Israel Ruiz, MIT executive vice president and treasurer, to step down

Action is unrelated to knowledge of Epstein’s donations, Ruiz says

Israel Ruiz SM ’01, MIT’s executive vice president and treasurer, will step down at the end of the spring semester. President L. Rafael Reif announced Ruiz’s decision in a letter addressed to the MIT community late December. Ruiz has served MIT for the last 20 years. 

Ruiz wrote in an email to The Tech, “I am immensely proud of the work that we have done to make MIT better at every level, to strengthen its financial foundation and to launch transformative initiatives that will benefit the community for years to come. … We have worked together with the MIT community to not only recover from the 2009 financial crisis, but to come out stronger than ever before in support of MIT’s boldest aspirations.” 

After graduating from MIT in 2001 as a graduate student at the Sloan School of Management, the Barcelona native began working as a consultant to then-President Chuck Vest and Provost Bob Brown. In 2003, he was hired as the associate director of the Budget Office to lead MIT’s long-term financial plan, and was named director of finance in 2005 and vice president of finance in 2007. Ruiz was elected executive vice president and treasurer October 2011. 

In his letter, President Reif praised Ruiz as a “brilliant strategic thinker” whose efforts have transformed the MIT community⁠ and institution⁠. MIT has not had an operating loss since Ruiz was appointed VP of finance. 

Ruiz developed renewal plans for the MIT campus, guided by the MIT 2030 framework, and helped transform the nearby Kendall Square. He also helped launch the online course programs MITx and edX — created in conjunction with Harvard University. 

The Engine, an enterprise that invests in “tough tech” startups from MIT and the Boston area, was heavily supported by Ruiz’s commitments for its first $205 million venture fund, according to MIT News. He was also instrumental in negotiating for the funding of MIT’s newest college, the Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing. 

The spring semester will be spent as a transitional stage for senior leadership as it prepares to fill the gap in leadership left by Ruiz. 

Ruiz wrote in his email, “While there is never the right time to leave a wonderful institution like MIT,” his work around innovation inspired him, “to consider a change in my professional career … and led to my decision to step down from my position to have the freedom to pursue them without conflicts.” Ruiz did not further specify on what he intends to do after leaving MIT.

Ruiz mentioned in a separate email to The Tech that his stepping down is not related to his knowledge of Jeffrey Epstein’s donations, as uncovered by the Goodwin Procter investigation.