Mahoney has served in various leadership roles at other universities in the past, and is currently the provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Los Angeles.
Mahoney will succeed Leslie E. Wong, who will be retiring in July 2019, to become the 14th president of the university.
“Throughout her career, Dr. Mahoney has been dedicated to student success and has made a profoundly positive impact on the lives of tens of thousands of students across the CSU,” Rebecca Eisen, chair of the SFSU search committee, said. “She is the type of bold thinking leader who will continue to elevate SFSU.”
Mahoney is credited with increasing student enrollment, improving student learning and graduation rates, and undertaking faculty excellence initiatives at the California State University.
“I look forward to working with faculty, staff, students, community members, and campus administrators to ensure a welcome and inclusive environment for our students as is befitting of one of the most socially conscious cities in the country,” Mahoney said in a statement.
Earlier, Mahoney has also served on the academic affairs leadership team at California State University and held other administrative roles at Purchase College, State University of New York.