Anantha Chandrakasan is MIT’s first chief innovation and strategy officer

Chandrakasan is currently dean of MIT’s School of Engineering

Anantha Chandrakasan named MIT’s inaugural chief innovation and strategy officer / Image: MIT

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has named Anantha Chandrakasan as its first chief innovation and strategy officer.

Chandrakasan, who is currently the dean of MIT’s School of Engineering and the Vannevar Bush professor of electrical engineering and computer science, will continue to hold the position with the new role, as per an MIT statement.

In his new role, Chandrakasan will work closely with MIT president Sally Kornbluth, key stakeholders across MIT, as well as external partners, to launch initiatives and new collaborations in support of strategic priorities.

“He will help develop and implement plans to advance research, education, and innovation in areas that President Kornbluth has identified as her top priorities  such as climate change and sustainability, artificial intelligence, and the life sciences,” MIT’s statement read.

“I was immediately impressed by Anantha’s can-do attitude and his clear interest in working with us to develop and advance our priorities for the Institute,” Kornbluth said.

Describing Chandrakasan as a person filled with energy, creativity, and enthusiasm, she added, “Combined with his strategic insight, deep knowledge across many subject areas, and terrific record in raising funds for important ideas, Anantha is uniquely suited to serve MIT in this new role, and I’m delighted he has agreed to take it on.”

Commenting on his appointment, Chandrakasan expressed, “I am thrilled and honored to help advance President Kornbluth’s vision for MIT in this new role.”

“Working closely with faculty, staff, and students across the Institute, I am excited to help shape and launch initiatives that will accelerate research and innovation on some of the world’s most urgent needs. I hope to enable our researchers with the support, resources, and infrastructure they need to maximize the impact of their work,” he added.

In addition to examining ways to advance research, entrepreneurship, and collaborations, Chandrakasan will work with provost Cynthia Barnhart and chancellor Melissa Nobles to advance new educational initiatives. This will include developing new programs and tracks to optimize students’ preparation for a variety of career paths, the statement highlighted.

“In many ways, this role is a natural extension of the significant work Anantha has already been doing to help shape strategic priorities on an Institute level. All of MIT stands to benefit from his extensive experience launching and building new programs and initiatives,” Barnhart said.

In his existing role as dean, Chandrakasan has implemented a variety of interdisciplinary programs, creating new models for how academia and industry can work together to accelerate the pace of research. He played an instrumental role in the 2018 founding of the Schwarzman College of Computing, the most significant structural change to MIT in nearly 70 years.

Chandrakasan has also served in leadership roles on MIT Fast Forward, an institute-wide plan for addressing climate change; as the inaugural chair of the Abdul Latif Jameel Clinic for Machine Learning in Health and as the co-chair of the academic workstream for MIT’s Task Force 2021.

Before becoming dean, he led an Institute-wide working group to guide the development of policies and procedures related to MIT’s 2016 launch of The Engine.

Chandrakasan has also served for six years as head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), MIT’s largest academic department. As department head, he led the development of initiatives that continue to have an impact across MIT.

He earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering and computer sciences from the University of California, Berkeley. He joined the MIT faculty in 1994.









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