MIT Forefront

L. Rafael Reif

MIT President

L. Rafael Reif became MIT’s 17th president in July 2012. He fostered the growth of edX, the nonprofit online platform launched by Harvard and MIT, and findings from his Institute-wide Task Force on the Future of MIT Education are charting a path for MIT to help pioneer the future of higher education. Since creating the MIT Innovation Initiative, he has led an ambitious redevelopment of MIT’s innovation district, including the launch of The Engine, a specialized “tough tech” accelerator. He also created the Environmental Solutions Initiative, anchored by the Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Systems Lab. In 2021, Reif and his leadership team announced a new Climate Action Plan for the Decade, which includes the Climate Grand Challenges, an initiative to accelerate breakthrough research, and the MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium, an alliance of industry leaders convened to spur the adoption of climate solutions at scale. Born in Venezuela, Reif earned a PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University. On the MIT faculty since 1980, he is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.