The President of MIT, Rafael Reif, Will Step Down at the End of 2022

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Reif said his plan to stay through December will allow the MIT Corporation, the school’s governing body, to conduct a search and smooth the transition to the next president. Meanwhile, he named Professor Cynthia Barnhart as MIT’s incoming Provost, starting on Monday, March 7th.

Cynthia Barnhart will join Chancellor Melissa Nobles, Vice President for Research Maria Zuber, and Vice President for Open Learning Sanjay Sarma in guiding the academic mission of MIT.

A native of Venezuela, Reif first came to the United States to earn his doctorate in electrical engineering at Stanford University, where he learned English. His parents were Jewish refugees who fled Eastern Europe in advance of the Nazi regime.

Three of the family’s four sons would go on to earn PhDs in the United States — including one who earned a Ph.D. at MIT. Reif arrived at MIT in 1980, when he joined the faculty as an assistant professor of electrical engineering.

In 2012, he became MIT’s 17th president. Before that, he served as provost for seven years. He was instrumental in the success of edX.org.

During his tenure, MIT’s endowment grew from $10.3 billion to $27.4 billion.

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