• Top row (left to right): Abigail Johnson, Temitope Lawani, David desJardins, Ashton Carter, Hyun-A Park, Paul Marcus, Charles Ong. Bottom row (left to right): Lubna Olayan, Alan Spoon, Leslye Miller Fraser, Colin Webb, CJ Whelan, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

    Top row (left to right): Abigail Johnson, Temitope Lawani, David desJardins, Ashton Carter, Hyun-A Park, Paul Marcus, Charles Ong. Bottom row (left to right): Lubna Olayan, Alan Spoon, Leslye Miller Fraser, Colin Webb, CJ Whelan, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

    Courtesy of the MIT Corporation

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MIT Corporation elects 10 term members, two life members

Top row (left to right): Abigail Johnson, Temitope Lawani, David desJardins, Ashton Carter, Hyun-A Park, Paul Marcus, Charles Ong. Bottom row (left to right): Lubna Olayan, Alan Spoon, Leslye Miller Fraser, Colin Webb, CJ Whelan, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Term members will each serve one, three, or five years on MIT’s board of trustees.


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The MIT Corporation — the Institute’s board of trustees — elected eight full-term members, who will each serve for five years, two partial-term members, who will serve for one or three years, and two life members, during its quarterly meeting held today. Corporation Chair Robert B. Millard ’73 announced the election results, and all positions are effective July 1.

The eight full-term members are: David L. desJardins ’83 (second term); Leslye Miller Fraser ’78; Temitope “Tope” O. Lawani ’91; Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw; Lubna S. Olayan; Charles Ong ’90; Hyun-A C. Park ’85; and Colin O. Webb, II ’18.

The two partial-term members are: Ashton “Ash” B. Carter, who will serve a three-year term, and Paul R. Marcus ’81 (second term), who will serve a one-year term.

The two life members are: Abigail P. Johnson and Alan G. Spoon ’73.

The Corporation also announced C.J. Whelan ’92, as the 2018-2019 president of the Association of Alumni and Alumnae of MIT, effective July 1. As such, he becomes ex officio member of the Corporation and of the Corporation Joint Advisory Committee on Institute-Wide Affairs. He succeeds Park, who will return to the Corporation for a five-year term.

As of July 1, the Corporation will consist of 73 distinguished leaders in education, science, engineering, and industry; of those, 22 are life members, 43 are term members, and eight are ex officio. An additional 37 individuals are life members emeritus.

Life members serve without a specific term until they turn 75 years old, while term members serve for five years. Both types of members have voting rights in the Corporation. Alumni nominees and representatives of recent graduating classes also serve five-year terms. At age 75, life members become life members emeritus; while they no longer have a vote, they continue to play an active role in Institute affairs.

This year’s elected term members:

David L. desJardins, retired Google engineer and current investor and philanthropist

DesJardins earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from MIT in 1983. After graduating, he spent many years in industry before completing a PhD in mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley in 2002. He was a research staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses from 1988 to 1999. In 1999, he joined Google as the 25th employee of the tech giant, then still a relatively new company. There, he worked to improve the scale and reliability of Google’s search engine and later focused on improving search quality. In 2005, he ended his full-time Google employment to focus on consulting, philanthropy, and investing, having now invested in many startups. He is currently a board member of TigerLabs, a seed fund, hackspace, and entrepreneurship center in Princeton, New Jersey, and serves on the boards of several nonprofits, including the Democracy Alliance, the Scholars Strategy Network, Better Markets, and the University of California, Berkeley Foundation.

Leslye Miller Fraser, retired environmental appeals judge for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Fraser earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from MIT and a JD from the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law in 1992. Upon graduating, she worked nine years at an aerospace company before attending law school. She joined the Environmental Protection Agency in 1995 as a staff attorney and in 2011 was promoted to associate director for regulations at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, where she worked in many positions over the years. Currently, she serves as national president for the African American Federal Executive Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing African Americans into senior roles of the U.S. government, and serves as national co-chair of the STEM Committee for The Links, a non-profit women’s community service organization. She is also a charter member of the National Society of Black Engineers (1975) and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (1977), the first sorority at MIT.

