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Christopher Callahan Begins Role as University of the Pacific President

Renowned Dean of Cronkite School takes the helm as 26th president of California’s first chartered university
Jul 1, 2020

Christopher Callahan began his role as president of University of the Pacific today, becoming the 26th president of California’s first chartered university.

"We believe we have found an outstanding leader to build on our growth as an institution," said Norman Allen, chair of the Board of Regents. “Chris understands how to engage with our entire three-campus community in a personable, relatable and productive way. We are confident he will ensure the rich, personalized learning that is a hallmark of the Pacific experience."

Callahan joins Pacific from Arizona State University, where he was founding dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, vice provost of their downtown Phoenix campus and CEO of Arizona PBS. During his time, he spearheaded the creation of a dozen professional programs for students, including Cronkite News. As vice provost, he helped foster the growth of the 14-year-old campus, which now has nearly 13,000 students across seven colleges.

"I am excited to begin my tenure as president at such a historic and respected university," said Callahan. “We enter this year with unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but I have tremendous faith in the strength of the Pacific community. Our faculty and staff have been engaged in comprehensive planning to provide a safe and welcoming environment for our students’ return in the fall. We look forward to our community coming together and providing our students with the best of Pacific."

Callahan came to ASU from the University of Maryland, where he served as associate dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism and senior editor of the American Journalism Review. Before entering journalism education, he was a correspondent for The Associated Press in Washington D.C., and for other bureaus in the Northeast. He is the author of “A Journalist's Guide to the Internet,” now in its third edition.

Callahan holds a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University’s College of Communication. He and his wife Jean have two sons, Cody and Casey.

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