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Stanford Report, September 6, 2000

Chief information officer leaves for venture capital firm

Raman Khanna, who for the past three years has served as Stanford's chief information officer, stepped down from his position Aug. 31 but is continuing with the university as a consultant until his successor is named.

Khanna, 41, is the managing director of the newly formed, Peninsula-based Diamondhead Ventures, a venture capital firm that will invest in early startups that specialize in Internet infrastructure, with a focus on companies from leading research universities.

While a nationwide search is under way for Khanna's successor, Jan Thomson, the executive director of communication and networking services, and Christopher Handley, the executive director of administrative computing, are sharing duties in the CIO office.

"Stanford has been extraordinarily lucky to have a person with Raman's talents as chief information officer," Provost John Etchemendy said. "He knows the technology from top to bottom, but also the academic enterprise, from soup to nuts. No one who dealt with Raman came away thinking he didn't understand their needs and concerns, whether they were a staff programmer or a professor of philosophy."

Khanna joined the Stanford community in 1984 in the engineering department of the Networking Systems Group. He served as manager of systems and technology and as the director of networking systems within the Libraries and Information Resources organization and as chief executive officer of Distributed Computing and Communication Systems. He was appointed acting CIO following the August 1997 resignation of Glen Mueller and named CIO the following February. His CIO role included responsibility for Information Technology Systems and Services, whose five units are staffed by 475 employees.

He was instrumental in the evolution of the Stanford University Network (SUNet), which serves nearly 50,000 users. "I still consider it the best network of any university," Khanna says.

Khanna has been very active in Internet2, a project managed by leading universities to develop the next generation of Internet structures "and more important ­ the next generation of Internet applications," Khanna says. Stanford is a charter member of the consortium and Khanna co-founded its steering committee.

For eight years Khanna taught classes on computer networks for the University of California-Berkeley Extension in Menlo Park. He also helped write four technology books and sat on the advisory boards of numerous high-technology companies such as Sun Microsystems, Dell Computers, Mergent Systems and Digital Island. He served as a trustee for several startups, including ClickNet, eDayCare and Manage.com.

A Portola Valley resident, Khanna received a bachelor's degree from Delhi University in India, a master's degree in computer science from Virginia Tech and a Master of Business Administration degree from Golden Gate University. SR