Anne Margulies, who has held administrative positions at Harvard and was a chief operating officer in the private sector, has been named the first executive director of the OpenCourseWare initiative, following an extensive search.
The appointment, announced by Provost Robert Brown, ushers in the next phase in OCW development. "Anne Margulies brings to MIT and OCW a wealth of experience in managing information technology initiatives with universities. I look forward to working with her in building OCW," Brown said. Margulies will begin work at MIT May 6.
"OCW is a bold initiative; nothing like this has ever been done before at this scale," said Margulies. "The commitment that MIT has made to OCW--to serve society and expand knowledge in the world--is very exciting. If any institution can succeed with this type of program, MIT can."
With the hiring of an executive director, OpenCourseWare will begin to build the organizational structure and relationships with academic departments that are needed to bring the OCW vision to fruition. Since its inception, OCW has been run by an Interim Management Board, charged with "carrying the initiative forward ... until it has a full-time executive director."
According to Professor Steve Lerman, chair of the OCW Interim Management Board, "The executive director's initial challenges are to build and staff the OCW organization to be efficient enough to scale, and to make the organization responsive to faculty needs by minimizing the effort required to participate. All of us on the Interim Management Board are enthusiastic that Anne Margulies is the person most able to accomplish OCW's ambitious goals."
"We are delighted to have someone of Anne Margulies' caliber take the helm at OCW," said President Charles Vest. "With a strong history of launching new initiatives, information technology leadership and strategic vision, Anne is the ideal person to grow, manage and steer OpenCourseWare into the future."
From 1988 to 1998, Margulies held information technology positions at Harvard University. She served as assistant provost and executive director for Information Systems her last three years there, holding responsibility for all centralized administrative IT activities and for coordinating planning across Harvard's independent schools. This work involved leading 400 people and managing an annual operating budget of $75 million.
Most recently, Margulies was chief operating officer at FH-GPC, a government relations, public affairs and communications consulting firm. She was responsible for the overall performance of the firm, with primary focus on building the business and establishing a significant presence in Washington, D.C. She was appointed by the chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court to the Committee to Review the Trial Court IT Project in Massachusetts.
Members of the OCW Interim Management Board are: Lerman; Professor Marc Kastner, head of the Department of Physics; Vijay Kumar, assistant provost and director of Academic Computing; Ann Wolpert, director of MIT Libraries; and Dick Yue, associate dean of engineering.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 24, 2002.