Ricardo Azziz

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Ricardo Azziz
Dr. Ricardo Azziz.jpg
Chief Executive Officer, American Society of Reproductive Medicine
Assumed office
Chief Officer of Academic Health and Hospital Affairs, State University of New York (SUNY) System Administration
In office
2016[citation needed]–2019
1st President of Georgia Regents University
In office
Succeeded byBrooks Keel
8th (and last) President of Georgia Health Sciences University
In office
Preceded byDaniel W. Rahn
Personal details
Born (1958-03-05) March 5, 1958 (age 63)[citation needed]
Montevideo, Uruguay
Alma materUniversity of Puerto Rico
Penn State University
Georgetown University,
University of Alabama at Birmingham
ProfessionExecutive administration, education, bio-medical research, clinical medicine
Academic work
DisciplineAcademic healthcare

Ricardo Azziz is a Uruguayan–American obstetrician/gynecologist, reproductive endocrinologist and executive administrator who has served as the chief executive officer of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine since 2020.[1]

In addition to his medical degree, Azziz obtained Master's degrees in Public Health and Business Administration. He served as president of Georgia Regents University (now Augusta University) in the U.S. state of Georgia[2] and was chief executive officer of its health system, Georgia Regents Medical Center (now Augusta University Medical Center).[3] He had faculty and department chair positions at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and University of Alabama at Birmingham, and was in health and hospital administration at the State University of New York.

As of 2019, Azziz has authored more than 500 publications, with a research focus in biomedical sciences, specifically androgen excess disorders in women.[1] He is a recognized expert in female reproductive disorders, particularly androgen excess and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Azziz was born in Montevideo, Uruguay; his father was a nuclear physicist and his mother was an anthropologist,[4] both Ph.D. holders.[5] His family moved to the U.S. when he was two and his early years were spent mostly in Pittsburgh, with frequent "nomadic" excursions with his parents from Uruguay to Puerto Rico to Costa Rica,[4] and back to Puerto Rico to begin his collegiate studies.[5]

Azziz earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Puerto Rico in 1977,[1][2] in biology and pre-medicine, graduating magna cum laude.[6] He graduated in 1981 from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in Hershey.[5] Following an internship and residency in obstetrics and gynecology (ob/gyn) at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., Azziz completed a fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.[5] Between 1985 and 1987, he was an ob/gyn instructor at Johns Hopkins.[4]

Azziz earned his M.P.H. in 1995[7] from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), and his M.B.A. from there[6] in 2000;[7] he graduated with honors and was inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.[6]


Alabama and Los Angeles: 1987–2010[edit]

From 1987 to 2002, Azziz taught at UAB where he served in several positions in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.[6]

Azziz was Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (CSMC) in Los Angeles,[8] named the "Helping Hand of Los Angeles Chair".[9] He served as director of the Center for Androgen Related Disorders at CSMC.[10] At the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, he was a professor and vice chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.[11]

Georgia: 2010–2015[edit]

In March 2010, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG) announced that Azziz would be named the eighth president of what was then called the Medical College of Georgia (MCG), USG's health sciences university.[6] Stating that Azziz "stood out [in an] impressive pool of candidates," the Regents envisioned USG "expand[ing] its capacity to educate healthcare professionals to meet state needs".[6] Then-governor of Georgia Sonny Perdue attended a July 10 signing ceremony as Azziz formally assumed the presidency at MCG and also became the CEO and chairman of a new entity, MCG Health Systems, Inc., which brought the university hospitals and clinics under the authority of Azziz via a joint operating agreement.[12][13]

Azziz drew public scrutiny in August 2010 when he proposed changing the name of MCG to something with "university" in its name,[14] in order to acknowledge that MCG included schools other than medicine.[15] Azziz said that the medical school (Medical College of Georgia) would retain its name, but that the university would have a new name, encompassing all of the colleges (for example, dentistry and nursing).[14] At a cost estimated at nearly US$3 million for the switchover, the new name would be Georgia Health Sciences University (GHSU).[16]

