Leadership Lunches - Fall 2008

Dr. Peter Diamandis
Dr. Patricia M. Dehmer

Dr. Peter Diamandis

Dr. Peter H. Diamandis is a successful entrepreneur and pioneer in the commercial space arena. Diamandis co-founded ZERO-G as a means to permit the public to experience the excitement of space on a first-hand basis.

Dr. Diamandis is the Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation, a non-profit organization promoting the formation of a space-tourism industry through a $10M prize. Diamandis was a co-founder of Space Adventures, Ltd. a leading space travel and tourism company, and a co-Founder and chairman of Starport.com, a leading Internet site for Space Exploration, acquired by SPACE.com in 1990.

In 1987, Peter co-founded the International Space University (ISU) where he served as the University's first managing director. Today he is a trustee of the $30M university located on its own campus in Strasbourg, France. While a student at MIT, Peter founded and served as chairman of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS), the world's largest student space organization.

Peter Diamandis received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in aerospace engineering from the MIT and a medical degree from Harvard Medical School. He has conducted research in a number of fields, including molecular genetics, space medicine, and launch vehicle design. He has received a number of awards, including MIT's Kresge Award, the 1986 Space Industrialization Fellowship Award, the 1988 Aviation Week and Space Technology Laurel, the 1993 Space Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award, and the Russian 1995 K. E. Tsiolkovsky Award.
(back to top)

Dr. Patricia M. Dehmer

Patricia M. Dehmer is the Deputy Director for Science Programs in the Office of Science at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). In this capacity, Dr. Dehmer is the senior career science official in the Office of Science, which is third largest Federal sponsor of basic research in the United States, the primary supporter of the physical sciences in the U.S., and one of the premier science organizations in the world.

As Deputy Director for Science Programs, Dr. Dehmer provides scientific and management oversight for the six science programs of the Office of Science (basic energy sciences, biological and environmental research, fusion energy sciences, advanced scientific computing research, high energy physics, and nuclear physics), for workforce development for teachers and scientists, and for construction project assessment. The Office of Science supports research at 300 colleges and universities nationwide, at DOE laboratories, and at other private institutions.

From 1995 to 2007, Dr. Dehmer served as the Director of the Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES) in the Office of Science. Under her leadership, the BES budget more than doubled in size to $1.2B annually. She built a world-leading portfolio of work in condensed matter and materials physics, chemistry, and biosciences. A five-year effort to relate the most fundamental research in these disciplines to real-world problems in energy – including problems in fossil energy and carbon dioxide sequestration, nuclear energy, renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy transmission and storage, and the mitigation of environmental impacts of energy use – set a new standard for understanding the relationships between and integration of basic and applied research.

During this period, Dr. Dehmer also was responsible for the planning, design, and construction phases of more than a dozen major construction projects totaling $3 billion. Notable among these were the $1.4 B Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, five Nanoscale Science Research Centers totaling more than $300M, the total reconstruction of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), and the start of two new facilities for x-ray scattering – the Linac Coherent Light Source at SLAC, which is the world’s first hard x-ray free electron laser, and the National Synchrotron Light Source—II at Brookhaven National Laboratory, which will provide the highest spatial resolution of any synchrotron light source in the world.
(back to top)



Leadership Lunches - Fall 2007

Mr. George T. Whitesides
Dr. Robert Seamans
Dr. William Bonvillian
Alumni Panel- Sharon Gillett, Christopher Hansen, Mort Webster

George T. Whitesides

George T. Whitesides is the Executive Director of the National Space Society.  NSS is dedicated to the promotion of human spaceflight and exploration, as well as to space education and development.  The organization counts approximately 20,000 members around the world, and was founded in 1974 by Apollo architect Dr. Wernher von Braun and broadcaster Hugh Downs.
A Fulbright scholar in Tunisia, Whitesides received his graduate degree in Remote Sensing and Geographical Information Systems from Cambridge University, and his undergraduate degree in Public and International Affairs from Princeton. 

Whitesides began his career at Orbital Sciences Corporation as executive intern and subsequently special assistant to the president. Later, he served as Vice President of Marketing for Zero Gravity Corporation, a private space-tourism company, and Director of Marketing for Blastoff Corporation, a space-experience company funded by film and technology leaders.

