Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT Corporation elects nine term members, three life members

The MIT Corporation — the Institute’s board of trustees — has elected nine full-term members, who will each serve for five years; and three life members. Corporation Chair Diane Greene SM ’78 announced the election results; all positions are effective July 1.

The nine full-term members are: Noubar Afeyan PhD ’87; Rafael del Pino SM ’86; José Antonio Fernández Carbajal; Danielle A. Geathers ‘22; William A. Gilchrist ’77, MArch ’82, SM ’82; Darryll J. Pines SM ’88, PhD ’92; Annalisa L. Weigel ’94, ’95, SM ’00, PhD ’02; Elaine H. Wong ’97; and Songyee Yoon PhD ’00. The three life members are: Leslye Miller Fraser ’78, SM ’80; Fariborz Maseeh ScD ’90; and Neil Rasmussen ’76, SM ’80.

Stephen D. Baker ’84, MArch ’88, the 2022-2023 president of the Association of Alumni and Alumnae of MIT, will also join the Corporation as an ex officio member effective July 1. He succeeds Annalisa L. Weigel ’94, ’95, SM ’00, PhD ’02.

As of July 1, the Corporation will consist of 76 distinguished leaders in education, science, engineering, and industry. Of those, 25 are life members and eight are ex officio. An additional 33 individuals are life members emeritus.

The nine new full-term members are:

Noubar Afeyan, founder and CEO, Flagship Pioneering

Afeyan earned his PhD in biochemical engineering at MIT in 1987. He has written numerous scientific publications and is the inventor of over 100 patents. He was a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management from 2000 to 2016, and a lecturer at Harvard Business School until 2020. During his 35-year career as an inventor, entrepreneur, and CEO, Noubar has co-founded and developed over 70 life science and technology startups. He is founder and CEO of Flagship Pioneering, a company that advances groundbreaking science to invent and build first-in-category bioplatform companies to transform human health and sustainability. Founded in 2000, Flagship has applied its hypothesis-driven innovation process to originate and foster more than 100 scientific ventures, resulting in more than $140 billion in aggregate value, thousands of patents and patent applications, and more than 50 drugs in clinical development. He is also co-founder and chair of the board of Moderna, the pioneering company of mRNA medicines which developed and supplied novel vaccine technology to address the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Rafael del Pino, executive chair, Ferrovial

Del Pino completed his academic education as a civil engineer at the Polytechnic University of Madrid and holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Since 2000, he has been executive chair of Ferrovial, a company founded by his father in 1952. In 1992, he was named CEO, and from 1998 to 2009 he was chair of Cintra. In the academic field, del Pino maintains an active role as a member of the MIT Energy Initiative’s External Advisory Board and the MIT Sloan European Advisory Board. He is also a member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Engineering. Additionally, he serves as trustee of the Rafael del Pino Foundation, the Princess of Girona Foundation, the Caminos Foundation (CICCP), and the Spain-U.S. Council Foundation.

José Antonio Fernández Carbajal, executive chair, FEMSA and Coca-Cola FEMSA

Fernández holds a degree in industrial engineering and an MBA from Tec de Monterrey. He began his career, in 1988, at FEMSA serving various positions in its different businesses, including CEO of OXXO and commercial vice president of Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma. He was appointed CEO of FEMSA in 1995 and chair of the board in 2001, serving both positions until January 2014. Currently, he is executive chair of FEMSA and Coca-Cola FEMSA. In 2010, he joined the board of directors of Heineken Holding NV and has been vice chair of Heineken’s NV since then. Currently, he is also a board member of Industrias Peñoles and a member of the Board of Global Advisors of the Council for Foreign Relations. Fernández is currently serving his second term as chair of the board of Tec de Monterrey. He co-founded the Lideres del Mañana program and has been professor at the institution for more than 30 years.

Danielle A. Geathers, Class of 2022

Geathers is a recent graduate at MIT majoring in mechanical engineering with a concentration in product development. She made history as the first Black woman elected as president of MIT’s Undergraduate Association as well as the first person to serve two consecutive terms as president with the same vice president. She advocated for the Institute to acknowledge Indigenous student concerns by adopting Indigenous Peoples Day as an Institute Holiday. Geathers’ tenure began in the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic soon after the students had been sent home to complete their semesters online. She demonstrated her readiness for leadership in the early stages of the pandemic by impaneling an ad-hoc committee to handle the myriad of new challenges. She has represented MIT as a speaker relative to her experience and research in the “MIT and Slavery” class at Cooper Union and to the Alumni Association. She is also well-versed in Black history at MIT, as she has done independent studies on Black student activism in the 1960s and the history of Black women’s recruitment at MIT.

William A. Gilchrist, director of planning and building, City of Oakland, California

Gilchrist earned three degrees from MIT: a bachelor of science in art and design in 1977, a master of architecture in 1982, and master of science from the Sloan School of Management in 1982. He is also an alumnus of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Gilchrist is currently the director of planning and building for the City of Oakland, charting a career path that has spanned both public and private sectors. In his previous roles in the public sector as director of place-based planning in New Orleans, and director of the Department of Planning, Engineering and Permits in Birmingham, Alabama, his work was recognized by the Urban Land Institute, the American Institute of Architects, the National League of Cities, the American Planning Association, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He has been national spokesperson on urban design issues to media outlets, such as National Public Radio and the PBS News Hour.

