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L. Rafael Reif  

Venezuelan-American Electrical Engineer, Writer & Academic Administrator; President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Rafael Reif has served as the 17th President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) since July 2012. Before taking on the presidency, Dr. Reif served for seven years as MIT’s Provost. In this role, he helped create and implement the strategy that allowed MIT to weather the global financial crisis; drove the growth of MIT’s global strategy; promoted a major faculty-led effort to address challenges around race and diversity; fostered the emergence of the Kendall Square innovation cluster; helped launch the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science; and spearheaded the development of the Institute’s latest experiments in online learning, MITx and edX.

A member of the MIT faculty since 1980, Dr. Reif has served as director of MIT’s Microsystems Technology Laboratories, as associate department head for Electrical Engineering in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), and as EECS department head. He was instrumental in launching a research center on novel semiconductor devices at MIT, as well as multi-university research centers on advanced and environmentally benign semiconductor manufacturing. He also played a key role in creating, within the Semiconductor Research Corporation, the national effort now known as the Focus Center Research Program and in launching its Interconnect Focus Center.

An early champion of MIT's engagement in micro- and nanotechnologies, Dr. Reif is the inventor or co-inventor on 15 patents, has edited or co-edited five books and has supervised 38 doctoral theses. He focused his most recent research on three-dimensional integrated circuit technologies and on environmentally benign microelectronics fabrication. In 2004, he was named the Fariborz Maseeh Professor of Emerging Technology.

In 1993, Dr. Reif was named a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) “for pioneering work in the low-temperature epitaxial growth of semiconductor thin films.” From the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), he received the 2000 Aristotle Award for “his commitment to the educational experience of SRC students and the profound and continuing impact he has had on their professional careers.” An elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he also belongs to Tau Beta Pi, the Electrochemical Society and the IEEE. For his work in developing MITx, he received the 2012 Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award.

Dr. Reif received the degree of Ingeniero Eléctrico from Universidad de Carabobo, Valencia, Venezuela, and served for a year as an assistant professor at Universidad Simón Bolívar in Caracas. He earned his doctorate in electrical engineering from Stanford University, where he spent a year as a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering. After moving to MIT, Dr. Reif held the Analog Devices Career Development Professorship in the EECS Department and an IBM Faculty Fellowship from MIT’s Center for Materials Science and Engineering. He received a United States Presidential Young Investigator Award in 1984.

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