Ricardo Azziz

Chief Officer, Academic Health & Hospital Affairs

Ricardo Azziz headshot

An educator-scientist-physician-executive with over 20 years of leadership experience in higher education, research, and academic healthcare, Dr. Ricardo Azziz currently serves as Chief Officer of Academic Health and Hospital Affairs, State University of New York (SUNY) System Administration, the largest university system in the nation. In this role he provides support, strategic oversight, guidance, and advocacy for the educational, research and clinical programs within the SUNY academic health and health professions portfolio, representing over 30% of SUNY’s total annual $13.3 billion budget.

Previously, Dr. Azziz served as founding President of Georgia Regents University (GRU), one of four comprehensive public research universities in Georgia, and founding CEO of the Georgia Regents Health System (GRHS, now Augusta University Health System); managing a greater than $1.3 billion integrated and aligned enterprise with over 1,000 full-time faculty, 8500 students and 10,000 employees.

Under his leadership, GRU and GRHS experienced significant growth in revenues, research support and educational programs, in student success, in capital facilities, and in philanthropy, in an economic environment that saw among other challenges a 30% decrease in state formula funding. In addition, he led the creation of a system of shared administrative services, greater use of imbedded metrics, and enhanced leadership alignment throughout the enterprises.

Dr. Azziz also served as president of the Georgia Health Sciences University (GHSU) and was tasked then with creating the state’s only public academic health center, now including GRHS. He was then tapped to lead the successful consolidation of GHSU and Augusta State University to create GRU.

Dr. Azziz is a long-term champion for faculty and leadership development, and enhanced diversity and inclusion, in academics, including the development of emerging leaders in academic administration, and of young and under-represented scientists. He is a recognized thought leader in higher education, having served on the Board of Trustees of the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools-Commission on Colleges, and writing regularly for a number of venues, including the Huffington Post ( In 2014 he was cited as one of the nation’s “Top 14” most prolific university presidents by PhairAdvantage Communications.

Dr. Azziz is also an internationally recognized clinical translational scientist, developing over the past 25 years an important program in androgen excess disorders research, and publishing over 500 peer-reviewed articles, reviews and chapters and nine texts. Among other duties, he previously served as Assistant Dean, Clinical & Translational Sciences and Deputy Director for the Clinical & Translational Sciences Institute, UCLA. He was appointed by Gov. Schwarzenegger to the Independent Citizen’s Oversight Committee (ICOC) of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, and by Gov. Nathan Deal of Georgia to the Governor’s Office Georgia Health Insurance Exchange Advisory Committee. He has served as member, then chair, of the FDA Advisory Committee on Reproductive Health Drugs, and member of a number of National Institutes of Health panels and committees. Dr. Azziz is also an accomplished visual artist.


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