In 2004, Whitesides was named Executive Director of NSS, and also selected by Space News as one of twelve ‘People to Watch’.  Whitesides is a member of COMSTAC, an advisory committee to the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation.  He has served on the Board of Trustees of Princeton University, and currently serves on the board of the Space Generation Foundation.  Additional, in June, Whitesides was appointed Senior Advisor to Sir Richard Branson’s suborbital space tourism company, Virgin Galactic. 

With Loretta Hidalgo, Whitesides began Yuri’s Night, an international celebration of space that includes thousands of participants each year.  Held on April 12, Yuri’s Night commemorates the twin anniversaries of Yuri Gagarin’s first human spaceflight and the first space shuttle launch, exactly twenty years apart.  Whitesides also co-founded Permission to Dream, a global astronomy education program that donates telescopes to disadvantaged students around the world.

Whitesides is a licensed private pilot and certified parabolic flight coach.  A fan of hiking and the outdoors, he has summitted Aconcagua, the highest peak in the western hemisphere.  Last but not least, Whitesides and Hidaldo – recently married – will be the first couple to celebrate their honeymoon in space, onboard Virgin Galactic’s suborbital spaceflight service. 
(back to top)

Dr. Robert Seamans

Robert C. Seamans, Jr. was born on October 30, 1918 in Salem, Massachusetts.  He attended Lenox School, Lenox, Massachusetts; earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Harvard University in 1940; a Master of Science degree in Aeronautics at MIT in 1942; and a Doctor of Science degree in Instrumentation from MIT in 1951.

From 1941 to 1955 he held teaching and research positions at MIT during which time he worked on aeronautical developments for instrumentation and control of airplanes and missiles.  Dr. Seamans joined Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in 1955 as Director of the Airborne Systems Laboratory, and in 1958 became Chief Engineer of the Missile Electronics and Control Division at RCA Burlington, Massachusetts, a position he held until joining NASA in September 1960.  

He served at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for more than seven years, first as Associate Administrator from September 1960 until December 1965, and then as Associate and Deputy Administrator until 1968.

Dr. Seamans resigned from NASA in January 1968 to become a Visiting Professor at MIT, and in July 1968 he was appointed to the Jerome Clark Hunsaker Professorship, an MIT-endowed visiting professorship in the Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics.

From February 1969 until 1973, Dr. Seamans was Secretary of the Air Force.  He then became President of the National Academy of Engineering, a post to which he was elected in May 1973.

In December 1974, Dr. Seamans became the first Administrator of the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA).  He left ERDA in 1977 to return to MIT. 

Dr. Robert C. Seamans, Jr. was Henry Luce Professor of Environment and Public Policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from July 1977 until attaining retirement status in July 1984.  He was appointed Dean of Engineering in July 1978, and served in that post until September 1981.  He is currently a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics.
(back to top)

Dr. William Bonvillian

William B. Bonvillian, since the end of January 2006, has been Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Washington, D.C. Office.  Prior to that position, he served for seventeen years as Legislative Director and Chief Counsel to U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman.  He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Georgetown University where he teaches in the area of science, technology and innovation policy.
 
Prior to his work on Capitol Hill, he was a partner at a large national law firm. Early in his career, he served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary and Director of Congressional Affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation. His recent articles include, “Meeting the New Challenge to U.S. Economic Competitiveness” and “Organizing Science and Technology for Homeland Security,” both published in Issues in Science and Technology and “Science at a Crossroads," published in Technology in Society and reprinted in the FASEB Journal.  He is working now on a paper on DARPA as a connected science R&D model.  At MIT, he works to support MIT’s strong and historic relations with federal R&D agencies, and its role on national science policy.  His legislative efforts at Senator Lieberman’s office included science and technology policies and innovation issues.  He worked extensively on legislation creating the Department of Homeland Security, and more recently on Intelligence Reform and national competitiveness legislation.