Darryll J. Pines, president, University of Maryland

Pines received a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley in 1986, and an MS and PhD in mechanical engineering from MIT in 1988 and 1992, respectively. He currently serves as president of the University of Maryland as well as the Glenn L. Martin Professor of Aerospace Engineering. Formerly the Nariman Farvardin Professor of Engineering and dean of UMD’s A. James Clark School of Engineering, where he has been on the faculty since 1995. Pines amassed a record of academic leadership and research accomplishments that have dramatically elevated the school’s rankings and stature nationally and internationally. As dean for 11 years, Pines instituted sweeping changes to improve the student experience while making diversity a hallmark of his tenure as dean. While he was a co-principal investigator, UMD became a National Science Foundation ADVANCE grant recipient to further develop a culture of inclusive excellence. In 2019, Pines was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for his “inspirational leadership and contributions to engineering education.”

Annalisa Weigel, senior director, Fairmont Consulting Group

Weigel earned a BS in aeronautics and astronautics in 1994, a BS in science, technology, and society in 1995, an MS in aeronautics and astronautics in 2000, and a PhD in technology, management, and policy in 2002 from MIT. She also earned an MA in International Affairs in 1998 from George Washington University. Weigel is a senior director with Fairmont Consulting Group, joining the firm in 2012. She provides counsel to CEOs, leadership teams, boards, and investors on growth strategy and transactions in the aerospace, defense, and government services sectors. Previously, she was on the faculty at MIT with a dual appointment in aeronautics and astronautics and in engineering systems, where she spent eight years researching and teaching in system design, continuous process improvement, and engineering innovation. Prior to MIT, she worked in equity research at a Wall Street investment bank and as an engineer for a defense contractor.

Elaine H. Wong, co-founder and partner, H+ Partners

Wong graduated from MIT in 1997 with a BS in chemical engineering and a minor in economics. She subsequently received an MBA in 2003 from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Wong has over 20 years of private equity experience and has helped build, fund, and take companies public in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Frankfurt, London, and New York. She is currently a co-founder and a partner of H+ Partners, a private equity fund dedicated to investing in and building companies that accelerate decarbonization, with a particular emphasis on the hydrogen ecosystem; it was established in 2021 in Hong Kong. Prior to that, in 2006 she co-founded HAO Capital, a Beijing-based China growth equity fund that invested in companies in the health care, fintech, and cleantech sectors.

Songyee Yoon, president and chief strategy officer, NCSOFT

Yoon graduated from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and holds a PhD from MIT in computational neuroscience based on her research at the MIT Media Lab. She is currently president and chief strategy officer of NCSOFT, a global leading video game developer and publisher based in South Korea. She was instrumental in founding the NCSOFT AI Center and Natural Language Processing Center, created to help further the company’s use of AI and machine learning technology. Yoon is a founder and managing partner of Chamaeleon, a quant-based venture capital fund investing in entertainment tech, deep tech, and Web 3.0 companies. Yoon is currently a member of the Advisory Council of Human-Centered AI at Stanford University, an advisory board member of the Center for Asia Pacific Policy, and a visiting fellow at the Center to Advance Racial Equity Policy at RAND, where she continues to explore social impacts of AI, and equity and ethical sides of technology. She is also a chair of the NC Cultural Foundation and ESG Steering Committee.

The three life members are:

Leslye Miller Fraser, former environmental appeals judge, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Fraser earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from MIT and her JD from the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law in 1992. Fraser is a retired environmental appeals judge for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Upon graduating from MIT, she worked for nine years as a research engineer and manager at TRW, an aerospace company, before attending law school. She practiced labor and environmental law at Gibson Dunn for two years, then joined the EPA in 1995 as a staff attorney. In 2001, she was promoted into the Senior Executive Service (SES), which comprises the key positions just below the top presidential appointees, as the associate director for regulations at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Fraser’s subsequent SES appointments were to the positions of director of the Office of Regulations, Policy and Social Sciences at FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition; associate general counsel for pesticides and toxic substances in the EPA’s Office of General Counsel; and environmental appeals judge on the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board, where she was the first person of color in this position.

Fariborz Maseeh, president, the Massiah Foundation

Maseeh earned his BS in engineering and a master’s degree in applied mathematics from Portland State University, a master’s in engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and a PhD in engineering from MIT. He currently manages several investment funds and operating companies including hedge funds, real estate funds, and entertainment operations. He also is the founder and president of The Massiah Foundation, a charitable organization that invests in transformational situations for broad public benefit. Fariborz has started several investment funds with a focus on algorithmic option trading, market neutral consumer, and real estate long duration assets. He founded IntelliSense in 1991 with the vision of reducing the time and expense of creating next-generation micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) devices. Under his leadership, IntelliSense successfully created the first custom design, development, and manufacturing MEMS operation. Fariborz has scientific publications in business strategy, fabrication technologies, and design of software for MEMS, and has authored a number of patents and trademarks.

Neil E. Rasmussen, former senior vice president of innovation, Schneider Electric

Rasmussen worked at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory from 1979 to 1981, where he and two other staff members spun-off a startup company, American Power Conversion (APC). Over the next 26 years as CTO and director, Rasmussen helped APC grow from zero to $3 billion in revenue, and the company was frequently recognized as one of America’s hottest growth companies and became listed in the S&P 500. Rasmussen holds 30 patents and has published over 60 papers related to power and cooling systems, many with a focus on the improvement of energy efficiency. After APC was acquired for $6.1 billion in 2007, he took on the role of senior vice president of innovation within the new parent company, Schneider Electric. In 2015, Rasmussen stepped down from Schneider to focus on nonprofit work including managing the Neil and Anna Rasmussen Foundation.