On July 2, 2012, Massachusetts Institute of Technology will bid farewell to its current president, Susan Hockfield, and hello to a familiar face in a new office. L. Rafael Reif has served as the provost of MIT for the past seven years, and as it was just recently announced, he will be taking over Hockfield’s position as president starting this summer.
Who is Reif? Reif was born in Venezuela. Of his childhood, he has said that he “grew up in a home wealthy in integrity and principles and values, but poor in everything material.” He graduated from the Universidad de Carabobo in Valencia, Venezuela in 1973, where he studied electrical engineering. He then moved to the U.S. where he earned a doctorate in the same field from Stanford University.
Reif has worked at MIT since 1980. Over the past 32 years, he has served as the head of the department of electrical engineering and computer science and served as the school’s provost. He was a leader in the development of the school’s MOOC programs, MITx and edX. Reif has said that he sees the future of higher education evolving into a hybrid of online and traditional learning environments. Obviously, Reif has been an important member of MIT’s staff for a long time, so it just makes sense that he would be chosen to be the next president. Reif is very excited about his new position at the school.
“I cannot tell you it is a dream come true because it is a dream I never dared imagine,” he said in a news conference.
Via The New York Times and Reuters
Image via RadioBoston