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Karen Gleason named associate provost

Brings 27 years’ faculty experience and strong ties with industry.
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Caption: Karen Gleason
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Karen Gleason
Karen Gleason
Photo: Dominick Reuter

Professor Karen Gleason of the Department of Chemical Engineering has been appointed associate provost, Provost Martin Schmidt announced today in an email to the MIT community. This appointment is effective immediately.

Gleason succeeds Schmidt, who was appointed provost in February.

Gleason earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a master’s degree in chemical engineering from MIT before receiving her doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. She has served on the MIT faculty since 1987 and is currently the Alexander and I. Michael Kasser Professor of Chemical Engineering. Previously, she has served MIT as the associate dean of engineering for research, the associate director for the Institute of Soldier Nanotechnologies, and executive officer of the Department of Chemical Engineering. Gleason’s pioneering research in chemical vapor deposition (CVD) of polymer thin films makes it possible to fabricate novel organic surfaces and devices. Gleason has authored more than 250 publications and holds 18 issued U.S. patents for CVD polymers and their applications in optoelectronics, sensing, microfluidics, energy, biomedicine, and membranes. She has also been a successful entrepreneur during her time on the MIT faculty.

In her new role, Gleason will have oversight of space planning, allocation, and renovations across the Institute, which includes chairing the Committee for the Review of Space Planning (CRSP). In addition, she will support the Office of the Provost’s focus on strengthening MIT’s industrial engagements.

In his email to the MIT community, Schmidt expressed gratitude to Gleason for accepting this position, and he noted that her “significant experience working with industry” and experience as an entrepreneur will be very helpful to the Office of the Provost’s efforts around collaborations with industry.

“I am thrilled by Professor Gleason’s willingness to serve in this capacity,” he wrote.

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