Fernando León García

  • President
  • CETYS University (Mexico)

IAUP President

Dr. Fernando León García was appointed as the sixth President of the CETYS University System in the summer of 2009 and took over the role on January 1st, 2010, becoming the first alumnus of the Institution to do so. His tenure has been distinguished by the creation and implementation of the CETYS 2020 Development Plan, which has resulted in a substantial increase of institutional quality, multiple international accreditations (Western Association of Schools and Colleges or WASC, Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology or ABET, Accrediting Council for Business Schools and Programs or ACBSP), and global distinctions by higher education organizations such as Times Higher Education (THE) and Quacquarelli Symonds (QS Stars), which reflect a strong focus on research.

Dr. León has led the largest expansion of physical infrastructure in the history of CETYS, achieved unprecedented levels of employability, and has driven the institution’s internationalization efforts, attaining one of the highest university internationalization rates in Mexico.

In 2022, he will launch the CETYS 2036 Plan, which establishes the foundations for institutional development and innovation towards the university’s 75th anniversary.

As of July 2021 and until July 2024, Dr. León García is also President of the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP), a unique worldwide platform comprised of university chief executives that facilitates the exchange of professional experience to strengthen the international mission and quality of education in an increasingly interdependent world.

He is or has been a member or chairman of multiple higher education organizations and task forces including:

American Council on Education or ACE (Commission on International and Global Engagement; ACE Council of Fellows);

  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (Senior College and University Commission);
  • Association of Governing Boards or AGB (AGB Council of Presidents);
  • Council for the Advancement and Support of Education or CASE (CASE Board of Directors; CASE Latin American Council);
  • NAFSA: Association of International Educators (Board of Directors);
  • Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities or HACU (Board of Directors; Commission on International Education);
  • Consortium for North American Higher Education Collaboration or CONAHEC (Board of Directors);
  • Federation of Private Mexican Institutions of Higher Education or FIMPES (Permanent Commission for the Evaluation and Updating of the Accreditation System);
  • National Association of Universities and Institutions of Higher Education or ANUIES (National Council; Council of Private Universities and Related Institutions);
  • Universia México (Board of Directors).

His professional background includes serving as Co-Acting President, Chancellor of the International Division, and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at City University of Seattle, with responsibility for programs and extensions in Slovakia, Greece, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania, Switzerland, China, Mexico, Canada and Australia. He was previously Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Phoenix / Apollo International and Vice President for Academic Affairs at CETYS University.

He is a Doctor of Education specializing in Administration and Policy as well as a Master of Education specializing in International Educational Development, both from Stanford University. He graduated from Industrial Engineering and High School at CETYS University.

He was an American Council on Education Fellow from 1998-1999 with internships at the University of Arizona and California State University, Monterey Bay. He took part in the Harvard Seminar for New Presidents in 2010.

Dr. León García was a CONACYT Scholar at Stanford University from 1978-1983, a Rotary International Scholar from 1979-1980, a member of the National System of Researchers from 1985-1987 and 1987-1990, and a CETYS Scholar from 1971-1978.

He is a regular panelist at international Higher Education Congresses and Conferences. He is a columnist with frequent participation in national and international media.