Jean-Lou Chameau was born in 1953. He received his secondary, undergraduate, and graduate education in France where he attended the École nationale supérieure des arts et métiers (aka. Arts et Métiers ParisTech). He then obtained his Ph.D in civil engineering from Stanford University.
In 1980, he joined Purdue University, where he became full professor in civil engineering and Head of the geotechnical engineering program. In 1991, he was nominated director of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Tech.
He became president of Caltech on 1 September 2006, succeeding David Baltimore who served nearly nine years in the post. On February 16 2013, Chameau was appointed the president of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, succeeding the founding president, Shih Choon Fong.
He is married to Carol Carmichael, former director of the Institute for Sustainable Technology and Development, now known as the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems at Georgia Tech.
- "Dr. Jean-Lou Chameau, President". California Institute of Technology. Retrieved January 22, 2011.
- "Professor Elachi is Awarded the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur". California Institute of Technology. Retrieved May 10, 2013.