Joseph I. Castro has served as the eighth president of
California State University, Fresno since 2013. He is the first Californian and
first Valley native to serve in this position. In 2018, Fresno State was ranked
17th in the nation by Washington Monthly and recognized by U.S.
News and World Report as one of the nation’s leading public universities
for graduation rate performance and ranked among the top 50 in Money
Magazine’s best public colleges for 2018-19.
Castro is a professor of educational leadership in the
Kremen School of Education and Human Development. He is a gifted scholar in the
fields of leadership and public policy who has mentored hundreds of other
scholars and practitioners, including many other university presidents and
Prior to his appointment as president, he served as vice
chancellor of student academic affairs, and professor of family and community
medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) from 2006-13.
UCSF is widely recognized as the leading health sciences university in the
nation. Castro led UCSF’s programs that served the academic and health care
needs of its talented and diverse students. Earlier in his career, he held
faculty and/or administrative leadership positions at four other University of
California campuses: Berkeley, Davis, Merced and Santa Barbara.
Castro received a B.A. in political science and M.P.P. in
public policy from the University of California, Berkeley and Ph.D. in higher
education policy and leadership from Stanford University (Calif.). He has also
successfully completed three advanced seminars on presidential leadership at
the Harvard University (Mass.) Graduate School of Education.
Castro serves on a number of boards, including the WASC
Senior College and University Commission, Mountain West Athletic Conference
Board, Stanford University Graduate School of Education Advisory Council, James
Irvine Foundation Leadership Award Selection Committee, Hispanic Association of
Colleges and Universities’ Governing Board, Jumpstart National Board, and the
Central Valley Higher Education Consortium.
Castro’s leadership has been recognized by many different
organizations. In 2018, he was named as CSU President of the Year by the
California State Student Association and 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. In 2014, he was selected as Alumnus of the Year by the UC Berkeley
Richard and Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy. Castro received the
University of California Student Association’s Administrator of the Year Award
and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award from UCSF in 2010.
Castro is the grandson of farmworkers from Mexico. He was
born and raised in Hanford, California, and is the first person in his family
to graduate from a university. He and his wife, Mary, have three children,
Isaac, Lauren and Jess.