He received a B.A. from Columbia University with honors, an M.A.R. from Yale Divinity School in religion; and a J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he also served on the Board of Editors of the Columbia Law Review.  Following law school, he clerked for a Federal Judge in New York. He is a member of the Connecticut Bar, the District of Columbia Bar and the U.S. Supreme Court Bar.  He has lectured and given speeches before numerous audiences on science and technology issues, and has taught in this area at Georgetown and George Washington Universities.
(back to top)

Sharon Gillett

Sharon E. Gillett was appointed by Governor Deval Patrick in Spring 2007 as the Commissioner of the Department of Telecommunications and Cable for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  She oversees all state regulatory functions pertaining to telecommunications and cable services and advises the state on broadband policy.  Prior to joining state government, Ms. Gillett was a Principal Research Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where she chaired the Broadband Working Group of MIT’s Communications Futures Program, taught courses on telecommunications and Internet policy, conducted research on municipal broadband and its economic impact, and served on Boston Mayor Thomas Menino’s Wireless Broadband Task Force.  Ms. Gillett received her MBA and MS in Technology and Policy from MIT, and her AB in Physics from Harvard.
(back to top)

Chistopher Hansen

Christopher J. Hansen, CERA Associate Director, Global Power Group, specializes in energy sector economics, electricity market reform, and international electric power policy. Before joining CERA, Mr. Hansen was a Researcher at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, where he analyzed electricity and gas sector reform and hybrid energy systems in India, including regulation, corporate investment, and captive power systems. Previously, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) he examined technology scenarios for the Shandong Province, China, electricity system as part of the China Energy Technology Program under Steve Connors. He also has expertise in energy options and strategies, including in South African electricity reform, nuclear plant relicensing issues, and fuel cell market modeling, among others. Mr. Hansen has published several papers in professional journals on energy sector economic and policy analysis. He holds a BSc in Nuclear Engineering from Kansas State University; a Graduate Diploma of Civil Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa; a Master of Science in Technology Policy from MIT; and a Master of Philosophy in Development Studies from Oxford University. He will complete his PhD from Oxford in 2007.
(back to top)

Mort Webster

Since August, 2006, Dr. Webster has been a visiting professor at MIT in the Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change and in the Department of Earth, Atmosphere and Planetary Sciences.  From 2001-2006, he was an assistant professor of public policy in the Department of Public Policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  His research program is focused on the role of uncertainty (scientific or otherwise) in policy decisions and in the design of effective environmental policy.  At the broadest level, he is interested in exploring the interface between formal quantitative models and the policy process.  Dr. Webster’s research is on how to analyze the uncertainty in assessment models of global climate change to produce insights that are useful to the policy community, including addressing the role of learning in the future on today’s decision, the effect of uncertainty on multi-stakeholder negotiations, and better means of communicating results to non-experts.  He received a Ph.D. (2000) in Technology, Management and Policy from MIT and a B.S.E. (1988) in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. 
(back to top)


Leadership Lunches - Fall 2006

Pres. Susan Hockfield
Joe Gavin, MIT Corporation member
Alumni Panel – Adam Jaffee, Sudhakar Kesavan, Susan Pickett

Pres. Susan Hockfield

Susan Hockfield has served as the sixteenth president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since December 2004. A strong advocate of the vital role that science, technology, and the research university play in the world, she brings to the MIT presidency an exceptional record of achievement in serving faculty and student interests.

A noted neuroscientist whose research has focused on the development of the brain, Dr. Hockfield is the first life scientist to lead MIT and holds a faculty appointment as professor of neuroscience in the Institute's Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.

Dr. Hockfield seeks to encourage collaborative work among MIT's schools, departments, and interdisciplinary laboratories and centers to keep the Institute at the forefront of innovation. She believes that MIT's strength in engineering uniquely positions the Institute to pioneer newly evolving, interdisciplinary areas and to translate them into practice, and that MIT's traditions of excellence in architecture and planning, the humanities, arts, social sciences, and management offer opportunities to develop innovative solutions to our era's greatest challenges. Under her leadership, MIT has launched a major Institute-wide initiative in energy research and education and continues to expand its activities at the intersection of the life sciences and engineering.

Dr. Hockfield believes strongly in the value that international students and scholars bring to the educational and research programs of American universities, and in the importance of American universities working closely with leading academic centers around the world.

