Ms Bendapudi, who was born in Visakhapatnam and came to the US in 1986 for higher studies, is currently serving as the president and professor of marketing at the University of Louisville in Kentucky.
She has been unanimously named Penn State’s next president by the Penn State Board of Trustees on December 9, the Pennsylvania State University said in a statement on its website.
When she begins her appointment as Penn State’s 19th president in spring 2022, she will make history as the first woman and person of colour to serve as the University’s president, it said.
Ms Bendapudi, currently the 18th president of the University of Louisville, is a recognised leader in higher education who specialises in marketing and consumer behaviour.
With a nearly 30-year career in academia, she has taught marketing and served in a variety of administrative roles over the years, including as provost and executive vice chancellor at the University of Kansas, dean of the School of Business at the University of Kansas, and founding director of the Initiative for Managing Services at Ohio State University.
With a focus on collaboration and development, Ms Bendapudi has dedicated her career to student success, fostering inclusivity, and creating opportunities for students, faculty and staff to thrive.
Bendapudi succeeds President Eric J Barron, who will retire after serving Penn State for more than 30 years. She specialises in customer experience and has served as the 18th president of the University of Louisville since 2018. In this role, she oversees the university’s 12 academic colleges, Division 1 athletics programme, and integrated academic health system, which includes five hospitals, four medical centers and nearly 200 physician practice locations.
She has taught at the University of Louisville, University of Kansas, Texas A&M University and Ohio State University.
Ms Bendapudi earned her bachelor’s degree in English and master of business administration degree from Andhra University in India and her doctorate in marketing from the University of Kansas. She is married to Dr Venkat Bendapudi, who is now retired after serving on the faculties at Ohio State University, University of Kansas and University of Louisville.
With inputs from NDTV