Emily A. Carter, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Princeton University, has been named UCLA’s new executive vice chancellor and provost.
In this role, Carter will serve as the university’s chief academic officer, bringing broad vision and executive leadership to campuswide policy, planning, initiatives and operations. Carter will begin her job Sept. 1.
Carter’s appointment marks a return to UCLA. Prior to going to Princeton, where Carter is the Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment, she was a member of the UCLA faculty for 16 years.
“UCLA was the birthplace of my academic career,” said Carter, who is also a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and of applied and computational mathematics. “It feels deeply meaningful now to be able to bring skills, values and perspective honed at Princeton to help lead one of the world’s greatest public universities. The opportunity to positively impact UCLA, to further advance its mission, and by so doing help the planet and society at large, is why I am coming home again.”
Carter served on the UCLA chemistry faculty from 1988 to 2004 and materials science and engineering faculty from 2002 to 2004. Carter also helped establish UCLA’s Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics and the California NanoSystems Institute.
“Given her UCLA roots, coupled with her academic accomplishments and administrative experience, I am confident that Dr. Carter will be an extraordinary addition to our campus leadership team, and I look forward to working with her and the campus community to advance our shared goals for UCLA. Please join me in congratulating Emily and welcoming her back to UCLA,” UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said.
When she joined Princeton University, Carter served as founding director of the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment before assuming the deanship of the engineering school in 2016. As ACEE’s founding director, Carter curated the development of its physical infrastructure, interdisciplinary ecosystem and intellectual community. As dean, Carter leads 10 academic units comprising six departments and four interdisciplinary centers and institutes and 12 undergraduate certificate programs, in addition to overseeing the school’s undergraduate and graduate student affairs; faculty recruitment, retention and advancement; space, facilities and building services; development and alumni affairs; diversity and inclusion; communications; information technology operations; and administration, finance and planning.
In her research, Carter develops and applies quantum mechanics–based computer simulation tools to enable discovery and design of molecules and materials for sustainable energy, including converting sunlight to electricity; producing chemicals and fuels from renewable energy, carbon dioxide, air and water; and optimizing liquid metal alloys for future fusion reactor walls. A sought-after public speaker on sustainable energy issues, Carter is the author of nearly 400 publications and has delivered more than 500 invited and plenary lectures worldwide. She serves on advisory boards spanning a wide range of disciplines.
Carter is the recipient of numerous honors, including election to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. She is also the recipient of several major prizes, including the 2017 Irving Langmuir Prize in Chemical Physics from the American Physical Society and the 2018 Award in Theoretical Chemistry from the American Chemical Society. She received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from UC Berkeley and her Ph.D. in chemistry from Caltech.
Carter replaces Scott Waugh, who served for more than 12 years as UCLA’s executive vice chancellor and provost. In October, he announced that he would step down from his administrative roles to return to pursue his research and scholarship in history full time.