After a chance meeting led him to 16 years of international development work in Rwanda, Caleb King ’82 has returned to his alma mater to lead the UNC Institute for Convergent Science.
Located in Carolina’s premier science research facility, the UNC Genome Sciences Building, the UNC Institute for Convergent Science brings the very best commercialization process to the University’s more than $1.1 billion research enterprise, with a goal of solving the world’s most intractable problems — collaboratively at one central hub.
In many ways, King is the personal embodiment of convergent science. A Morehead Scholar and son of a UNC-Chapel Hill English professor, King graduated Carolina with a degree in chemistry, received a diploma in development economics as a Rhodes Scholar, earned a Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering, is a practicing physician and has been the CEO of a startup alternative energy company. In 2003, King and his family moved to Rwanda, where he spent years rebuilding a war-torn hospital and developing a hydropower plant to supply it with electricity.
But according to Chris Clemens, senior associate dean for research and innovation in the College of Arts & Sciences, the timing couldn’t have been better for King to come home to Carolina, “It’s like finding the only unicorn left in the world.”