Thomas Roemer, a faculty member at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) and a former assistant professor of operations at the MIT Sloan School of Management, has been named as executive director of MIT Leaders for Global Operations (LGO), the program's governing board has announced.
Roemer, 49, will start work at LGO on or about July 1. He succeeds MIT Sloan senior lecturer Donald Rosenfield, who has been LGO's program director since its inception in 1988. Earlier this year, Rosenfield announced his plans to retire this summer.
"My fellow Governing Board members and I are delighted to welcome Thomas Roemer as the new executive director of LGO," says LGO Governing Board co-chair Jeff Wilke (LGO '93), senior vice president of consumer business at Amazon.com. “Thomas possesses deep knowledge of and passion for LGO. This important program will be in good hands."
Governing Board co-chair Mick Maurer, President, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, says, "Thomas brings to LGO a wide range of operational and analytical knowledge and experience. That, and his enthusiasm, will serve the program well."
At UCSD, Roemer's role bridges the worlds of management and engineering, much as it will at MIT. Since 2012, he has been the associate director of the Architecture-Based Enterprise Systems Engineering Program, which draws from the university's Jacobs School of Engineering and Rady School of Management. He came to UCSD in 2006 as assistant professor of innovation, technology and operations at the Rady School.
Roemer holds a PhD in operations and technology management from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA and a joint degree in management and manufacturing engineering from the Technische Universität Berlin in Germany. He has published journal articles on product and process design and supply chain management.
While on the MIT Sloan faculty from 2000 to 2006, Roemer was involved in teaching and advising numerous LGO students and worked with LGO partner companies. At MIT Sloan he taught courses in operations management and in product design and development. Before earning his PhD, Roemer was a visiting scholar at the University of California at Irvine's Graduate School of Management.
"As a longtime admirer and supporter of the LGO program, I'm excited and honored to serve as its next director and follow in the footsteps of Don Rosenfield, whom I greatly respect," Roemer says. "I'm looking forward to working with our truly exceptional students, faculty, staff and corporate partners to help shape the future of the program and the engineering and management innovations yet to come."
"I'm delighted to welcome Thomas back to MIT," says Georgia Perakis, professor of operations research and operations management and LGO's faculty co-director for management. "His depth of knowledge about LGO and the Institute will make him an effective leader for the program."
Perakis co-chaired the search committee with David Simchi-Levi, professor of civil and environmental engineering and engineering systems and LGO's faculty co-director for engineering.
"Thomas' background in engineering and management and his experience in working with industry are key for LGO," Simchi-Levi says. "He'll be an important voice for the program as it looks to the future."
LGO is a two-year graduate program for students who want to develop engineering and management skills geared toward careers in operations and manufacturing. The dual curriculum leads to an MBA or Master of Science from MIT Sloan and a Master of Science from one of seven programs in the MIT School of Engineering. Interwoven with degree courses is a leadership sequence unique to LGO, a six-month project internship with an LGO partner company leading to a master’s thesis, in-depth site visits to manufacturing and distribution plants, and regular interactions with industry leaders.