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CAMBRIDGE MA -- Susan Hockfield, who served as the 16th president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has been named as the Marie Curie Visiting Professor at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), it was announced today by HKS Dean David T. Ellwood.
Hockfield is a distinguished life scientist who has focused much of her research on the development of the brain and on glioma, a deadly form of brain cancer. She joined the faculty of Yale University in 1985 after serving on the scientific staff at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. From December 2004 through June 2012, Hockfield served as the first female president of MIT, where she continues to hold a faculty appointment as professor of neuroscience.
At MIT, Hockfield focused on a number of issues, including the value of research universities as engines of innovation and economic growth. In 2006 the Institute launched the MIT Energy Initiative, a $359 million effort to accelerate research, policy and education to achieve a clean energy future. During her tenure as president, Hockfield worked to shape emerging national policy on energy technology and next-generation manufacturing. In June 2011, President Obama asked her to co-chair the steering committee of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership.
"I have long admired Susan Hockfield's passion and dedication as a research scientist, university leader and national policy advocate," said Dean Ellwood. "Hers is a track record of remarkable distinction, and we are thrilled to welcome President Hockfield to the Kennedy School."
At the Kennedy School, Hockfield will be affiliated with the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs where she plans to continue her work on behalf of sound policies and practices for sustainable energy and a resurgence in American manufacturing. She also plans to explore neural foundations of community and leadership.
"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.
Hockfield earned a B.A. in biology from the University of Rochester and a Ph.D. from Georgetown University's School of Medicine. She is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She holds honorary degrees from many institutions.