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Draper selects new president

The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Inc. has selected James D. Shields, vice president for programs, to be the lab's next president and chief executive officer.

Shields (S.B. 1972, S.M. 1972) will become president and CEO following election by the board of directors on Oct. 5. At that time Vincent Vitto, Draper's current president and CEO, will retire after nine years of service.

In making the announcement on July 12, John Kreick, chairman of the board of directors, said, "The selection of Jim Shields as the next president of Draper Laboratory ensures decisive leadership informed by technical knowledge and fine judgment. Draper is well positioned to continue its impressive record of engineering solutions to problems of national significance."

Shields is currently responsible for development of new work and execution of contracted projects. He joined Draper as vice president for programs in 2001 from TASC (now part of Northrop Grumman Information Technology). His 28-year career at TASC culminated as vice president for strategic development. Shields holds bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering from MIT.

Draper Laboratory (formerly the Instrumentation Laboratory) separated from MIT in 1973 to become an independent not-for-profit research and educational organization. A number of MIT faculty members maintain a close association with the lab.

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