Dr. Irma Becerra, Ph.D.
President, Marymount University
Dr. Irma Becerra took office as the seventh president of Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, on July 1, 2018. Dr. Becerra previously served as the provost and chief academic officer at St. Thomas University in Florida. She is known for expanding educational access for students and keenly targeting programming to meet societal needs and changing demographics. Her academic career, both as student and professional, has blended mathematics, engineering and systems thinking and processes in her studies, teaching and administrative leadership. Prior to St. Thomas, she served at Florida International University (FIU) for almost three decades, including as a tenured professor in Management Information Systems and later as Entrepreneurship Center director, vice-provost and vice-president.
She earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Miami and went on to become the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from FIU.
She founded FIU’s Knowledge Management Lab and led major projects as principal investigator at the National Science Foundation, NASA (Headquarters, Kennedy, Ames, and Goddard Space Flight Centers) and the Air Force Research Lab.
Dr. Becerra has authored four books and numerous refereed journal articles in the areas of knowledge management and business intelligence. Her original research has also spanned such areas as enterprise systems, disaster management and IT entrepreneurship, making her a sought-after speaker and presenter both in the U.S. and internationally. An educator who began her career in the private sector and the holder of four patents and copyrights, Dr. Becerra is an ardent advocate for a STEM-educated workforce. She brings to Marymount the mindset of a trained scientist and seasoned entrepreneur. She transformed the organizational structure at St. Thomas, reinvigorated its institutional commitment to scholarships and worked with teams of colleagues to attract top students through innovative, market-based programs. At the helm of Marymount, she intends to lead the Catholic university into the future with new technology, expanded national recognition, ambitious enrollment growth, and innovative 21st century curriculum.