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L. Rafael Reif

MIT President 2012 - present 

Fariborz Maseeh (1990) Professor of Emerging Technology 

 

MIT President 2012 - present 

Fariborz Maseeh (1990) Professor of Emerging Technology 

 

L. Rafael Reif
MIT President 2012 – present
Provost 2005 – 2012
Fariborz Maseeh (1990) Professor of Emerging Technology
Department Head, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science 2004 – 2005
Director, Microsystems Technology Laboratories 1990 – 1999

L. Rafael Reif has served as the 17th President of MIT since July 2012. Before taking on the presidency, Dr. Reif served for seven years as MIT’s Provost. In this role, he helped create and implement the strategy that allowed MIT to weather the global financial crisis; drove the growth of MIT’s global strategy; promoted a major faculty-led effort to address challenges around race and diversity; fostered the emergence of the Kendall Square innovation cluster; and spearheaded the development of the Institute’s latest experiment in online learning, MITx, for which he received the 2012 Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award.

Dr. Reif came to MIT 30 years ago and served in several posts before his appointment as president in 2012: he was director of MIT's Microsystems Technology Laboratories, head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and held the IBM Faculty Fellowship in the Center for Materials Science and Engineering. Dr. Reif received a United States Presidential Young Investigator Award and was elected a fellow of the IEEE for his pioneering work in the low-temperature epitaxial growth of semiconductor thin films. He also received the Semiconductor Research Corporation's 2000 Aristotle Award. Dr. Reif’s field is three-dimensional integrated circuit technologies and the fabrication of environmentally benign microelectronics.

Highlights of this interview include:

  • How MIT has dealt with the financial difficulties of the past few years.
  • New committees created for 2010–2011, focusing on class attendance, summer classes, and a possible online MIT degree program.
  • The journey from youth as the fourth child of poor Eastern European Jewish immigrants in Venezuela to becoming provost of MIT.
  • Minority faculty representation at MIT.

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