Our Dean

Our Dean

Govindan Parayil, PhD, MA, MS

Govindan Parayil joined the Patel College of Global Sustainability at the University of South Florida as the new dean in July 2017. A leading expert in the field of global sustainability, Dr. Parayil is the second dean to oversee the college since its founding in 2009. Dr. Parayil follows an interdisciplinary approach to sustainability – from describing problems to finding solutions that are user-focused, innovation-oriented and equitable to all stakeholders. Applying useful knowledge and methods from the social and natural sciences, as well as engineering and innovation management, he is committed to steering the continued growth of the Patel College of Global Sustainability as a vibrant interdisciplinary college of USF.

Dr. Parayil received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the National Institute of Technology Calicut (formerly Regional Engineering College Calicut). Dr. Parayil received a Master of Science in Science, Technology, and Values from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Master of Arts in Development Economics from the American University. He earned his Ph.D. at Virginia Tech in Science and Technology Studies. He was a Rockefeller Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in Global Environmental Change at Cornell University.

Dr. Parayil served as the 2016-17 Mark and Melody Teppola Distinguished Visiting Professor at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. He was the Vice-Rector of the United Nations University in Tokyo, Japan (2008-2014) and Director of the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (2009-2013), now Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability, also in Tokyo, Japan. He was a Full Professor of Science, Technology and Innovation at the University of Oslo, Norway. Dr. Parayil's research interests include sustainability science; technology and innovation; climate change, energy policy; and multi-level transition toward global sustainability.

Dr. Parayil has also held academic and visiting appointments at Virginia Tech, the Illinois Institute of Technology, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the National University of Singapore, the Tokyo Institute of Technology, the American University of Sovereign Nations, Arizona, and Fudan University in Shanghai. He has received several research awards and grants; a most recent research award was from the Ministry of the Environment, Japan (2009-2013). He has authored, edited and co-edited five books and published over forty peer-reviewed articles, as well as numerous book chapters. He has lived, worked and traveled in over sixty countries across all continents. Dr. Parayil has had many opportunities to interact with communities in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas, which gave him a unique lens through which to look at and understand the social, economic and environmental sustainability challenges facing global communities.