Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences Announcement

Moh El-Naggar

June 14, 2024

Dear Dornsife faculty, staff, and students,

I am excited to share that Dr. Mohamed “Moh” Y. El-Naggar will serve as Interim Dean of the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, effective June 15, 2024. He will remain in this position until a permanent dean is identified in the upcoming search.

Dr. El-Naggar is a highly respected academic leader who was instrumental in the development and implementation of USC’s Quantum Information Science Strategy that has been transformative to the university’s Frontiers of Computing Initiative.

He oversees strategic planning, faculty appointments, and research advancement in Dornsife’s Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. As a Dean’s Professor of Physics and Astronomy, he and his research group investigate biological electron transfer and energy conversion with special emphasis on the interface between the living and nonliving worlds. For the last six years, he has led a Department of Defense funded multi-university research initiative on living electronics.

Elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology this year, Dr. El-Naggar is the inaugural holder of the Robert D. Beyer Early Career Chair in Natural Sciences (2015-2021) and has authored over 75 peer-reviewed publications. He has been featured in news media outlets including PBS News Hour, Wired, NPR Science Friday, Popular Science, and The Scientist. He is also Editor for the Journal of Bacteriology.

His accolades include being honored by President Obama with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), being named one of Popular Science’s ‘Brilliant 10’ (the magazine’s annual honor roll of “the 10 most promising young scientists whose innovations will change the world”) and receiving a Department of Defense Young Investigator Program Award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

Dr. El-Naggar received his B.S. degree from Lehigh University (2001), followed by his M.S. (2002) and Ph.D. (2006) degrees from the California Institute of Technology. He joined USC Dornsife in 2006 as a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Earth Sciences, before starting his faculty appointment in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in 2009.

I am grateful to Dr. El-Naggar for his numerous contributions to the USC community and his willingness to serve Dornsife as its Interim Dean. I am more than confident that his strong dedication to Dornsife will make him an excellent leader during this transitional period. I look forward to working with him until a new permanent dean is named. Please join me in thanking him.

Andrew T. Guzman
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs