Shrikanth Narayanan

Vice President for Presidential Initiatives and University Professor

Shrikanth (Shri) Narayanan is vice president for presidential initiatives, research director of the Information Sciences Institute, and University Professor and Niki & C. L. Max Nikias Chair in Engineering at the University of Southern California, where he holds appointments as professor of electrical and computer engineering, computer science, linguistics, psychology, neuroscience, pediatrics and otolaryngology — head and neck surgery. Prior to USC, he was with AT&T Bell Labs and AT&T Research.

As vice president for presidential initiatives, he provides intellectual leadership for transformative cross-cutting interdisciplinary initiatives of the president and the university in close partnership with the president’s senior leadership team and the deans of the cognizant schools. This includes the critical “moonshot” priorities and their intersections, setting the agenda and their ethical foundations, and connecting, coordinating and integrating talent, ideas and strengths across disciplines, schools and functional units. Narayanan leads in establishing and enabling exemplar pivotal North Stars in intersectional realms across the moonshots (e.g., Health Sciences 3.0, Frontiers of Computing, Sustainable Urban Futures, USC Competes), such as artificial intelligence in medicine/health, human condition across the life span and a just and equitable society. He contributes to building strategic partnerships with academic institutions, industry, government and community partners in collaborative pursuit of these priorities, and he supports the president alongside the senior leadership team and the deans in advancement efforts in service of the strategic and cross-cutting initiatives.

Narayanan’s interdisciplinary research focuses on developing engineering approaches to understand the human condition and in creating human-centered computing technologies to support and enhance human experiences across applications with direct societal relevance including in defense/intelligence, health, education, media and the arts.

He is a fellow at the Acoustical Society of America, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Association for Computing Machinery, the International Speech Communication Association (ISCA), the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Psychological Science, the Association for the Advancement of Affective Computing, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and the National Academy of Inventors.

Narayanan is a Guggenheim Fellow and member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, and he is a recipient of many awards for research and education, including the ISCA Medal for Scientific Achievement, the Claude Shannon-Harry Nyquist Technical Achievement Award from the IEEE Signal Processing Society, the Edward J. McCluskey Technical Achievement Award from the IEEE Computer Society, the Engineers’ Council Distinguished Engineering Educator Award and the 2023 Richard Deswarte Prize in Digital History. He has served the broader scientific community in numerous ways, including as the inaugural vice president for education for the IEEE Signal Processing Society and as an editorial board member for several journals including as an editor for the Computer Speech and Language journal and editor-in-chief for the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing. He has published widely (with over 1,000 papers), and his inventions and patents have led to technology commercialization including through startups he co-founded on conversational AI services and technology-supported mental health care quality delivery and quality assurance. He received his doctorate and master’s in electrical engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles. His bachelor’s is in electrical and electronics engineering from the College of Engineering, Guindy, Anna University, Madras, India.