Azziz said in 2011 that Georgia lacked enough medical residency slots, and that Georgia struggled to graduate enough nurses; as such, more residency positions were needed in-state to retain graduates.[17] In 2011, the MCG-affiliated hospitals also changed their names and a new partnership was launched to make more physicians available, help students complete rotations in different specialties, and develop better synergies among partners.[18]

Azziz chaired the Consolidation Working Group to combine Augusta State University and GHSU to become Georgia Regents University (GRU, now Augusta University), which the Regents called "a bold move to create a new university that builds on the strength of two institutions with distinct missions".[19] The USG Regents identified goals for consolidating institutions to "ensure the System has a 21st century structure with the right network of institutions offering the proper range of degrees".[20] In 2012, former Regent William S. Morris III, chairman of Morris Communications,[a] resigned from the GHSU board over the proposed name change, disappointed with Azziz that the word Augusta was not in the name.[21] Characterizing the new name as an affront to the city of Augusta, Morris said of Azziz, "The naming convention you have advocated, and now gained endorsement from the Georgia regents, lacks sensitivity to the enormous community good will that has been cultivated over the years."[21] On January 8, 2013 the Regents approved the consolidation of GHSU and Augusta State University to create Georgia Regents University, and Azziz was selected founding president of the new university.[22][23]

The joining of a primarily graduate and professional level research university with selective admissions standards and a primarily undergraduate level university was described by regents Chair Philip Wilheit as "one of the most complex consolidations undertaken in [Georgia] ... if not in the country".[24] Azziz delivered a report to the Regents in September 2014, describing progress towards meeting consolidation goals, including increases retention, standards, enrollment, funding and giving, with a 10% decline in administrative costs.[24] Walter Jones reported that "The trickiest 'soft issue' was picking a name because many in the community wanted the city included while Azziz and others feared that would label it a community college instead of a world-class research institute. Azziz "praised the regents [for] shielding him from the public outrage" and "acknowledged that the GRU consolidation process should have been more transparent, especially in explaining the reasons for the merger."[24] A Time magazine report featured the consolidation, with Jon Marcus describing it as the "kind of corporate-style consolidation that is becoming increasingly common not only for public institutions, but also for nonprofit, private ones that can pool their resources for marketing, fundraising, purchasing and information technology in a time of falling budgets".[25] Azziz stated the consolidation had resulted quickly in administrative cost cuts, and that "it is much more costly to maintain all of the moving parts at a small college than at a larger university".[25]

In January 2015, Azziz announced he would step down from his positions effective June 30, 2015.[26] Hank Huckaby, a chancellor, said the decision was voluntary, and Georgia Representative Barbara Sims said Azziz had completed his mission, describing him as a "visionary" adding that "most of the things he initiated will continue".[26] Walter Jones reported that there was community displeasure over the naming controversy.[27] Huckaby said that although the university name change had been a "bitter source of debate", the name would not change.[26] Attending his last meeting in May 2015, Azziz received a standing ovation from the board, and remarked that taking risks does not come easily in public institutions, but must be done.[27] In September of the same year, the Regents voted unanimously to change the name to Augusta University.[28]

During Azziz’s 2014 application for the presidency at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, questions were raised about the Augusta name change and other controversies including the proposed cost of a new carport for the president's home (which Azziz said was needed for staging events, but the project was cancelled), and his use of a university bus to transport guests at his niece's wedding (a cost of about $400, which was reimbursed).[29][30]

California, New York and ASRM: since 2015[edit]

After leaving Augusta,[7] Azziz joined the Pullias Center for Higher Education in the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California as a visiting scholar.[31]

He served as Chief Officer of Academic Health and Hospital Affairs for the State University of New York (SUNY)[32][33] until 2019.[1]

Azziz was named in July 2019 to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) beginning in January 2020.[1]

Memberships and other professional affiliations[edit]

Azziz is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons[34] and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.[1][5] He was a president of the Pennsylvania State College of Medicine Alumni Society.[5]

Azziz helped initiate the creation of an international nonprofit organization, the Androgen Excess and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Society, and in 2002 was named the founding executive director.[35] As of 2019, he served as the senior executive director.[36]

