University of Houston president Renu Khator.
University of Houston president Renu Khator.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — University of Houston president Renu Khator has been named among the eight newest members of the United States Department of Homeland Security’s Academic Advisory Council.

Jeh Johnson announced the appointment Wednesday. Khator, who will serve a four-year term, was selected by DHS based on her expertise in higher education leadership and UH’s leadership in homeland security research.

“Serving on this council is both an honor and a serious responsibility,” the Indian American educator in a statement. “There can be no more important task than maintaining the safety of our country. Through research, innovation and workforce development, higher education must continue to play a vital role in helping DHS meet that crucial objective.”

In addition to her roles as president of the school, she also serves as the chancellor of the University of Houston school system. Khator joined the system in 2008 and oversees a four-university organization that serves nearly 70,000 students, has an annual budget that exceeds $1.7 billion and generates nearly $6 billion economic impact on the Greater Houston area each year.

In 2011, the system’s flagship university, the University of Houston, earned Tier One status from the Carnegie Foundation and in 2016 was awarded a Phi Beta Kappa fraternity chapter.

A native of Uttar Pradesh, Khator earned her bachelor’s at the University of Kanpur and her master’s and doctorate degrees in political science and public administration from Purdue University. She serves as chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Board of Directors and is the immediate past president of the American Council on Education.

She is the first female chancellor of a Texas higher education system and the first Indian American to head a comprehensive public research university in the United States.

The advisory council to the Department of Homeland Security is made up of 23 members including college presidents, academic leaders and interagency partners. It provides advice and recommendations to the secretary of Homeland Security on matters related to homeland security and the academic community.