Former MIT President Joins as HKS Professor

Susan Hockfield, the first female president of the Massachusetts Institute for Technology, will serve as the Marie Curie Visiting Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School this academic year, the school announced Friday.

Though Hockfield will not be teaching any courses, she will work with the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs on energy policy as it relates to sustainability and American manufacturing.

Hockfield, who will continue to hold a faculty appointment as a professor of neuroscience at MIT, will also spend her time at Kennedy School exploring community and leadership through the lens of neuroscience.

“Following 14 years in academic leadership, the Kennedy School and the Belfer Center provide an ideal environment for reflection, study and conversation. I’m delighted to join this remarkable community,” Hockfield said in statement.

Hockfield served as the 16th president of MIT from December 2004 to June 2012. Hockfield focused her research on brain development and on glioma, a lethal form of brain cancer.


Under her tenure at MIT, Hockfield advocated the use of research universities in driving innovation and economic growth. Prior to her term as president of MIT, Hockfield was a faculty member at Yale University.

In 2006, Hockfield helped to launch the MIT Energy Initiative, a $359 million program that brings together researchers, educators, and policy experts to focus on clean energy. In June 2011, Hockfield was asked to co-chair the steering committee of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership by President Obama.

“[Hockfield] has demonstrated not only intellectual leadership but also public leadership in her time with MIT. This combination is precisely what the Kennedy school aspires to,” Kennedy School Dean David T. Ellwood ’75 said. “We’re very honored to have her with us.”

Staff Writer Charles W Sorensen can be reached at