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Chief Information Officer (CIO)

Rafael Espinosa III Santa Clara CIO Raphael Espinosa

Rafael Espinosa III, a veteran higher education technology executive, has been named Santa Clara University's chief information officer (CIO), effective Nov 7. 

Espinosa joins the SCU community from California State University, Stanislaus, where he served as the chief information officer and associate vice president of technology since 2018. He will join President Julie Sullivan’s Cabinet, and report to Wilson Garone, vice president of finance and administration.

With a distinguished career spanning over two decades, Espinosa brings a wealth of experience in information technology, research administration, and strategic leadership. 

Among his professional accomplishments, Espinosa:

  • developed a campus-wide technology plan that aligned with the university's strategic plan
  • developed and implemented an OIT (Office of Information Technology) governance model that included participation and input from faculty, staff, students, and administration
  • worked with university administration to customize and implement the university-wide ERP–Workday human resources management system
  • upgraded university infrastructure and cybersecurity, migrated University systems to the Cloud, and migrated On-Prem systems to a new data center.

Before Stanislaus State, Espinosa spent two decades at the University of Chicago, where he worked as a molecular cytogeneticist, IT professional, research executive director, and administrative executive director.


The University's Chief Information Officer (CIO) is the principal member of the University's executive team responsible for strategizing and implementing innovative uses of technology to strengthen the University's position as a leading institution of higher education.

Working in collaboration with faculty, key administrators and staff, they support a vision for leveraging technology to support student learning, enhance faculty teaching and research, and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the University's operations.

The CIO reports to the Vice President of Finance and Administration and actively works with the Trustee Technology Committee.

They lead University efforts to leverage ties to Silicon Valley, to bring appropriate technologies to SCU, and to develop multifaceted partnerships with technology companies to create educational, research, and career opportunities for students and faculty. Their role in Santa Clara 2020, the University's Integrated Strategic Plan, is to help Santa Clara attain national prominence by cultivating an organizational capacity supportive of change that enables faster and more extensive adoption of technology.