Temitope “Tope” O. Lawani, co-founder and managing partner of Helios Investment Partners

Lawani graduated from MIT in 1991 with a bachelor’s in chemical engineering and minor in economics. From 1991 to 1992, he worked in mergers and acquisitions for Walt Disney Company in Burbank, California, where he managed the acquisition of Discover magazine, the creation of the Anaheim Ducks professional hockey franchise, and the development of the Disney Cruise Line. In 1996, he earned a JD from Harvard Law School and a master’s in business administration from Harvard Business School. From 1996 to 2004, he worked in the San Francisco and London offices of a leading global private investment firm, handling more than $10 billion worth of closed venture capital and leveraged buyout investments, including the acquisitions of major retail and other companies. He is currently serving as managing partner of Helios Investment Partners, an Africa-focused private investment firm that he co-founded in 2004.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairperson and managing director of Biocon Limited

Mazumdar-Shaw is a pioneer of India’s biotech industry and founder of the country’s leading biotech enterprise, Biocon. She has been named among TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. Mazumdar-Shaw holds key positions in various educational, government, and industry positions, including: member of numerous institutes and departments in India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT); chairperson of the Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE), a nonprofit pan-India forum representing the Indian biotechnology sector; and member of the governing body of the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission. She was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences in 2006. She established a 1,400-bed medical center in Bangalore to deliver affordable cancer care to patients of all socioeconomic backgrounds, and a nonprofit research institute dedicated to treating a range of human diseases. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Bangalore University and a master’s degree from Ballarat College of Melbourne University, and has been awarded several honorary degrees.

Lubna S. Olayan, CEO and deputy chairperson of Olayan Financing Company

In 2004, Olayan became the first woman to join a Saudi company’s board, having been elected to the board of Alawwal Bank, where she currently serves as vice chairperson. She has been a member of the board of Schlumberger since 2011. In 2016, she joined the board of Ma’aden, a Saudi company operating in the mining sector. Olayan also sits on the advisory boards for Akbank, Allianz SE, McKinsey and Co, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and is a board member of the Down Syndrome Charitable Association in Saudi Arabia. She is a trustee of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and of the Asia Business Council. She also chairs Alfanar, one of the first venture philanthropy organizations in the Arab world. Olayan has been listed by TIME as one of the 100 most influential people in the world and Fortune’s list of most powerful women. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and an MBA from Indiana University.

Charles Ong, co-chairperson and co-CEO of RRJ Capital Ltd

Ong received his bachelor’s degree from MIT in 1989 and graduated with an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1995. Ong started his career with Lazard Freres and Co. in New York in 1989 and relocated to Singapore in 1995 to help expand Lazard’s operation in Asia. He oversaw Deutsche Bank’s investment banking business in Southeast Asia from 1998 to 2002. Beginning in 2002, Ong had a 10-year career with Temasek Holdings, where he held various positions including chief investment officer and chief strategy officer. From 2009 to 2011, he was also concurrently the CEO of Seatown Holdings International, a global investment firm and a wholly owned subsidiary of Temasek. Ong has been with RRJ Group since 2012.

Hyun-A C. Park, president of Spy Pond Partners, LLC 

Park received a bachelor’s degree in 1983 and a master’s degree in 1985 in city planning from MIT. Park is co-founder and president of Spy Pond Partners. She started her career working for MIT professor Tunney Lee at the Massachusetts Division of Capital Planning and Operations, and then worked on the Central Artery (“Big Dig”) project. From there, she went to Cambridge Systematics, where she was in charge of a business line focused on transportation asset management. Park is active in transportation research activities nationally. She is currently chair of the Technical Activities Council of the Transportation Research Board, where she leads a group of chairs that oversee more than 200 committees and 6,000 volunteers on research activities related to all modes of transportation and a wide range of transportation topics. Park is also the co-chair of the Women’s Transportation Seminar’s Public Art Project that will install a new public art piece at South Station in Boston.  