In 2005 Azziz was appointed by then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee, the regulatory body for the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine.[8] He was appointed in 2017 by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to lead the SUNY Hispanic Leadership Institute,[33] and has advocated for furthering diversity and inclusion in higher education.[37][38]

Research focus[edit]

Azziz is a recognized expert in female reproductive disorders, particularly androgen excess and polycystic ovary syndrome.[4][39] The NIH has funded his research on androgen excess disorders since 1988.[4] He has generated more than 500 publications, reviews and chapters, and authored or edited numerous textbooks.[5]

Azziz has also published in the area of change management in academe, specifically mergers and consolidations.[32][40][41]


  • Azziz, Ricardo (2006). McGraw-Hill Specialty Review: Obstetrics & Gynecology: Cases, Questions, and Answers (1st ed.). McGraw-Hill Specialty Board Review. ISBN 978-0071458207.
  • Azziz, Ricardo; Davis, Jane (2007). Obstetrics and Gynecology (McGraw-Hill Specialty Board Review). McGraw-Hill Medical. ISBN 978-0071100052.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Azziz, Ricardo (2007). The Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Current Concepts on Pathogenesis and Clinical Care. Publisher: Springer-Verlag.
  • Azziz, Ricardo (2013). White, Jenna (ed.). THIS IS NOT A PEAR IN CLEVELAND-Ricardo Azziz 1983-2013 Works on Paper Hardcover. Rusty Fence Productions. ISBN 978-0989982719.
  • Azziz, Ricardo (2015). Shared Legacies: A Pictorial History of Georgia Regents University. The Donning Company Publishers. ISBN 978-1578649501.
  • Azziz, Ricardo; Hentschke, Gilbert C.; Jacobs, Lloyd A.; Jacobs, Bonita C. (2019). Strategic Mergers in Higher Education. Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-1421432601.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

Personal life[edit]

Azziz married Cindy Beckman and had three children.[2] He is a visual artist, primarily creating pen-and-ink drawings in the surrealist style of the early 20th century,[4] with a published retrospective.[42] His work was exhibited at the Art Department at Georgia Regents University.[43]

Honors and awards[edit]

  • Cheston M. Berlin Award, Penn State Univ. College of Medicine Alumni Society, 1992[dead link][44]
  • Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society of AACSB Accredited Business Programs, 2000[citation needed]
  • Society for Gynecologic Investigation President's Achievement Award for Clinical Research, 2000[45]
  • Recipient of the Endowed "Helping Hand of Los Angeles Chair in Obstetrics & Gynecology" Chair,[8] 2002[9]–2010[citation needed]
  • 100 Most Influential Georgians – Georgia Trend magazine, 2011–2015[46]
  • Elected member of the Association of American Physicians, 2014–present[citation needed]
  • Alumni Fellow Award of the Pennsylvania State University (PSU) Alumni Association, 2014[47][48]
  • PCOS Challenge Leadership and Advocacy Award, PCOS Challenge, 2014[39]
  • Establishment of endowed "Ricardo Azziz PCOS Challenge Advocacy Leadership Award", PCOS Challenge, Inc.[49][50]
  • Establishment of endowed "Ricardo Azziz Presidential Scholarship", GRU Board of Visitors[citation needed]
  • Establishment of endowed "Ricardo Azziz Distinguished Researcher Award", Androgen Excess & PCOS Society, Inc.[51]
  • June 2, 2015 proclaimed "Ricardo Azziz Day", City of Augusta[citation needed]


  1. ^ Morris Communications published The Augusta Chronicle and The Florida Times-Union


