A. Gabriel Esteban, Ph.D., is the 12th president of DePaul University. He assumed the presidency of the nation’s largest Catholic university on July 1, 2017. He is the first lay leader in the university’s history.
Dr. Esteban brings extensive experience in higher education and strategic planning to DePaul. He most recently served as the president of Seton Hall University, a Catholic institution in South Orange, New Jersey. He assumed the presidency in January 2011, after serving as interim president for six months. He was Seton Hall’s first lay president in more than 25 years.
As president at Seton Hall, Dr. Esteban led the university's strategic planning and campus master plan initiatives. He collaborated with faculty and academic leaders to enhance and create undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as to establish academic priorities for the university. He also led strategic changes in enrollment management and financial aid strategies that enhanced the university's reputation. As a result, undergraduate enrollment grew 15 percent while significantly increasing the academic profile and enhancing the diversity of the students.
Under Dr. Esteban's leadership, Seton Hall announced the establishment of the only private medical school in New Jersey in partnership with Hackensack Meridian Health, a new College of Communication and the Arts, and a department of Catholic Studies. The university also initiated major campus improvements, totaling close to $150 million in the last five years, including residence hall renovations, a new recreation center, upgrades to athletic facilities, parking deck, and the construction of a three-story classroom building. The university is also constructing, with a scheduled 2018 completion, a new health and medical sciences campus that will house the School of Medicine and all health and medical sciences, as well as a new admissions center and event space. The university raised $67 million since the implementation of its advancement plan in FY2014.
Previously, Dr. Esteban served as provost and chief academic officer of Seton Hall. In that office, he oversaw eight colleges and schools, university libraries and enrollment services. Prior to his leadership positions at Seton Hall, Esteban served in senior-level leadership positions and on the faculty of higher education institutions in Arkansas, Texas and the Philippines.
He holds a doctorate in business administration from the Graduate School of Management of the University of California, Irvine and a master’s in Japanese business studies from Chaminade University in Honolulu. Dr. Esteban earned his MBA and bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.
Dr. Esteban has served American higher education in a number of national roles, including membership on the Accreditation Review Council of the Higher Learning Commission and chairing numerous accreditation visits. Since 2012, he has been a member of the Commission on Inclusion for the American Council of Education. Esteban currently serves on the board of the Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education. He is a founding board member and vice chairman of the Asian Pacific Islander American Association of Colleges and Universities, a national organization established to advocate on behalf of minority-serving institutions that have significant numbers of Asian American and Pacific Islander American students.
A celebrated leader and advocate for minorities, Dr. Esteban has received multiple honors throughout his career. His alma mater, the University of California, Irvine, recently named him one of its top 50 graduate and postdoctoral alumni as part of the 50th year anniversary of its founding. The Carnegie Corporation of New York recognized him as a “Great Immigrant” in 2015, and New Jersey’s leading business journal, NJBIZ, included him in its list of the 100 most powerful state leaders in 2016 for the second year in a row. In 2014, the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem knighted him, and St. Paul’s Outreach presented him its Servant Leader Award. The Embassy of the Philippines presented him with a certificate of achievement award in 2013.
Dr. Esteban met his wife, Josephine, at the University of the Philippines, where she earned a master’s in economics and a bachelor’s in business economics. She holds an MBA from the University of California, Riverside. Their daughter, Ysabella, is currently a medical resident at the University of Chicago and their son-in-law, Matthew, is currently a medical resident at Loyola University.