Reginald DesRoches is pictured at a workshop with Rice University students. Photo from The Houston Chronicle.

NEW YORK — Reginald DesRoches, an engineer born in Haiti, has been promoted from provost to president of Rice University, the private research university in Houston, Texas. His promotion marks the first time an immigrant and person of color will hold the position since the school was founded in 1912.

DesRoches, 55, has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, a master’s degree in civil engineering, and a Ph.D. in structural engineering, all from the University of California, Berkeley. He has been awarded more than 10 honors throughout his decades-long career, including the Richard Carroll Distinguished Lecturer at Johns Hopkins University and the American Society of Civil Engineers Charles Martin Duke Lifeline Earthquake Engineering Award.

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Larisa is a reporter for The Haitian Times covering politics, elections and education primarily. A graduate of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, she has interned at CNBC and the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network. She is also a recipient of a 2021 DBEI Fellowship by Investigative Reporters & Editors. Larisa can be reached by email at or on Twitter @larisakarr.