  1. ^ a b c d e f "ASRM names Dr. Ricardo Azziz as new CEO" (Press release). American Society for Reproductive Medicine. July 15, 2019. Archived from the original on January 4, 2020. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "President: At a glance". Georgia Regents University. 2013. Archived from the original on December 20, 2013. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  3. ^ Houston, Ryan (April 30, 2013). "Dr. Azziz discusses plans, goals for GRU in presidential address". WRDW-TV. Archived from the original on October 4, 2013. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Grillo, Jerry (September 30, 2011). "New Direction, New Name". Georgia Trend magazine. Retrieved September 11, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Penn State College of Medicine Alumni Update: Dr. Ricardo Azziz Med '81". Penn State Hershey College of Medicine. Archived from the original on September 15, 2013. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Dr. Ricardo Azziz Named President of the Medical College of Georgia, Georgia's Health Sciences Univ" (Press release). University System of Georgia. March 2, 2010. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  7. ^ a b c Azziz, Ricardo. "Ricardo Azziz, MD, MPH, MBA" (PDF). ricardoazziz.com. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  8. ^ a b c "Chair of Cedars-Sinai's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Named To Stem Cell Panel" (Press release). Cedars-Sinai. September 21, 2006. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  9. ^ a b "Report to the community" (PDF). Cedars-Sinai. 2002. p. 22. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  10. ^ "Cedars-Sinai Endocrine Researchers To Discuss Gene That May Be Linked To Polycystic Ovary Syndrome" (Press release). Cedars-Sinai. May 31, 2007. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  11. ^ "Faculty Database: Ricardo Azziz, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A." David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  12. ^ Corwin, Tom (July 1, 2010). "New day for MCG, its leader". The Augusta Chronicle. Archived from the original on October 3, 2017. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  13. ^ Corwin, Tom (July 2, 2010). "President takes reins at MCG". The Augusta Chronicle. Archived from the original on October 5, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  14. ^ a b Corwin, Tom (August 20, 2010). "Brief: New name for MCG draws much scrutiny". The Augusta Chronicle. Tribune Business News, Washington – via ProQuest.
  15. ^ Corwin, Tom (September 8, 2010). "Board endorses MCG name change". The Augusta Chronicle. Archived from the original on September 11, 2010. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  16. ^ Holahan, Michael (January 29, 2011). "Old name will linger for MCG". The Augusta Chronicle. Archived from the original on November 16, 2013. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  17. ^ Diamond, Laura (August 11, 2011). "Higher education: Challenges ail medical education, panel says: More funding, residency slots could curb flight of graduates outside state". The Atlanta Journal - Constitution. p. B.1 – via ProQuest.
  18. ^ Mirshak, Meg (June 22, 2011). "MCG Hospitals change names". The Augusta Chronicle. Archived from the original on June 25, 2011. Retrieved September 11, 2013.
  19. ^ "Campus Consolidations". University System of Georgia. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  20. ^ "Regents Approve Principles for Consolidation of Institutions" (Press release). University System of Georgia. November 8, 2011. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  21. ^ a b Corwin, Tom (August 13, 2012). "William S. Morris III resigns from university board over new name". The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  22. ^ Diamond, Laura (January 8, 2013). "Historic vote merges eight Georgia colleges into four". The Atlantic Journal Constitution. Archived from the original on January 12, 2013. Retrieved October 17, 2014.
  23. ^ "Board of Regents finalizes consolidations, appoints presidents" (Press release). University System of Georgia. January 8, 2013. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  24. ^ a b c Jones, Walter (September 10, 2014). "Georgia Regents University reports positive trends since merger". Insider Advantage Georgia. Retrieved October 17, 2014.
  25. ^ a b Marcus, Jon (July 19, 2013). "Cash-Strapped Universities Turn to Corporate-Style Consolidation". Time magazine. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  26. ^ a b c Jones, Walter C. (January 15, 2015). "Azziz June 30 resignation accepted". The Augusta Chronicle. Archived from the original on August 2, 2017. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  27. ^ a b Jones, Walter (May 20, 2015). "Azziz gets send off from regents". Insider Advantage. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  28. ^ Corwin, Tom; Jones, Walter (September 15, 2015). "Georgia Regents University renamed Augusta University after simmering protest". The Florida Times Union. Retrieved July 18, 2020.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
