This is a really special episode (#101), so it deserves a different kind of description.
So whether you’re a regular listener, or this is your first episode of Storytalking With Lakshya, I want to tell you something about me (Lakshya) that you may not know. When I was 17, I moved from my home in Gurgaon, India to San Diego, California to study at the University of California, San Diego. I was a student there for 4 years, graduating in 2011 with a B.Sc. in Management Science. I loved living in San Diego, and even after I moved back to India in 2014, I still go back as often as I can - because of one reason: my campus. I call UCSD my campus because it’s where I grew up. it’s where I became me. For me, UCSD isn’t just a location in space, it’s a location in time.
I’m proud of being a Triton - that’s what we call ourselves - based on King Triton who is the ruler of the Sea from Greek Mythology, and if you grew up in the 90s like me you probably know him as Ariel’s dad from the little mermaid…
My point is, I’m proud to call myself an alum of UC San Diego - it is one of the top educational and research institutions in the world. And my very special guest in this episode happens to be the captain of the UCSD ship - sticking to the aquatic metaphor - Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla.
He is an internationally renowned electrical and computer engineer recognized for his seminal contributions in secure software, intelligent robot systems, and design. He's now leading a campus of more than 38,000 students within six undergraduate colleges and 11 academic divisions and graduate schools. Professors at UCSD have called him the best chancellor the university has ever had. And here’s just one of the reasons why - when he began his term as Chancellor in 2012, he set an ambitious goal: to raise $2 billion to transform the university physically, intellectually and culturally in 10 years. UCSD has already hit that goal, and it’s only been 7 years.
Dr. Khosla became the Chancellor a year after I graduated, so I never got to meet him as a student, but I had the pleasure of meeting him on his last visit to India a few months ago in Mumbai where I was the local host of a UCSD event. And when I was in California earlier this summer, he was nice enough to invite me to his office on campus to have this chat. We talked about a lot of things - as you’ll hear in this episode - from what he wanted to do with his life as a teenager in Bombay, to his work as an academic, to his time at DARPA, to what brought him to UCSD, and how he leads our campus and continues to learn...
I wanted to have him on my podcast so he could share his story with you, because he’s lived and is living an inspiring one... AND he’s helping thousands of students figure out their own stories... AND he just also happens to be a great storyteller.
Hope you like this conversation. You can learn more about Chancellor Khosla at https://chancellor.ucsd.edu/chancellor-khosla