Robert Birgeneau received his Ph.D. in physics from Yale University in 1966. He was on the faculty of Yale for one year and then spent one year at the University of Oxford. He joined the technical staff at Bell Laboratories from 1968 to 1975 and then taught physics at MIT. In 1988, he became head of M.I.T.’s Department of Physics and, in 1991, became dean of its School of Science.
In 2000, Bob was named president of the University of Toronto, and from 2004–13, he served as U.C. Berkeley’s chancellor. Currently, he is the university’s Arnold and Barbara Silverman Distinguished Professor of Physics, Materials Science and Engineering, and Public Policy. He is a fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Professor Birgeneau also serves as a co-chair of the Lincoln Project, an initiative of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences that advocates for the importance of public colleges and universities and devises strategies to increase their funding.