Dr. Santa Ono

University of Michigan


Santa J. Ono, Ph.D., is the 15th president of the University of Michigan. He began a five-year term October 2022. At U-M he is professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences, and microbiology and immunology in the Medical School, and molecular, cellular and developmental biology in the College of Literature, Sciences and the Arts.


A recognized leader in higher education in the United States and Canada, President Ono currently serves as the chair of the U-M Health Board, the chair of Fulbright Canada, and the chair of the University Climate Change Coalition (UC3), and is an honorary Chairperson of the Japan America Society of Michigan and Southwestern Ontario.


He earned his B.A. in biological sciences from the University of Chicago in 1984, and a Ph.D. in experimental medicine from McGill University in 1991.

President Ono holds honorary doctorates from Chiba University and the Vancouver School of Theology and is a recipient of the Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award from the American Council on Education, the Professional Achievement Award from University of Chicago, a Grand Challenges Hero Award from UCLA, and the NAAAP 100 Award from the National Association of Asian American Professionals.