Michael V. Drake selected as first Black president of UC system

Michael Drake stands wearing a suit and tie, smiling

Michael V. Drake was announced as the University of California's new incoming president, the UC system's first Black leader in its 152-year history. (Photo courtesy of Ohio State University)

The University of California Board of Regents today (Tuesday, July 7) announced the appointment of Dr. Michael V. Drake as the new University of California president. Drake will begin his new role no later than Aug. 15, succeeding current UC President Janet Napolitano, who will step down Aug. 1.

The former president of Ohio State University, Drake, 69, has vast experience addressing access and equity and will be the UC’s first Black president in its 152-year history and the 21st president of the 10-campus system.

Also a physician, Drake previously served as the UC system’s vice chancellor for health affairs and as chancellor of UC Irvine. A Stanford University and UCSF alumnus, Drake retired from his most recent post, as president of Ohio State, on June 30.

Chair of the Board of Regents John A. Pérez and President-designate Drake will hold a livestreamed discussion on Friday, July 10, at 11:30 a.m. that can be accessed here

UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ, in a message sent to the campus community shortly after the announcement, said this:

“I am thrilled to welcome President Drake back to the University of California and look forward to working in close concert with him to advance the cause of public higher education at a time when our mission has never been more important. President Drake brings with him an extraordinary degree of experience, an established record of accomplishment, and a proven capacity for effective leadership. I believe that President Drake can and will usher in a new era of excellence, access, inclusion, and true equity for the University, for our campus community, and for the people of California who we serve.”

Read the full UCOP announcement here