In a city of entrepreneurs known for excellence in business leadership, University of Houston President Renu Khator is being honored by the Greater Houston Partnership (GHP) and the Kiwanis Club of Houston as International Business Executive of the Year.
Held annually for more than 25 years, the International Executive of the Year recognizes an outstanding business person who has demonstrated the global leadership that continues to make Houston a center of international business. According to the GHP, the resourceful efforts of the recipients of this award keep the region on the cutting edge of the global economy. Focusing on innovations, business strategies and vision, the International Executive of the Year is one of GHP’s most prestigious international business awards and events.
“The Greater Houston Partnership appreciates the global leadership Dr. Khator provides to one of our city’s most important institutions,” said Bob Harvey, president and CEO of GHP. “Leaders like her continue to make Houston a thriving center of international business through workforce development, cutting-edge research, important industry partnerships and a commitment to the overall success of this city.”
Khator’s business practices as head of a university system that annually contributes more than $3 billion to the Houston economy have yielded tremendous results for the region. Under her leadership, UH graduates more than 8,000 students each year, most of whom remain in Houston, contributing to a growing, skilled workforce. The university also has broad international reach, serving as a magnet for scholars from around the globe, enrolling more than 3,350 students from 153 countries.
Since being named UH president and UH System chancellor in 2007, Khator has strategically aligned UH’s priorities with those of the city with a focus on energy, health and the arts. In 2011, UH began offering an undergraduate petroleum engineering degree and will begin the nation’s first subsea master’s degree in engineering in 2013, adding new professionals to contribute to this important sector. Khator is also the visionary behind UH’s Energy Research Park (ERP), a 75-acre campus just south of UH. The development of the ERP will help fuel the industry’s future workforce needs, offer a challenging environment for research and foster innovative public-private partnerships. Health care is also a dominant regional industry, and the UH System provides a large portion of the education programs needed to develop and sustain the regional health workforce. More than 50 percent of all research expenditures at UH are health-related.
"I am honored to receive this award, and I am especially appreciative of the continuing support of the Greater Houston Partnership — whose strong endorsement of our drive to Tier One meant so much to our achieving the prestigious designation," Khator said. "I truly believe great universities are built by great communities. I am so grateful for the support the Houston community continues to show the University of Houston. Together, we share in the successes of this great international city."