Chancellor Search

Napolitano Selects Sam Hawgood as Next UCSF Chancellor

University of California President Janet Napolitano announced July 9 that her choice for the 10th chancellor of UC San Francisco is Sam Hawgood, MBBS, the UCSF School of Medicine dean who emerged from a national search as the top candidate after leading the campus in an interim role.

Hawgood, 61, a highly accomplished scientist, educator and physician with a strong record of leadership, succeeded Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, as interim chancellor on April 1, 2014. Since then, he has overseen the $4 billion UCSF enterprise, which, in addition to the renowned medical school, includes nationally top-ranked schools of dentistry, nursing and pharmacy, as well as a graduate division and affiliated hospitals.

The UC Board of Regents will vote on Napolitano’s selection and the terms of the appointment on July 17 in a special session at the conclusion of the regents’ regular bi-monthly meeting.

“Sam Hawgood has served UC San Francisco exceedingly well for three decades — as a researcher, physician and leader,” Napolitano said. “As interim chancellor, he has advanced initiatives in both basic and clinical science, as well as precision medicine.

“He has demonstrated,” she said, “that he possesses the mix of vision, curiosity and empathy essential to the dynamic leadership required to move this already stellar UC institution to even greater heights. When a rigorous, far-reaching search lands on a candidate from within, it demonstrates the fundamental strength of the institution.”

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Advisory Committee Named for UCSF Chancellor Search

University of California President Janet Napolitano on Jan. 24 announced the appointment of an advisory committee of university faculty, staff, students, alumni and foundation representatives to help in the national search for a new chancellor to lead UC San Francisco. Bruce Varner, Board of Regents chair, also appointed five regents to serve.

Outgoing Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann plans to leave UCSF at the end of March to become chief executive officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Public Comment

All members of the community and other members of the public may submit comments by email directly to the Office of the President at All comments, issues, concerns and suggestions received through this process will be screened by the Office of the President and shared with the Advisory Committee as appropriate. For members of the public who wish to nominate candidates for consideration, nominations should be submitted by email to

Search Process

  • The five faculty members on the search committee, working with the president, will submit to the full committee for evaluation not fewer than five promising candidates.
  • The committee evaluates the nominations and can add more names.
  • The committee may interview the candidates.
  • The committee will solicit the opinions of other interested groups in whatever manner it considers appropriate.
  • Both the committee and the president should be mindful of the university's commitment to hiring women and underrepresented minorities.
  • After the committee completes its evaluations and advises the UC president, he will make his recommendation to the UC Board of Regents for consideration and approval.

View the full UC policy

Desmond-Hellmann became UCSF’s chancellor in 2009 and successfully guided the campus through one of the state's worst fiscal crises, while leading the development of the new women’s, children’s and cancer hospitals at UCSF Mission Bay, set to open in early 2015. During her tenure, UCSF has received more research funding from the National Institutes of Health than any other public institution in the country.

“Chancellor Desmond-Hellmann pursued an ambitious vision for UCSF, making an already great institution even stronger,” said President Napolitano. “I am confident this search committee will help us find a new chancellor who can keep UCSF on its upward trajectory and continue UCSF’s innovative leadership in education, research and patient care.”

UCSF School of Medicine Dean and Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs Sam Hawgood, MBBS, is serving as interim chancellor while the search is conducted.

The members of the search advisory committee for the UCSF chancellor include:

  • UC Regents: Richard Blum, William De La Pena, George Kieffer, Sherry Lansing and Gavin Newsom.
  • Faculty representatives: Farid Chehab, chair of the UCSF Academic Senate and professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine, UCSF School of Medicine; Tejal Desai, professor in the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, UCSF School of Pharmacy; Diana Farmer, professor in and chair of the Department of Surgery, UC Davis School of Medicine; William Jacob, chair of the UC Academic Senate and professor in the Department of Mathematics, UC Santa Barbara; and Daniel Lowenstein, professor in the Department of Neurology, UCSF School of Medicine.
  • Medical center administration representative: Sheila Antrum, chief nursing officer, UCSF Medical Center.
  • Staff representative: Heather Nichols, accreditation manager in the Office of Graduate Medical Education, UCSF.
  • Student representatives: Melissa Hendershott, PhD student in the UCSF Tetrad Graduate Program; and Ligia Padilla, DDS student in the UCSF School of Dentistry.
  • Alumni representative: Susan Walczak, president of the UCSF Alumni Association.
  • UCSF Foundation representative: William Oberndorf, chair of the UCSF Foundation Board of Directors.
  • Ex-officio committee members: UC President Janet Napolitano, convener of the committee; and Bruce Varner, chair of the Board of Regents.

The committee's first meeting will be held Feb. 20 at UCSF, where committee members and invited guests will gather in closed session. The forum will include remarks by President Napolitano, followed by separate sessions with various campus constituency groups. The president and committee members also will participate in a luncheon with alumni, donors and community leaders.

The advisory committee will be involved in recruiting, screening and conducting interviews with candidates for the position. The committee's work will be scheduled so that candidates can be presented to President Napolitano for consideration and a recommended nominee submitted to the Board of Regents, tentatively by July 2014.

In addition to presentations by those constituency representatives who will meet with the committee, public comments are encouraged throughout the search process. Comments may be submitted via email to

The search will be assisted by the executive search firm Isaacson, Miller.


Previous Chancellor Search News

Aerial shot of UCSF Parnassus campus

UCSF to Host Town Hall Meetings to Discuss Qualities of Next Chancellor

March 5, 2014

Sam Hawgood, MBBS

Sam Hawgood Named Interim UCSF Chancellor
January 23, 2014

Video screenshot

Chancellor Discusses Transition Plan, Thanks UCSF Community in Video Message
January 23, 2014

UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann to Step Down
December 17, 2013