Former MIT President Susan J. Hockfield will be the Harvard Kennedy School’s (HKS) Marie Curie Visiting Professor this academic year, the school’s Dean, David T. Ellwood, announced on Friday. Ellwood and other members of the HKS faculty had several discussions with Hockfield, after which she was nominated and approved by tenured faculty. She will be affiliated with the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and will continue to serve as a professor of neuroscience at MIT.
“Her expertise in science and technology and more broadly in science and technology policy will add considerably to the research and outreach of the Belfer Center, which focuses on the intersection of science, technology, and international affairs,” wrote Ellwood in an email to The Tech. “While at HKS, Professor Hockfield 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.”
“She has expressed serious interest in how scientists and technologists can have greater impact on policy,” wrote the Belfer Center’s director, Graham Allison, in an email to The Tech. “That is a central question for the Center for Science and International Affairs, so we look forward to collaboration with her and others.”
Hockfield derives her relevant experience from advocating using research universities to promote innovation and economic growth during her presidency at MIT. In September 2006, MIT launched its Energy Initiative (MITEI) to improve energy systems to meet future needs, In June 2011, Hockfield was asked by President Barack Obama to co-chair the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership’s steering committee.
Although Hockfield will not teach any classes, Harvard students will be able to interact with her through Belfer Center and HKS events and other activities, according to Ellwood.
“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,” said Hockfield in a statement.
Although the visiting professor appointment is only for one year, Allison wrote, “If she wanted to stay longer at Belfer, we would love to have her.”
“I have long admired Susan Hockfield’s passion and dedication as a research scientist, university leader, and national policy advocate,” wrote Ellwood. “Hers is a track record of remarkable distinction, and we are thrilled to welcome President Hockfield to the Kennedy School.”