Dr. Suzuki was appointed President of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona in 1991. He retired in June 2003, after twelve years of service. He received his M.S. degree from UC Berkeley, where he majored in mechanical engineering, and from 1961 to 1963, he worked as a research engineer for the Boeing Company. In 1963, he returned to graduate school at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and earned his doctorate in aeronautics there in 1967.

Suzuki is has been deeply involved in civil rights and public and community affairs. He has published and presented numerous papers and lectured extensively on multicultural/international education, educational equity, under-representation of minorities in the STEM disciplines, and on Asian Americans. He has been a member of the National Science Board, and the California Student Aid Commission and is the vice president of the Pasadena Bioscience Collaborative. He has been honored on numerous occasions for his contributions in the areas of community service, education and human/civil rights. In March 2011, he was presented with the Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award by the American Council on Education; and in April 2013, he was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Association of Asian American Studies.