) degree from Youngstown State University in 1981, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1982 and 1988, respectively. He joined the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department at the University of New Mexico (UNM), where he served as professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering. Between 2005 and 2011, he was the ECE department chair and became the Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs of UNM between July 2011 and December 2016. On January 2017, he became acting President, then interim President in June 2017, and finally the 22nd President, a position he held until February 2018 when he returned to his position as Provost. On September 1, 2018 he joined Georgia Tech as its EVPR.

Dr. Abdallah was the first recipient of ECE’s Lawton-Ellis Award for combined excellence in teaching, research, and student/community involvement. He also received the School of Engineering senior research excellence award in 2004, and was the ECE Gardner-Zemke Professor between 2002 and 2005. He received the 2017 UNM Staff Hero award for his “advocacy for staff during difficult financial times and for his support of Staff Council.” Dr. Abdallah has published eight books (three as co-editor and five as co-author) and more than 300 peer-reviewed papers, and he generated more than $9 million in external funding. As Provost, he assembled a team to improve student success focusing on underprepared and underrepresented students. Within seven years, under his leadership, UNM increased the first-year retention rates by 8%, the four-year graduation rate by 125%, the five-year graduation rate by 8%, and the six-year graduation rate by 15%, while closing the retention achievement gap and narrowing the graduation achievement gap. He also shepherded the design and implementation of an Honors College that has since increased the number of high-achieving students attending UNM by more than 20%. He also led the development and implementation of a long-range academic plan and initiatives in 2011.

Dr. Abdallah conducts research and teaches courses in the general area of systems theory with focus on control, communications, and computing systems. His research has been funded by NSF, AFOSR, NRL, National Laboratories, and by various companies. He served as the general chair of the 2008 CDC, the premier IEEE conference in Decision & Control, which was held in Cancun, Mexico. Dr. Abdallah is a senior member of IEEE and a recipient of the IEEE Millennium Medal. He is fluent in English, French, and Arabic.

  • Systems Theory
  • Complex Networks
  • Higher Education Systems
Distinctions & Awards
  • Recipient 2017 Spirit of New Mexico award. The awards recognize people in the community who have given of their own time and efforts to make a difference. From the award citation: "Despite the challenges, Abdallah has earned the support of faculty, students, the business community and lawmakers."
  • Recipient of the UNM 2017 Staff Hero Award.
  • 2004 Winner, Senior Faculty Research Excellence Award, UNM School of Engineering.
  • Faculty Affiliate (2003), Los Alamos National Laboratories, Los Alamos, New Mexico.
  • Gradner-Zemke Research Professor (2002–2005), ECE Department, UNM.
  • Recipient (2000), IEEE Millennium Medal, The Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers, IEEE.
  • First Recipient (2000), Lawton-Ellis award for combined teaching, research, service excellence, ECE Department, UNM.