    * Corwin, Tom (September 15, 2015). "Georgia Regents University renamed Augusta University". Savannah Morning News. Retrieved July 18, 2020.
  29. ^ "After election, vision needed on education". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Reno Gazette - Journal; Reno, Nevada. November 16, 2014. p. 5 – via Proquest.
  30. ^ Davis, Janel (November 11, 2014). "Georgia Regents president questioned as candidate for Las Vegas job". The Atlanta-Journal Constitution. TCA Regional News; Chicago – via Proquest.
  31. ^ "Ricardo Azziz". Pullias Center for Higher Education. Archived from the original on August 2, 2017. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  32. ^ a b Hanc, John (October 10, 2019). "For Some Colleges, the Best Move Is to Merge". The New York Times. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  33. ^ a b "Governor Cuomo Announces Launch of SUNY Hispanic Leadership Institute" (Press release). The State University of New York. March 25, 2017. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  34. ^ "Find a Surgeon". American College of Surgeons. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  35. ^ "History of the AE-PCOS Society". Androgen Excess and PCOS Society. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  36. ^ "About Us: Board". Androgen Excess and PCOS Society. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  37. ^ "Medico latino asumirá nuevos retos como presidente de universidad en Georgia" [Latin doctor assumes new challenges as president of a university in Georgia] (in Spanish). EFE News Service; Madrid. March 8, 2010 – via ProQuest. El galeno, que hasta ahora ejercía como profesor de ginecología y obstetricia de la Universidad de California Los Ángeles y como medico y administrador del Centro Medico Cedars-Sinai, destacó además la necesidad de que la comunidad hispana del estado participe en las soluciones y propuestas que ayuden a mejorar el sistema de salud del estado. ‘La diversidad en cuanto al servicio, la diversidad en cuanto a los profesores y la diversidad en cuanto a los estudiantes, porque el país se está volviendo cada vez más diverso y nosotros como colegio que mira hacia el futuro debemos estar preparados para ese futuro’, afirmó el medico.
  38. ^ Azziz, Ricardo (June 24, 2015). "Fostering a Climate of Inclusion: What Works". INSIGHT Into Diversity. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  39. ^ a b Editors (September 25, 2014). "GRU's Dr. Azziz Honored for Women's Health Contributions". WJBF-TV. Archived from the original on September 16, 2015. Retrieved June 7, 2017.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  40. ^ Azziz, Ricardo (May 20, 2013). "What Happens When 2 Colleges Become One". The Chronicle of Higher Education. ISSN 0009-5982. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  41. ^ "Presidential Dialogues: Lessons on Effecting Change | Academic Impressions". www.academicimpressions.com. April 12, 2016. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  42. ^ Azziz, Ricardo (October 5, 2013). White, Jenna (ed.). THIS IS NOT A PEAR IN CLEVELAND-Ricardo Azziz 1983–2013 Works on Paper (First ed.). Rusty Fence Productions. ISBN 9780989982719.
  43. ^ "Main Gallery: GRU Art Department Faculty Exhibition". Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art. 2014. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  44. ^ [dead link]"Penn State Hershey College of Medicine Award Recipients". Penn State Hershey College of Medicine. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
  45. ^ "SRI Awards: The President's Achievement Awards". Society for Reproductive Investigation. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  46. ^ 2011: Grillo, Jerry (January 1, 2011). "100 Most Influential Georgians". Georgia Trend magazine. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
    * 2012: Grillo, Jerry (December 30, 2011). "Georgia's Power List". Georgia Trend magazine. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
    * 2013: Grillo, Jerry (January 1, 2013). "Most Influential Georgians: Georgia's Power List". Georgia Trend magazine. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
    * 2014: Grillo, Jerry (December 30, 2013). "100 Most Influential Georgians". Georgia Trend magazine. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
    * 2015: Kennedy, Karen (December 31, 2014). "100 Most Influential Georgians". Georgia Trend magazine. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  47. ^ "2014 Alumni Fellow: Ricardo Azziz '81g Med" (PDF). Penn State University. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  48. ^ [dead link]"21 Penn Staters honored with Alumni Fellow Award". Penn State University. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
  49. ^ "2015 Ricardo Azziz PCOS Challenge Advocacy Leadership Award". PCOS challenge. The National Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Association. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  50. ^ "Ashley Levinson Receives 2016 Ricardo Azziz PCOS Challenge Advocacy Leadership Award". prnewswire.com (Press release). PCOS Challenge. September 29, 2016. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  51. ^ "Awards". Androgen Excess & PCOS Society. Retrieved August 8, 2017.

External links[edit]