Rafael Espinosa


Rafael Espinosa III serves as Chief Information Officer at Santa Clara University.  Santa Clara University is a private Jesuit university in Santa Clara, California – the heart of Silicon Valley. Established in 1851, Santa Clara University is the oldest operating institution of higher learning in California. Mr. Espinosa is responsible for all aspects of the university IT strategic and tactical mission including cybersecurity, client services, academic technology, learning services, digital transformation, and technology & infrastructure services. Under Mr. Espinosa’s leadership, IT strives to create a high-quality, reliable, secure, and responsive technology environment to support students, faculty, and staff in the pursuit of their educational, research and work objectives. Mr. Espinosa seeks to enable innovative uses of information technology in instructional, administrative, research and social applications.

Prior to coming to Santa Clara University, Mr. Espinosa spent five years as the CIO at CSU Stanislaus.  Mr. Espinosa serves on multiple leadership committees both at the university and system-wide level.  While at Stan State, Mr. Espinosa led the migration to a new Learning Management System, upgraded technology in over 100 classrooms, established the first IT governance structure, refreshed 250 access layer network switches, migrated administrative and commodity systems to the cloud and moved the core infrastructure into a new data center. At the CSU system level, he was a member of the CIO Council Executive Committee for all 23 CSU campuses. He also served on the Common Human Resources System Oversight Committee, the Emerging Technologies and Innovation Committee, and the Audit Work Group. 

Prior to joining the California State University system, Mr. Espinosa was the Executive Administrator of the Administrative, Academic, and Research Group at the University of Chicago.  While at the University of Chicago, Mr. Espinosa helped establish the Center for Research Informatics and supervised the Biological Sciences Information Services team.

Prior to transitioning to Information Technology and Bioinformatics, Mr. Espinosa had a career as a cytogeneticist and molecular cytogeneticist with 90 peer reviewed publications in the field of genomics and cancer research.

Mr. Espinosa graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and is certified by the Chicago Management Institute at the University of Chicago.

Mr. Espinosa has a passion for learning new technologies, and providing equitable, practical solutions for his constituencies.