Presidential Search Committee announced

Presidential Search Committee announced

The Presidential Search Committee tasked with identifying a successor to President Susan J. Hockfield was announced yesterday afternoon, three weeks after Hockfield announced her resignation. The committee will consist of 10 faculty members and 12 members of the MIT Corporation, and will be chaired by James A. Champy ’63, who also led the committee that selected Hockfield. A Student Advisory Committee made up of three undergraduates and three graduate students will assist in the search, though they are not on the official Search Committee itself.

In an email to the MIT community sent by Kirk D. Kolenbrander, Vice President and Secretary of the Corporation, John S. Reed ’61 was quoted saying, “I am pleased that we have quickly formed this Presidential Search Committee and that we are moving ahead with this search. We have gathered an impressive and insightful team of individuals — with diverse opinions, positions and experiences.”

Reed also told The Tech last week that he believes the Corporation may lean towards picking someone with an MIT background, since MIT’s past two presidents — Hockfield and Charles M. Vest—did not have prior history at MIT. Reed’s goal is for MIT to have the name of its president by the summer.

A website,, was also launched to solicit input from members of the general MIT community. Champy said, “We encourage members of the MIT community to use the site to offer their thoughts on the traits, skills, and background we should seek in the Institute’s next president.”

Students may also apply to serve on a joint task force that will assist the Student Advisory Committee. The Undergraduate Association and Graduate Student Council will select seven undergraduates and seven graduates, who will help host forums and focus groups to solicit the general student body opinion. The application is now open at, and will close March 10 at 2 p.m.

MIT Corporation members

John S. Reed ’61, GM ’65

Chairman of the MIT Corporation

James A. Champy ’63, SM ’65

Chair of the Presidential Search Committee

Kirk D. Kolenbrander

Vice President and Secretary of the Corporation

Raja H.R. Bobbili ’08

JD/MBA student, Harvard University

Gururaj Deshpande

Chairman, Sparta Group LLC

Paul E. Gray ’54, SM ’55, ScD ’60

Professor of Electrical Engineering, President Emeritus and former Chairman of the MIT Corporation

Alan G. Spoon ’73

General Partner, Polaris Venture Partners

Henri A. Termeer

Former Chairman, President, and CEO, Genzyme Corporation

John A. Thain ’77

Chairman and CEO, CIT Group, Inc.

Kenneth Wang ’71

President, U.S. Summit Company

Susan E. Whitehead

Vice Chairman, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research

Barrie R. Zesiger

Founding Partner and Managing Director, Zesiger Capital Group LLC

MIT Faculty Members

Xavier de Souza Briggs

Associate Professor, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning

Peter H. Fisher

Professor of Physics and Division Head, Particle and Nuclear Experimental Physics, Dept. of Physics

Ann M. Graybiel PhD ’71

Institute Professor, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and McGovern Institute for Brain Research

Paula T. Hammond ’84

PhD ’93, Professor in Engineering, Dept. of Chemical Engineering

Thomas A. Kochan

Professor of Management, and Co-Director, MIT Sloan Institute for Work and Employment Research

Richard M. Locke PhD ’89

Professor of Political Science & Management. Head, Course 17

Susan S. Silbey

Professor of Humanities, Anthropology Program

Timothy M. Swager

Professor of Chemistry, Dept. of Chemistry

Patrick H. Winston ’65

SM ’67, PhD ’70, Professor of Engineering and MacVicar Fellow, Course 6

Student Advisory Committee

Amanda C. David ’13


Alex J. Evans G

Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences

Patrick A. Hulin ’14


Bryan D. Owens G

Biological Engineering

Kimberly M. Sparling ’12

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Ellan F. Spero G

Science, Technology and Society

—Deborah Chen