MIT names provost new president

May 16, 2012, 4:33 PM

Associated Press

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) – MIT provost L. Rafael Reif, an internationally recognized electrical engineer who learned to speak English after coming to the U.S. for graduate school from his native Venezuela, was named MIT’s 17th president on Wednesday.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Corporation elected Reif to the position shortly before making the announcement. The 61-year-old Reif takes over as president July 2, succeeding Susan Hockfield who announced earlier this year that she is stepping down.

“I cannot tell you that this is a dream come true because it’s a dream I never dared to imagine,” said Reif, an expert in microelectronics who received graduate degrees from Stanford University. “I’m deeply moved by the trust you are all placing in me.”

As provost, Reif has spearheaded a strategy that helped MIT weather the global financial crisis and led to partnerships with governments and the creation of new research centers around the world. He promoted a faculty-led effort to address race and diversity, and headed the development of the MITx online learning initiative and an edX online initiative with Harvard University.

Reif has overseen the school’s Lincoln Laboratory, which operates for the U.S. Department of Defense. And prior to his provost duties, he was director of MIT’s Microsystems Technology Laboratories and served as associate head and later chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, the school’s largest academic department.

Joining the MIT faculty in 1980, Reif holds 15 patents and is co-author of more than 350 published papers in his field.

As president, Reif said, he will lead MIT by its traditional values of intellectual pursuit and a positive commitment to society. He said he will continue his practice of staying in touch with students and issues important to them. A focus on innovation, including the exploration of hybrid classroom models to better serve students, will be a priority, he said.

Hockfield commanded the school for nearly a decade and announced in February that she would step down. She was the first woman and the first biologist to lead MIT. During her tenure, MIT launched research initiatives on cancer, energy, the environment and manufacturing, as well as the initiative with Harvard.

Corporation Chairman John Reed said the selection process included an intense search and input from the MIT community. He described Reif as “someone with exceptional qualities.”

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

Gabby Giffords, center, the subject of the documentary film "Gabby Giffords Won't Back Down," poses...
Associated Press

Giffords documentary comes as gun debates stay center stage

In the two years documentary filmmakers shadowed former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, the most jarring moment for them was in the kitchen of her Tucson, Arizona, home. As cameras were rolling, she and her husband, Sen. Mark Kelly, nonchalantly opened the freezer. Kelly grabbed a plastic container and revealed it holds the piece of Giffords’ skull […]
6 hours ago
Republican candidate for Illinois governor Richard Irvin speaks with employees during a tour of HM ...
Associated Press

Illinois governor’s race is also battle among billionaires

WAUCONDA, Ill. (AP) — The race to be Illinois’ next governor is also a battle among billionaires, including two whose names won’t appear on Tuesday’s primary ballot. Republican candidates Darren Bailey, who as a state lawmaker fought pandemic measures such as mask mandates, and former prosecutor Richard Irvin, the first Black mayor of Chicago’s largest […]
6 hours ago
U.S. Rep. Michael Guest, R-Miss., speaks before a gathering of potential voters in Magee, Miss., Ju...
Associated Press

2 GOP congressmen in Mississippi at risk of defeat in runoff

MAGEE, Miss. (AP) — Congressional primary runoffs with incumbents are rare in Mississippi. This year, two of the state’s Republican representatives are fighting to keep their jobs in runoffs against challengers from their own party. U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo is seeking a seventh term and was considered vulnerable after being accused in a 2021 congressional […]
6 hours ago
In this Wednesday, June 22, 2022, image provided by Caladan Oceanic, the pilot house section of the...
Associated Press

Explorers find WWII Navy destroyer, deepest wreck discovered

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A U.S. Navy destroyer that engaged a superior Japanese fleet in the largest sea battle of World War II in the Philippines has become the deepest wreck to be discovered, according to explorers. The USS Samuel B. Roberts, popularly known as the “Sammy B,” was identified on Wednesday broken into two […]
6 hours ago
FILE - A person holds up a sign referencing the Stonewall Inn, during a queer liberation march for ...
Associated Press

Pride parades march on with new urgency

NEW YORK (AP) — Parades celebrating LGBTQ pride kick off in some of America’s biggest cities Sunday amid new fears about the potential erosion of freedoms won through decades of activism. The annual marches in New York, San Francisco, Chicago and elsewhere take place just two days after one conservative justice on the Supreme Court […]
6 hours ago
Servicemen work at the scene at a residential building following explosions, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sund...
Associated Press

Russia strikes Kyiv as troops consolidate gains in the east

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia attacked the Ukrainian capital early Sunday, striking at least two residential buildings, the mayor of Kyiv said, as elsewhere Russian troops fought to consolidate their gains in the country’s east. Associated Press journalists in Kyiv saw rescue services battling flames and rescuing civilians. The general prosecutor’s office said preliminary information […]
6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
...
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?