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Howard Johnson (Part 1)

MIT President, 1966 - 1971

Chairman of the MIT Corporation, 1971 - 1983

MIT President, 1966 - 1971

Chairman of the MIT Corporation, 1971 - 1983

Howard W. Johnson 
MIT President, 1966 – 1971
Chairman of the MIT Corporation, 1971 – 1983

Howard Johnson was the twelfth president of MIT, as well as chairman of the MIT Corporation and president of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. As the Institute’s president from 1966 to 1971, Mr. Johnson faced a tumultuous period of foreign war and national dissent. By listening and building consensus, Mr. Johnson gained widespread support and respect, and he wrote of these decisive times in his book, Holding the Center: Memoirs of a Life in Higher Education. His public service included membership on the National Commission on Productivity, the President’s Advisory Committee on Labor-Management Policy, and the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Massachusetts General Hospital.

Highlights from this interview include:

  • Involvement with building the prestigious reputation of MIT’s Sloan School of Management.
  • Thoughts on Sloan’s unique relationship with the Department of Economics.
  • A look at how the McCarthy Committee controversies affected the Institute’s research.
  • Positive personal connections made with members of the MIT community.
  • Personal experience of being on the Executive Board for the Apollo Program.   
  • Reflections on how MIT strengthened its national and international ties during his presidency.

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