Dr. Ramesh Rao has been a faculty member at UC San Diego since 1984 and Director of the Qualcomm Institute, UC San Diego’s division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), since 2001; in 2020, he was also appointed Interim Director of Calit2. In 2004, Dr. Rao was appointed the inaugural holder of the Qualcomm Endowed Chair in Telecommunications and Information Technologies in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, and prior to his current position, was the Director of UCSD's Center for Wireless Communications (CWC).
Dr. Rao is an IEEE Fellow and Senior Fellow of the California Council on Science and Technology. In 2021, he was appointed to the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) Board of Directors. He is also a Member of the UCSD Health System Advisory Board, a Member of the Board of the Academy of Neurosciences for Architecture, a Member of Rady Children's Hospital and Health Center Board IT Task Force, a Member of San Diego’s CONNECT Board, and serves as President of the San Diego Indian American Society. Among his most recent honors and distinctions, he received a 2011 Casa Familiar Abrazo Award for engagement with underprivileged areas of San Diego.
Dr. Rao earned his Electrical Engineering Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1984 and his M.S. from the same institution in 1982. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in 1980 from the University of Madras. Dr. Rao received the distinguished alumnus award from the National Institute of Technology in 2010, the ECE Distinguished alumni award from the University of Maryland in 2012, the Professional Gordon Engineering Leadership Award in 2010, and the 2011 Casa Familiar Abrazo Award for engagement with underprivileged areas of San Diego.