Chancellor DiStefano Headshot
Newton Chair in Leadership • Senior Executive Director

Chancellor Phil DiStefano has spent his entire professional career as a leader within the CU Boulder community, serving as an educator, dean, provost and chancellor.

A first-generation college graduate, DiStefano joined the campus in 1974 as an assistant professor in the School of Education. In addition to his role as chancellor, he serves as the Quigg and Virginia S. Newton Endowed Chair in Leadership, overseeing CU Boulder’s prestigious leadership programs.

In September 2023, DiStefano announced his plans to retire as chancellor and transition to new roles on campus. Upon the selection of the next chancellor, DiStefano will serve as Senior Executive Director of the Center for Leadership and a member of the faculty in the School of Education. He also will continue his current role as the Newton Endowed Chair, will continue to engage with major donors and engaged alumni across the university landscape, and will support the transition of the next chancellor.

A resident of Boulder for more than 40 years, DiStefano has been active in local, regional and national organizations, including leadership roles within the Association of American Universities, NCAA and Pac-12 athletic conference. He serves on the Boulder Community Health Board of Directors and maintains close connections with numerous other civic organizations, including many where he has held leadership and advisory positions in the past. He holds degrees from The Ohio State University and West Virginia University.

DiStefano is committed to making CU Boulder a nationally recognized research institution that shapes tomorrow’s leaders and has a positive impact on humanity. He is a proud supporter of Buffs athletics, a champion of democracy, and a believer in the value of town-gown partnerships.

He and his wife, Yvonne, have three daughters and two grandchildren.