Wallace D. Loh became the 33rd president of the University of Maryland in November 2010. He is responsible for providing leadership to the university's 37,000 students, 12 colleges and schools, and 9,000 members of the faculty and staff, as well as overseeing its $1.6 billion operating budget.
His priorities include strengthening educational excellence by emphasizing student opportunity and achievement; expanding innovation and entrepreneurship to make the University a major catalyst for economic vitality in the region and the nation; internationalizing the University by bringing the world to the campus and projecting the campus to the world; and adapting the public service values of the land-grant mission to enhance the quality of life of people in urban and metropolitan regions—as well as agricultural areas—of the state.
Prior to coming to Maryland, Dr. Loh served as executive vice president and provost at The University of Iowa. Previously, he served as dean of arts and sciences at Seattle University; director of executive policy and chief policy adviser to Governor Gary Locke of the State of Washington (now the U.S. ambassador to China); vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean of faculties at the University of Colorado-Boulder; and dean of the University of Washington Law School.
While working in Washington State government, he formed and staffed Governor Locke's "2020 Commission on the Future of Post-Secondary Education." The work of the Commission resulted in the "Washington Promise Scholarship" that expanded college access for students from low- and middle-income families.
Dr. Loh served on the law faculty at the University of Washington (where he was voted by students the Outstanding Professor of the Year), Vanderbilt University, Emory University, University of Houston, Cornell University, University of Texas-Austin, and Peking University (Beijing, China). His specialty is criminal justice and the uses of social research in the legal process. He was elected president of the Association of American Law Schools, the learned society of the academic legal profession.
Born in Shanghai, China, he moved with his family to Lima, Peru. After graduating from high school there, he immigrated alone to the U.S. and became a naturalized citizen. He holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, an M.A. from Cornell University, and a B.A. from Grinnell College. He did graduate study at the Universiteit te Leuven (Louvain, Belgium). He received honorary degrees from Grinnell College, Iowa Wesleyan College, and Montgomery College. He received the "Immigrant Achievement Award" from the American Immigration Council and the "Trailblazer Award" from the National Asian Pacific—American Bar Association.
Dr. Loh is married to Barbara, a nurse, and they have a daughter, Andrea, who is in college.