Colin O. Webb, CEO, Insemble

Webb graduated with a bachelor’s degree from MIT in 2018. He served as 2018 Class Council president. Webb also served in a variety of programs both nationally and internationally, ranging from finance engineering at Goldman Sachs and CNote, a San Francisco startup, to drone artificial intelligence systems in Mexico City and mass manufacturing in Hong Kong. He focuses on amassing technical knowledge while understanding different people, cultures, and philosophies. At MIT, Webb was a member of the Chocolate City living group and the Black Students’ Union. He also helped coordinate a visit from Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to Barack Obama, to MIT’s Celebration of Black Excellence. In Chocolate City, Webb served as the professional chair, preparing students for internships and careers. Currently, Webb is pursuing a startup that uses big data analytics to connect retail landlords with tenants.

The two partial-term members are:

Ashton “Ash” B. Carter, Innovation Fellow, MIT

Carter currently serves as the director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School, as well as innovation fellow at MIT. Most recently, Carter served as the 25th Secretary of Defense. For over 35 years, he worked inside government, under presidents of both political parties, as well as in the private sector, leveraging his experience in national security, technology, and innovation. Carter earned his bachelor’s degrees in physics and in medieval history, summa cum laude, at Yale University, where he was also awarded Phi Beta Kappa. He received his doctorate in theoretical physics from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. From 1998 to 2009, he also served on the advisory board for MIT Lincoln Laboratories and as chairperson of the board from 2004 to 2008.

Paul R. Marcus, CEO, Marcus Partners

Marcus graduated from MIT in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He is a founder of the Boston-based Autism Consortium, which facilitates broad-based collaboration among 15 Boston-area institutions — including MIT — and funds clinical innovation and translational research in autism and other related brain disorders. He currently serves on Business Executives for National Security (BENS) and co-chairs the BENS-Boston Chapter. He was a founding member of the 484 Phi Alpha Foundation, an MIT-affiliated educational foundation. He is currently a member of the Boston Children’s Hospital Chairman’s Council and has served a 10-year term as a member of the Trust Board of Children’s Hospital, where he was a founder of the Children’s Hospital Developmental Medicine Center Philanthropic Leadership Council. Marcus served as chairman of the board and is a past president of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP). He serves on the MIT Corporation visiting committee for brain and cognitive sciences.

The two life members are:

Abigail P. Johnson, chairperson and CEO of FMR, LLC

Johnson received a bachelor of arts degree in art history from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 1984 and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1988. She became president of FMR, Fidelity’s parent company, in 2013, CEO in 2014, and chairperson in 2016. She has worked at the company since 1988. During her leadership tenure, Fidelity has maintained its position as the nation’s No. 1 IRA and 401(k) provider. Johnson is also chairperson of Fidelity International (FIL Limited), a separate company that operates independently of FMR, providing asset management services to investors outside the United States and Canada. Johnson joined FIL’s board as a director in November 2012, becoming its chairman in February 2014.

Alan G. Spoon, chairperson of Fortive Corporation

Spoon received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 1973 from MIT’s Sloan School of Management. He continued his education at Harvard Law School, where he received his JD in 1976. Since 2016, he has been chair of Fortive Corporation, a global technology manufacturer. He is partner emeritus at Polaris Partners, a national venture capital firm with investments in information technology and life sciences. At Polaris, Spoon was managing partner from 2000 to 2010. Previously, he was president and board member at the Washington Post Company from 1992 to 2000. Spoon began his career at the Boston Consulting Group, where he became vice president and partner. Spoon serves on several public company boards, including Danaher, IAC, Match Group, and Cable One. In his nonprofit work, he works with the Smithsonian Institution as vice chair of the Board of Regents and co-chair of its first-ever national capital campaign.

President of the Association of Alumni and Alumnae of MIT:

C.J. Whelan, founder and president, Front Range Technology Group, LLC

Whelan earned bachelor’s degrees from MIT in electrical engineering in 1992 and in management science in 1993. His professional career has been concentrated in the telephony and teleconferencing industry, including founding or co-founding a number of companies. He recently sold his teleconferencing services company, Conserto, where he was CTO and co-founder with another MIT graduate. Currently, Whelan is consulting for the telecommunications and software industries while he devotes much of his time to the MIT Alumni Association as its incoming president for 2018-2019. He has also been active in municipal politics in his hometown of Centennial, Colorado, including recently completing a four-year term on City Council and conducting a bid for mayor in 2017. He has also served as president of the Cunningham Fire Protection District, and has served on or chaired numerous community and civic organizations.


Topics: Alumni/ae, MIT Corporation, Administration

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