Before assuming the presidency of MIT, Dr. Hockfield was the William Edward Gilbert Professor of Neurobiology and provost at Yale University. She joined the Yale faculty in 1985 and was named full professor in 1994. While at Yale, she played a central role in the university's leadership, first as dean of its Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (1998-2002), with oversight of over 70 graduate programs, and then as provost, the university's chief academic and administrative officer.

As provost, she advanced Yale's major initiatives in science, medicine and engineering, including a $500-million investment in new and renovated facilities for the sciences. She encouraged collaborative work throughout the university, bringing the humanities and the arts into new relationships and encouraging interactions between the humanities, social sciences and the sciences.

Dr. Hockfield's research has focused on the development of the brain and on glioma, a deadly kind of brain cancer. She pioneered the use of monoclonal antibody technology in brain research, leading to her discovery of a protein that regulates changes in neuronal structure as a result of an animal's experience in early life. More recently she discovered a gene and its family of protein products that play a critical role in the spread of cancer in the brain and may represent new therapeutic targets for glioma.
(back to top)

Joe Gavin

Joseph G. Gavin earned SB and SM degrees in aeronautical engineering from MIT in 1941 and 1942, respectively. After military service during the war, he joined Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp. where he worked for 39 years, including ten years as Director of the Lunar Module Program for Apollo. He retired from Grumman in 1985 after nine years as President and COO. In 1971 he received the NASA Distinguished Public Medal and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1974. He is a life member of the MIT Corporation and lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with his wife Dorothy.
(back to top)

Sudhakar Kesavan

Sudhakar Kesavan serves as the Chairman and CEO of ICF International. He joined ICF in 1983 as an associate. In 1997, he was named President of the ICF Consulting Group when it was a subsidiary of ICF Kaiser. In 1999, the Group was divested from Kaiser through a joint effort of the management and CM Equity Partners, and ICF International was launched as an independent company.  In 2006, Mr. Kesavan successfully led the initial public offering of ICF International (NASDAQ:ICFI).

Mr. Kesavan received his Master of Science degree from the Technology and Policy Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, his postgraduate diploma in management from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and his Bachelor of Technology degree (chemical engineering) from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. Mr. Kesavan serves on the Board of the Rainforest Alliance, a New York based nonprofit environmental organization committed to protecting ecosystems by transforming land-use practices, business practices, and consumer behavior.
(back to top) 

Adam Jaffe

Adam B. Jaffe is Dean of Arts and Sciences and Fred C. Hecht Professor in Economics at Brandeis University, and a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).  Since coming to Brandeis in 1994, he has been Chair of the Economics Department, and Chair of the Intellectual Property Policy Committee.  He was previously Assistant and Associate Professor at Harvard University, and Senior Staff Economist at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.  Prof. Jaffe’s research focuses on the economics of innovation, with particular interest in the patent system, the interaction of public and private research, the geography of innovation, and technological change as it affects environmental policy.  His book Innovation and Its Discontents: How Our Broken Patent System is Endangering Innovation and Progress, and What to do About It (co-authored with Josh Lerner) was published by Princeton University Press in November 2004.  The book was named one of the best books of 2004 in Economics and Business by The Economist magazine, and the journal Managing Intellectual Property listed Jaffe and Lerner among the 50 most important figures worldwide in intellectual property in 2005.  Jaffe’s 2002 book with Manuel Trajtenberg, Patents, Citations and Innovations:  a Window on the Knowledge Economy is a major research summary and data resource on the structure of flows of technological knowledge across time, space and institutional environments.  Together with Lerner and Scott Stern, Dean Jaffe coordinates the NBER Innovation Policy and the Economy Group.  He earned his PhD in Economics at Harvard, and an S.M. in Technology and Policy and an S.B. in Chemistry from M.I.T.
(back to top)

Susan Pickett

Susan has worked at the intersection of technology and policy in industry and the public sector.  She is committed to improving the understanding of technologies and their applications, particularly as they pertain to nonproliferation.

