Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President, San Francisco State University
Lynn Mahoney serves as the 14th president of San Francisco State University, one of the nation’s premier urban comprehensive universities. She leads more than 3,900 faculty and staff as they serve a student population of nearly 30,000. The first woman appointed to serve as the University’s president in a permanent capacity, Mahoney succeeded Leslie E. Wong, who retired in July 2019.
President Mahoney serves on the board of directors for both the Bay Area Council and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. She is a member of the Bay Area Higher Education Council, the San Francisco Workforce Investment Board and the CSU Graduation Initiative 2025 Advisory Committee. Mahoney was also appointed to serve on San Francisco’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force.
President Mahoney has been recognized for her work in support of student success and academic excellence by the CSU Long Beach Office of Students with Disabilities, the Purchase College Student Government Association and the United University Professions. In 2021, the California State Student Association (CSSA), the single recognized voice for more than 425,000 students in the CSU system, named her the Robert C. Maxson President of the Year.
Mahoney has spent her academic career working on issues related to enhancing student learning and faculty success and is committed to providing San Francisco State students with an exceptional educational experience.
Approximately 8,500 students graduate from SF State each year and the Gator alumni family is more than 321,000 strong. The University’s distinguished alumni can be found in virtually every walk of life. Their accomplishments include 21 Pulitzer prizes, 16 Oscars, the invention of the microprocessor, and (jointly with SF State faculty) the discovery of the first exo-planets beyond the solar system.
Prior to her appointment at SF State, Mahoney served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Los Angeles. Earlier in her career, she served as the associate vice president for undergraduate studies and interim vice provost & dean of undergraduate studies at California State University, Long Beach. Mahoney served in a variety of leadership roles at Purchase College, State University of New York, including associate provost for Integrative Learning and vice president for student affairs.
Mahoney received a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in History from Rutgers University. She is the author of “Elizabeth Stoddard and the Boundaries of Bourgeois Culture” and has lectured extensively on the construction of whiteness in the U.S. and the construction of gender globally.
San Francisco State offers baccalaureate degrees in 73 academic areas; 16 credential programs; 34 certificate programs; 61 master’s degrees; and three doctoral degrees.