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Honoree Headshot

Raj Echambadi

President
Illinois Institute of Technology

Location: Cook County
Year Founded: 1890
Industry Group Specific: Higher Education

Presented by:

As the president of the Illinois Institute of Technology, Raj Echambadi believes in continually learning from the wisdom and experiences of others. “I work to remember that my viewpoints and judgment can only be strengthened by listening closely to my friends and colleagues,” Echambadi said. “I strive diligently to stay in touch with brilliant people across a range of industries and vocations, and my strategic insights are often driven by learning from their experience, wisdom and knowledge of the world.”

These insights have established Echambadi as a compassionate leader in the higher education industry.

“Raj is a true visionary who is demonstrably changing higher education, as evidenced by the current transformation of Illinois Tech and his pioneering leadership of other institutions,” said his colleagues.

Under Echambadi’s leadership, the Illinois Tech student population continues to grow considerably and the college has been ranked a Top #25 National University by the Wall Street Journal and #98 by U.S. News. This year alone, Illinois Tech saw its largest fall enrollment in more than 30 years – a 23 percent increase in enrollment over Fall 2022 and a 37 percent increase in graduate fall enrollment.

Since Echambadi was selected as Illinois Tech’s 10th president in 2021, he has helped launch several innovative campaigns aimed at empowering students to take charge of their own education, including the Elevate program providing mentorship, career readiness and hands-on experiences.

In June 2023, Illinois Tech launched its Ascent program, a pioneering collaboration with City Colleges of Chicago that offers graduating high school seniors a cost-effective and flexible plan to pursue their academic journeys. Echambadi has also led Illinois Tech to partner with Coursera to offer four new industry-aligned degree program. As a results, the higher education institution has a 90.5 percent job placement rate and Illinois Tech is #16 in the United States for salary impact, according to the Wall Street Journal and College Pulse.

“Under Raj’s enterprising leadership, Illinois Tech is poised to provide an unparalleled learning experience for is students and to expand its offerings well beyond what’s thought of as traditional college-goers,” said his colleagues. “With pioneering foresight and a commitment to inclusivity, Raj has positioned Illinois Tech to revolutionize academia.”

While revolutionizing academia, Echambadi said he credits those who make these initiatives a reality. “Our incredible faculty and staff make this innovation possible, and the university continues to invest in strengthening skills and support services needed to help students thrive in these new modes of education,” he said.

For his commitment to higher education and offering innovation for the student body, Echambadi has been named a titan.

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I hope it is ultimately that I don’t believe I have any particular superpower, that I am no more important than anyone else and that my role is to support everyone I’m honored to work with as they advance Illinois Tech’s mission as an engine of opportunity.

What is Your Superpower?

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