Executive Vice President John Curry has announced the establishment of a new position at MIT -- managing director for environmental programs and risk management and senior counsel -- which will be filled by Jamie Lewis Keith of Boston, effective July 1.
"In the past, many colleges and universities have dealt with risk assessment and environmental issues on an ad hoc basis, as programs changed or new buildings were constructed," Mr. Curry said. "In the very near future, I believe that risk management will emerge as a critical function of effective stewardship, especially for research universities. MIT is fortunate to have enormous expertise in the environmental field, and Jamie Lewis Keith is uniquely qualified to help us coordinate and build on those strengths to improve our own programs and operations."
Ms. Keith is currently assistant commissioner and general counsel at the Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management. In that position, she has been responsible for jointly managing the Commonwealth's real estate transactions, development and permitting activities, as well as directing a 20-person legal office.
It was under her leadership that the agency developed and implemented environmental compliance and remediation plans for hundreds of facilities operated by agencies across the Commonwealth as part of Governor William Weld's "Clean State" initiative.
Ms. Keith also serves as a member of the Turnpike Authority Advisory Board and the Metropolitan Highway System Board and is secretary to the Massachusetts Asset Management Board.
At MIT, Ms. Keith will coordinate the environmental activities and programs relating to campus development and infrastructure. She also will manage a comprehensive regulatory compliance program. More generally, she will develop comprehensive risk management strategies, including coordination of appropriate legal services. As of July 1, the Safety Office and the Office of Insurance and Legal Affairs will report to Ms. Keith.
In addition, Ms. Keith will be a key participant in the Institute's campus master planning and capital construction programs, and provide real estate and environmental law advice to MIT's real estate investment arm. She also will oversee the execution and management of contracts for capital design and construction.
"With MIT's expertise in science and technology and its commitment to the environment, I am certain that it can be a model for large institution environmental compliance and responsibility," Ms. Keith said.
Before working for the Division of Capital Asset Management, Ms. Keith was a junior partner at the Boston law firm of Hale and Dorr in its environmental law and real estate departments. She was law clerk to the Honorable Bailey Aldrich in the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston after graduating magna cum laude from Boston University School of Law and with distinction in all subjects from Cornell University.
A version of this article appeared in the June 9, 1999 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 43, Number 33).