MIT welcomed Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan to campus on Friday, May 4. She was greeted by MIT Chancellor Phillip Clay, who served as host for the morning visit.
After meeting with Jordanian students who attend the Institute and officers of the MIT Arab Students' Organization, the queen met in the Bush Room with directors and researchers from the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) and MIT's International Development Initiative (IDI), a joint program of the Edgerton Center and the Public Service Center.
The queen is renowned for her charitable work in areas of health, microfinance, economic development and education, and as a strong advocate for the empowerment of women. Her keen interest in issues of poverty and development made her seek out the work of J-PAL and the IDI.
Â J-PAL Executive Director Rachel Glennerster said, "The queen stressed how important it was for microfinance organizations to have good measures of their impact, and had some very pertinent questions for us about how the impact of something as complex as microfinance can be measured correctly."
Queen Rania concluded her visit with a stop at the Media Lab, where Associate Director of Research John Maeda and Professor Mitch Resnick (along with a few colleagues) briefed Her Majesty on their research and on the One Laptop Per Child initiative, a new separate nonprofit effort.
"She's a very active royal," said Clay, adding that the aim of the visit was to "give her a sense of the kinds of projects in which students and faculty focus on research and service with an international impact."Â
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 16, 2007 (download PDF).