Susan is currently the Director of International Business Development for Ludlum Measurements, Inc., where she is responsible for opening their new international office in Tokyo, Japan.  Prior to her work at Ludlum, Susan worked as a Project Leader in the Nonproliferation Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where she managed the lab’s International Nuclear Safeguards and Engagement Program, a collaborative effort between the Department of Energy National Laboratories and 14 countries to enhance the safeguarding of nuclear material and promote peaceful uses of nuclear energy.   

She received her doctorate from the University of Tokyo, focusing on nuclear technology and decision making.  During that time, she co-founded Peace Pledge Japan, with Dr. Tatsujiro Suzuki, to encourage scientists to make an individual pledge not to work on furthering development or deployment of nuclear weapons. 

Susan received her BS in Electrical Engineering from Boston University in 1993 and her MS in both Nuclear Engineering and Technology and Policy from MIT in 1997. 
(back to top)

Leadership Lunches - Fall 2005

Mr. Partha Ghosh, Sept. 26
Pres. Lawrence Bacow, Tufts University, Oct. 3
MIT Chancellor Phillip Clay, Nov. 21

Partha Ghosh

Partha S. Ghosh, based in Boston, is a renowned strategist and an innovator of Business and Economic models. He is currently in an advisory role with multiple firms and governments world wide. Earlier Mr. Ghosh was a partner at McKinsey & Company and founder/Managing director of Strategy/Policy advisory firm Partha S Ghosh & Associates. In his twenty-eight years as a true global citizen and a professional consultant to leaderships of prestigious organizations, corporates and governments, he has been involved in a broad spectrum of engagements, primarily focusing on strategic and policy issues in technology based industries. His work has included global strategy development, innovation and change management, and re-structuring / re-engineering of major companies. More recently he has been helping major companies renew their business models based on information technology/e-commerce and the evolving network/knowledge economies including distributed power generation. He has also served heads of state in more than half a dozen countries on strategic and policy issues related to deregulation of industries, privatization, globalization, and socio-economic advancement.

In various leadership forums, he has chaired committees focused on state-of-the-art issues related to management and governance. On specific courses /projects he has been active at MIT and Harvard University on strategic management and policy design. His clients view him as a "creative problem solver" and a "visionary leader." Several CEOs who have worked with him view him as a leader who "inspires leaders to build lasting legacies" He is also Chairman of Intersoft KK a Business Intelligence firm Head Quartered in Tokyo, Japan, and Chairman of the Board Advisors of Access International Partners, an Advisory firm focused on cross border M & A &Strategic Alliances.

Mr. Ghosh began his professional career in 1971 at Union Carbide with Eveready India, Ltd. in Calcutta, India. Mr. Ghosh has two advanced degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge where he studied from 1975 to 1977. He holds Master's Degrees in (i) Chemical Engineering with emphasis on New Energy Systems & Biotechnologies, and (ii) Business Administration with concentrations in Finance, Information Technology, and International Business. He was A Rotary Foundation Fellow. He obtained his honors, Bachelor of Technology and ranked first in Chemical Engineering, at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Kharagpur, India in 1971. He won the Institute Medal as the number one graduating student.

Mr. Ghosh is married with two children. Besides traveling with his family or for business, Mr. Ghosh is an avid public speaker and enjoys jogging, bicycle riding, driving, and community service or social work. Mr. Ghosh cherishes the opportunities of community and philanthropic work, especially to identify ways to use his experience and knowledge, to those who seek to better their lives in both developing and developed regions of the world. Recently he has founded The Boston Pledge a non profit organization to stimulate bottom entrepreneurship and economic development, and to develop environment friendly technologies.

