David W. Leebron, the 7th and current president, comes to the university in 2004 after serving as dean of Columbia University Law School for 8 years. A graduate of Harvard University and an expert in international trade and human rights law, Leebron taught at the University of California at Los Angeles and New York University before joining the Columbia faculty in 1989.
Leebron brings a powerful international vision and strong commitment to the local community. He introduces a 10-point strategic plan -- the Vision for the Second Century -- and Rice experiences a 30 percent growth in undergraduate enrollment, increases its international profile, expands its research enterprise and deepens its engagement with Houston. Two new residential colleges, a physics building, a recreation center, the BioScience Research Collaborative and a public art program transforms the campus.