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Lisa Su, Advanced Micro Devices president and CEO, to speak at 2017 Investiture of Doctoral Hoods

EECS alumna and industry leader returns to campus for the June 8 ceremony.
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Lisa Su, president and CEO of Advanced Micro Devices and an MIT alumna in electrical engineering and computer science, will deliver remarks at the 2017 Investiture of Doctoral Hoods.
Lisa Su, president and CEO of Advanced Micro Devices and an MIT alumna in electrical engineering and computer science, will deliver remarks at the 2017 Investiture of Doctoral Hoods.
Photo courtesy of AMD.

Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart announced today that Lisa Su ’90 SM ’91 PhD ’94, president and chief executive officer of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), will be the guest speaker at MIT’s 2017 Investiture of Doctoral Hoods.

The custom of a guest speaker at the Investiture of Doctoral Hoods began in 2015. The motivation behind the selection of a guest speaker, a process that engages MIT faculty and doctoral students in the selection, is to invite an MIT alum who can elucidate a path for new PhDs and ScDs as they begin their careers. “We are delighted that Dr. Su will return to MIT this June,” said Chancellor Barnhart, host of the ceremony. “As an industry leader with a technical background, her perspective will resonate deeply with our doctoral candidates.”

Eric Grimson, chancellor for academic advancement, chairs the Commencement Committee. “It has been a terrific experience to collaborate with our faculty and students over the last three seasons to identify inspirational alumni to speak at hooding,” he said. “Dr. Su honors us with her participation, which continues what we hope will grow to be a rich MIT tradition.”

Su moved with her family to the United States from Taiwan as a young child. After her early education in New York City, she matriculated at MIT to study electrical engineering. Su manufactured test silicon wafers as part of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, in addition to working during the summer at Analog Devices, on whose board she now serves and where she developed a passion for semiconductors and began to see their potential to change the world. The focus of her doctoral research was silicon-on-insulator technology.

After beginning her career as a technical staff member in the Semiconductor Process and Device Center at Texas Instruments, Su spent 13 years at IBM. There, she directed engineering and business operations in multiple roles that included vice president of the Semiconductor Research and Development Center, which was responsible for the strategic direction of IBM’s silicon technologies, joint development alliances, and semiconductor research and development operations. She then led technology roadmap and research and development efforts at Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. as chief technology officer, later serving as senior vice president and general manager for networking and multimedia. This latter role comprised responsibility for global strategy, marketing, and engineering for Freescale’s embedded communications and applications processor business.

Su joined AMD in 2012 as senior vice president and general manager for global business units, responsible for driving end-to-end business execution of AMD’s products and solutions. In 2014, she became chief operating officer, charged to integrate AMD’s business units, sales, global operations, and infrastructure enablement teams into a single market-facing organization responsible for all aspects of product strategy and execution. Today, as CEO, Su is credited for leadership that has sharpened AMD’s focus and restored market performance.

The announcement of Su as the 2017 hooding speaker was met with great enthusiasm in her home department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Anantha Chandrakasan, the Vannevar Bush Professor and department head, said, “We are thrilled that Dr. Lisa Su will be the guest speaker at this year’s ceremony. She has held the highest leadership positions in major semiconductor companies and is a tremendous role model for our students. Dr. Su has had an impact in a broad range of technologies, from semiconductor devices and computing architectures to embedded systems and cloud computing. We look forward to hearing her perspectives and advice to the doctoral candidates.”

Su has published more than 40 technical articles and was named a fellow of the Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers in 2009. She was named a Top Semiconductor CEO on Institutional Investor magazine’s All-America Executive Team 2017 and, in 2016, received the Pinnacle Award as an Outstanding 50 Asian American in Business from the Asian American Business Development Center. Su was named “2014 Executive of the Year” at the Electrical Engineering Times and EDN 2014 Annual Creativity in Electronics Awards and was honored in Technology Reviews Top 100 Young Innovators in 2002. She serves on the board of directors for Analog Devices, the Global Semiconductor Alliance, and the U.S. Semiconductor Industry Association.

The 2017 Investiture of Doctoral Hoods will take place on June 8 at 10 a.m. in the Johnson Athletics Center Ice Rink. The ceremony is open to family and friends of doctoral candidates; no tickets are required.

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