For more information on Mr. Partha Ghosh visit www.parthaghosh.com
(back to top)

Pres. Lawrence Bacow, Tufts University

Lawrence S. Bacow became the twelfth President of Tufts University on September 1, 2001. A lawyer and economist whose research focuses on environmental policy, he holds faculty appointments in five departments at Tufts: Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning; Economics; Civil and Environmental Engineering; Public Health and Family Medicine in the Medical School; and in the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Since coming to Tufts, President Bacow established the Task Force on the Undergraduate Experience to explore the potential of Tufts' undergraduate academic, residential and co-curricular offerings. Numerous task force recommendations have been implemented, highlighted by the current construction of Sophia Gordon Hall to expand on-campus housing for Tufts students. President Bacow oversaw the 10-year reaccreditation of Tufts by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. He streamlined the administration in Arts, Sciences & Engineering to increase resources for faculty and appointed the Council on Graduate Education to strengthen graduate programs university wide. He launched a plan to expand the basic sciences at the School of Medicine and successfully worked with hospital officials to restore the university's name to Tufts-New England Medical Center. On the Medford/Somerville campus, he has led a thoughtful master planning process to preserve the sense of place that makes the campus special while also identifying new space for teaching, research, office, student, residential and other uses. Construction of a new music building is underway, and preliminary planning has begun for a new laboratory building for biology and engineering. President Bacow has strengthened relations between Tufts and its host communities, initiating activities such as Community Day on the Medford/Somerville campus and an annual symposium on active citizenship and community partnerships. He has emphasized increased collaboration among Tufts' eight schools and generated creativity and enthusiasm for interdisciplinary study. Under President Bacow's leadership, Tufts has enjoyed its three most successful years of fundraising as well as research support.

For more information on Pres. Lawrence Bacow visit www.tufts.edu/president/bio/lawrence/
(back to top)

MIT Chancellor Phillip L. Clay

Phillip L. Clay is the Chancellor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Professor of City Planning. The Chancellor and the Provost are the Institute’s two most senior academic officers. As Chancellor, Professor Clay has oversight responsibility for graduate and undergraduate education at MIT, student life, and student services. Professor Clay chairs the MIT Council on the Environment and serves on the board of the Cambridge-MIT Institute.

A member of the MIT faculty since 1975, Professor Clay served as Associate Provost in the Office of the Provost from 1994 to 2001. He was Head of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning from 1992 to 1994 and its Associate Department Head during 1990 to 1992. From 1980 to 1984, Professor Clay served as Assistant Director of the Joint Center for Urban Studies of MIT and Harvard.

Professor Clay is widely known for his work in U.S. housing policy and community-based development and has been involved in several studies that received national attention. For example, in a 1987 study commissioned by the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp., he identified the market and institutional conditions contributing to the erosion of low-income rental housing and documented the need for a national preservation policy. He later served on the national commission that recommended the policy that became part of the Housing Act of 1990. His research and writing continue to explore U.S. housing and urban policy.

For more information on Chancellor Pillip L. Clay visit http://web.mit.edu/chancellor/biography.html
(back to top)



Leadership Lunches - Fall 2004

Sheila Widnall
Hon. Robert Walker
MIT Pres. Chuck Vest

video interviews of Chuck Vest

Sheila Widnall
Institute Professor
Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems

Dr. Widnall received her Sc.D. from MIT.
She has served as Associate Provost, MIT, and as Secretary of the Air Force. As Secretary of the Air Force, Dr. Widnall was responsible for all affairs of the Department of the Air Force including recruiting, organizing, training, administration, logistical support, maintenance, and welfare of personnel. During this time, the Air Force issued its long range vision statement: Global Engagement: A Vision for the 21st Century Air Force, which defined the path from the air and space force of today to the space and air force of the next century. Dr. Widnall was also responsible for research and development and other activities prescribed by the President or the Secretary of Defense. She co-chaired the Department of Defense Task Force on Sexual Harassment and Discrimination. She later stepped down to resume teaching.

Since returning to MIT, she has been active in the Lean Aerospace Initiative, with special emphasis on the space and policy focus teams. Her research activities in fluid dynamics have included the following: boundary layer stability, unsteady hydrodynamic loads on fully wetted and supercavitating hydrofoils of finite span, unsteady lifting-surface theory, unsteady air forces on oscillating cylinders in subsonic and supersonic flow, unsteady leading-edge vortex separation from slender delta wings, tip-vortex aerodynamics, helicopter noise, aerodynamics of high-speed ground transportation vehicles, vortex stability, aircraft-wake studies, turbulence, and transition. Her teaching activities have included undergraduate dynamics and aerodynamics, graduate level aerodynamics of wings and bodies, aeroelasticity, acoustics and aerodynamic noise, and aerospace vehicle vibration. She was a member of the Columbia accident investigation board and she was inducted into the Women's Hall of Fame in 2003.
(back to top)

