The dean of the College of Engineering will leave the University for one year, under Purdue President Mitch Daniels' approval, to work in the U.S. Department of State on "the economic security of the nation’s global technology initiatives," according to a Purdue press release.
Professor of electrical and computer engineering and dean Mung Chiang will begin work in Washington, D.C. as the science and technology adviser to the secretary of state on Sunday.
“We can’t help but be extremely proud that our nation has called upon our own Dean Chiang for this position of such high importance for national security,” Daniels said in the release. “He is one of the world’s leading experts in this subject matter, having won the prestigious Alan T. Waterman Award for his research, and we know his background and expertise are sorely needed.
“There is no denying, however, that this will pose serious challenges here in West Lafayette. We have seen great strides for our College of Engineering under Mung’s leadership, and we do not want to see any slowing of the rate of progress.”
In the coming days, Daniels said an acting dean will be appointed. Chiang also aims to visit campus at least twice a month, the release states.
While working with the federal government, Chiang will serve as the director of the Office of the Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State, which was created in 2000.
The office focuses on the effect of emerging science, technology and innovation issues of foreign policy and national security.
"Contributing to the intersection between global policy and science and engineering is a type of engagement that academia can provide in service to the nation," Chiang said in an email to all engineering students. "Furthermore, we hope that such experience will be relevant to Purdue's long-term success, visibility and impact."
Chiang will be the sixth leader of the office and its first engineer. The engineering dean will report to Keith Krach, a former chair of the Purdue Board of Trustees and current under secretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment.