Richard Lester Appointed Associate Provost for International Activities

May 14, 2015

To the members of the MIT community,

In November 2014 President Reif informed the community of Claude Canizares's decision to step down as Vice President and that the oversight for international engagements, which had been a part of Claude's portfolio, would shift to the office of the Provost with the creation of a new position dedicated to this role. I am very pleased to announce that Professor Richard Lester has agreed to become the first Associate Provost for International Activities, effective July 1, 2015.

Richard is the Japan Steel Industry Professor and Head of the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering. He is also the faculty chair and founding director of the Industrial Performance Center. His six years as head of NSE have been a time of rapid renewal and rebuilding in the department. His research focuses on local, regional, and national systems of innovation, with a particular focus on the energy and manufacturing sectors. He has led several major studies of competitiveness and innovation performance commissioned by governments and industrial groups around the world.

Richard obtained his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Imperial College (London) and a doctorate in nuclear engineering from MIT, and he has been a member of the MIT faculty since 1979. He serves as an advisor to corporations, governments, foundations and non-profit groups, and is Chair of the National Academies' Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy.

In his new role, Richard will advise the administration on all matters pertaining to the Institute's major international activities. He will have responsibility for the periodic review of our ongoing global efforts as well as for the assessment of proposed international initiatives. He also will assume the role of co-chair, with Philip Khoury, of the International Advisory Committee as well as co-sponsor, with Israel Ruiz, of the International Coordinating Committee.

Richard will step down from his current position as Head of Nuclear Science and Engineering effective this June 30, but he has graciously agreed to continue as Acting Head until September 1 to allow more time for identifying a successor. The search for a new department head will be conducted by the School of Engineering.

Please join me in congratulating Richard as he takes on this important role at the Institute.

Sincerely,
Martin A. Schmidt