Dana Mead to Step Down as Chairman of MIT Corporation

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Dana G. Mead PhD ’67 will retire as Chairman of the MIT Corporation this June. Mead, seen speaking at an Undergraduate Association Senate meeting in 2008, has been Chairman since 2003.
Andrew T. Lukmann—Tech File Photo

Dana Mead to Step Down as Chairman of MIT Corporation

After serving as Chairman of the MIT Corporation for six years and selecting Susan J. Hockfield as MIT’s latest president, Dana G. Mead PhD ’67 announced last Friday that he will be stepping down from his position at the end of June. According to Corporation bylaws, members may not be older than 75; Mead is currently 74.

In an interview with the MIT News Office, Secretary of the Corporation Kirk D. Kolenbrander said that the Corporation’s executive committee is looking for a nominee to replace Mead, and that a new chairman will be elected at the Corporation’s next meeting in March or June.

During his tenure, Mead led the search for a new president in 2004 after Charles M. Vest retired. Mead nominated president Susan J. Hockfield after compiling input from student and corporation search committees. Mead also diversified the membership of the Corporation and Visiting Committees by increasing the total number of women and foreign members by fifty percent.

Mead established the Corporation’s Investment Management Company in 2004, which managed the endowment and other assets during the recession. Mead attributes MIT’s better-than-average financial performance during the recession to this Company.

Although no longer Chairman of the Corporation, Mead said that he plans to stay involved in the MIT community and to help MIT contact and raise funds from alumni. He plans to continue to sit on the Sloan Leadership Center Advisory Council, where he acts as a role model for students and shares his experiences in the corporate world. If given the option to stay on the corporation as an emeritus life member, Mead said that he would accept the position. Emeritus life members of the Corporation are free to participate in meetings and any other transactions; however, they do not have the privilege to vote.

The Corporation’s bylaws dictate that the next chairman of the Corporation must be an MIT former president, retiring president, or a serving member of the Corporation. Mead was a serving member of the Corporation before his election as chairman, and had previously held several leadership positions including CEO of Tenneco Inc. and chairman of the National Association of Manufacturers.

—Robert McQueen