Joseph Castro, Ph.D.

Job title: 
Former Chancellor, California State University

Joseph I. Castro is an Affiliated Faculty member in the Center for Studies in Higher Education.  He served as the eighth Chancellor of the California State University – the nation’s largest and most diverse university -- and the eighth president of California State University, Fresno. He was the first Californian and first person of color to serve in these leadership positions. Dr. Castro 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 senior officers. Prior to his appointments in the CSU system, Dr. Castro served for 23 years at five University of California campuses – Berkeley, Davis, Merced, San Francisco, and Santa Barbara – and the UC Office of the President.

Dr. Castro’s leadership has been recognized by many different organizations. In 2021, Dr. Castro received the Liberty Bell Award from the Fresno County Bar Association and the Founders’ Award from the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education.  In 2018, he was named as CSU President of the Year by the California State Student Association and Man of the Year by the City of Fresno. 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. Dr. 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.

Dr. 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.

Dr. Castro is the grandson of farmworkers from Mexico. He was born and raised in Hanford, CA and is the first person in his family to graduate from a university.

Recent publications include:

  • Castro, J.I. and Castro, I. (2017). “Accelerating Student Success Through Bold Leadership” in Effective Leadership at Minority-Serving Institutions: Exploring Opportunities and Challenges for Leadership at MSI’s. New York, NY: Routledge Press

  • Castro, J.I. “Why Being a Good Leader is a Lot Like Riding a Different Bull Every Day”.  The Fresno Bee, January 6, 2017.

  • Castro, J.I. (2016, Winter). The Path to Stronger and More Secure Campuses. Public Purpose Magazine – American Association of State Colleges and Universities, 19.

  • Castro, J.I. (2015, Winter). Building Your Senior Leadership Team. Public Purpose Magazine - American Association of State Colleges and Universities, 22.

Full CV: 
Joe Castro Headshot