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Swift asks MIT's DiFava, Widnall for help

Acting Governor Jane Swift has asked incoming MIT police chief John DiFava and Institute Professor Sheila Widnall for help in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Swift announced Tuesday that she has asked DiFava to extend his tenure as the State Police's colonel/superin-tendent for 45 days.

"Col. DiFava has been a steady presence at this difficult time in the state's history and we are very pleased that he has agreed to remain in place for the time being," Swift said in a televised speech. "The colonel has been at the center of our public safety actions since the day of the attack. His expertise will be invaluable as we continue to adjust to the post-Sept. 11 era."

President Charles M. Vest said, "We're pleased MIT can be helpful in these critical times. We look forward to John DiFava joining our community when this assignment is completed."

DiFava, who was scheduled to start at MIT on Oct. 15, is now expected to be on campus in early December. Capt. John Driscoll has been the acting chief since Anne P. Glavin stepped down in March to become MIT's director of public safety.

Last week, Swift also named Institute Professor Sheila E. Widnall to a six-member panel of experts that will recommend reforms in the operation of Logan Airport. Widnall served as Secretary of the Air Force in the Clinton administration from 1993-97.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 3, 2001.

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