Thomas Katsouleas, a professor of electrical engineering and electrophysics at the University of Southern California, is the new dean at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering.

Katsouleas will replace Kristina Johnson, now the provost and vice president of academic affairs at Johns Hopkins. She stepped down from the Pratt position last fall.

Duke selected Katsouleas, 49, after an international search effort that included 75 candidates. He starts his Pratt duties on July 1.

Katsouleas, who at one time was vice provost for information services at USC, will take over from Robert Clark, a Duke engineering professor, who had led Pratt on an interim basis.

“Tom also brings a deep commitment to expanding the diversity and inclusiveness of the Pratt community,” said Duke Provost Peter Lange. “President (Richard H.) Brodhead and I are confident that Tom’s considerable leadership experience at an engineering school that has risen into the top 10 in rankings in recent years and his vision for Pratt will serve him and the school well as Pratt continues its momentum and trajectory of excellence.”

Katsouleas has taught at USC since 1991. He has focused his research efforts on high-performance computing and plasma physics.

“The higher education community in engineering is increasingly coming to recognize the need for engineering students who are not only technically sound but broadly educated in the liberal arts,” Katsouleas said in a statement.

“It is through liberal arts education that students will develop the breadth to be the leaders and the creativity to be the innovators of the 21st-century global workforce. With its strength in engineering and its renowned liberal arts and professional schools, no university is better positioned to realize that vision than Duke.”

An editor of four books, he is the chair of the National Academy of Sciences panel studying free-electron laser technology. He is a fellow in the American Physical Society and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Katsouleas received a Ph.D. in physics and an undergraduate degree in science at UCLA, where he taught for seven years before joining the USC faculty.