Hon. Robert Walker
Congressman Robert S. Walker retired from the U.S. House of Representatives after serving Pennsylvania’s 16th District for twenty years. During that service he became Chairman of the Science Committee, Chief Deputy Republican Whip, Chairman of the Republican leadership and Speaker Pro Tempore. Because of his role as GOP floor manager for much of his career, the prestigious insider publication, The National Journal, said of him, “Indeed as much as anyone, he is the father of the revolution that led to the Republican victory in 1994.

As Chairman of Wexler & Walker, the former Congressman has been cited as one of Washington’s top lobbyists by The Hill newspaper; as a “superstar lobbyist” by Financial Wire; is regularly called upon to testify on Capitol Hill; is a Bush Administration confidante having been asked to serve as Chairman of the Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry, as a member of the President’s Commission on the United States Postal Service and as a member of the Presidential Commission on the Implementation of the United States Space Exploration Policy; was appointed to the Aviation and Space Engineering Board of the National Research Council; is a familiar participant on CNN’s “Crossfire” and Fox News; is a lecturer at the Brookings Institution, the Georgetown University Government Affairs Institute and the Kennedy School at Harvard University; is a commentator and resource for CNBC, PBS, Fox News and several major national newspapers; and is a writer of books and articles. All of this activity gives Wexler & Walker clients unparalleled insight into public policy formulation and decision-making.

From President Bush’s hydrogen initiative to the complexities of postal reform, Mr. Walker has played a key role in development and implementation of major public strategies. He is seen as an expert in science, space, technology and energy issues and a master of legislative tactics and procedure.

In 1996, Mr. Walker was the first sitting House Member to be awarded NASA’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal, and in 2004, was presented NASA’s Distinguished Public Service Medal. He continues his involvement in space policy as a board member of the Aerospace Corporation, SpaceDev, and as Vice Chairman of the Space Foundation. In naming Walker as one of the 100 most prominent space leaders of the last 15 years, Space News called him, “one of Washington’s most influential lobbyists” whose “stature and influence have only grown since leaving Congress.”

In addition, he is a member of the advisory boards of IMAX Corporation, InnerLink and the Nanotechnology Policy Foundation. Beginning in 2002 through the 2004-05 celebration, Walker co-chaired along with his wife, Sue, Millersville University’s 150th Anniversary celebration.

Prior to his election to Congress in 1976, Mr. Walker was a high school teacher and a congressional aide. He holds a B.S. in Education from Millersville University in Pennsylvania, an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Delaware, and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Franklin and Marshall College. He and his wife maintain homes in East Petersburg, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC.
(back to top)

MIT Pres. Chuck Vest
(Vest presentation)

Charles M. Vest has been president of MIT since 1990. During this time he has placed special emphasis on enhancing undergraduate education, exploring new organizational forms to meet emerging directions in research and education, building a stronger international dimension into education and research programs, developing stronger relations with industry, and enhancing racial and cultural diversity at MIT. He also has devoted considerable energy to bringing issues concerning education and research to broader public attention and to strengthening national policy on science, engineering and education.

In this latter capacity, Vest chaired the President's Advisory Committee on the Redesign of the Space Station and has served as a member of the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), the Massachusetts Governor's Council on Economic Growth and Technology, and the National Research Council Board on Engineering Education. He chairs the U.S. Department of Energy Task Force on the Future of Science Programs and is vice chair of the Council on Competitiveness and immediate past chair of the Association of American Universities (AAU). He sits on the board of directors of both IBM and E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. In February 2004, he was asked by President Bush to serve as a member of the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Vest was born in Morgantown, W.Va., on Sept. 9, 1941. He earned his B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from West Virginia University in 1963 and both his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan in 1964 and 1967, respectively.

As a member of the mechanical engineering faculty at MIT, Vest has research interests in the thermal sciences and the engineering applications of lasers and coherent optics.
(back to top)


Home
Syllabus
Leadership Experience
Leadership Lunches
dgavin@external.umass.edu