Karl Reid ’84, SM ’85 named vice president for equity and inclusion

January 23, 2024
Sally Kornbluth, President |

Dear members of the MIT community,

Today, I’m delighted to share the news that Karl Reid ’84, SM ’85 will join us as vice president for equity and inclusion (VPEI), beginning March 4. He enters this office following the departure of John Dozier, who left MIT last summer to become president of Columbia College in South Carolina.

As I described earlier this month, I have charged Karl with engaging our faculty, students and staff in a comprehensive assessment of the structures and programs in his purview, to make sure they are effectively serving campus needs.

It is of paramount importance that the Institute continue to attract and retain the finest talent from across the country and around the world. Ensuring a welcoming and inclusive environment that allows everyone at MIT to do their very best work is essential to maintaining our preeminence in pushing the boundaries of knowledge, inventing solutions to the most vexing problems of our time and educating the next generation of leaders. Toward that end, Karl will serve on my presidential cabinet and report directly to me.

I’m deeply grateful to Professor Dan Hastings SM ’78, PhD ’80 for his stalwart service as interim ICEO since John’s departure in July.

About Karl Reid

As we wrote in launching the search last August, the health of our community depends on our ability to come together to face challenges around inclusion, belonging and free expression. Deeply grounded in the Institute’s culture and values, Karl brings to this work a range of compelling skills and experience.

After earning two MIT degrees in materials science and engineering, Karl spent a dozen years in product management and consulting in the computing industry, including at IBM. His career’s next phase brought him back to MIT as director of engineering outreach programs. He rose to become associate dean of undergraduate education and director of the Office of Minority Education.

Having earned his doctorate in education from Harvard, Karl went on to leadership roles at two national nonprofits focused on promoting educational opportunity: as senior vice president for research, innovation, and member college engagement at the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), which supports the nation’s private historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and as executive director of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). He currently serves as senior vice provost and chief inclusion officer at Northeastern University.

As a student at MIT, Karl served as national chair of the NSBE, co-founded the Black Christian Fellowship and received the Institute’s highest student honor, the Karl Taylor Compton Award, which recognizes outstanding achievements in citizenship and devotion to the welfare of MIT.

Born in the Bronx and raised in Roosevelt, New York, he made his way to MIT via a magnet high school, inspired by the achievements of his older brother, the late Keith Reid ’79. In 2017, Karl published Working Smarter, Not Just Harder: Three Sensible Strategies for Succeeding in College...and Life, a guide for prospective college students that draws on his experience in learning to “drink from the fire hose.”

It’s not unusual for our graduates to have dreamt of MIT from childhood, but Karl may vie for some kind of record: His father developed a deep respect for the innovative power of engineering through serving in the US Navy in the Korean War. Recognizing his son’s engineering instincts early on, he made sure Karl could say “Massachusetts Institute of Technology” by the time he turned three.

Please join me in welcoming Karl back to campus for this vital role.


Sally Kornbluth