Corporation elects new members

Nine term members will serve for five years on MIT’s board of trustees.


The MIT Corporation — the Institute's board of trustees — elected nine term members at its quarterly meeting on Friday, June 3, prior to the Commencement exercises. The election results were announced by Corporation Chair John S. Reed.

Term members serve for five years. Two of the nine members chosen this year, Megan J. Smith ’86 and Henri A. Termeer, were re-elected to a second term. All memberships are effective July 1.

It was also announced at the meeting that R. Gregory Turner ’74 has been named the 2011-12 president of the Association of Alumni and Alumnae of MIT. As such, he becomes an ex officio member of the Corporation. He succeeds K. Anne Street ’69, SM ’72, who will return to the Corporation for a five-year term.

Life members serve without a specific term until they turn 75 years old, and term members serve five-year terms; both have voting rights in the Corporation. Alumni/ae nominees and representatives of recent graduating classes also serve five-year terms.

At age 75, life members become life members emeritus; while they no longer have a vote, they continue to play an active role in Institute affairs.

As of July 1, the Corporation will consist of 73 distinguished leaders in education, science, engineering and industry; of those, 23 are life members and 8 are ex officio. An additional 32 individuals are life members emeritus.

The elected term members are:

Eve J. Higginbotham ’75 (Alumni/ae Association nominee)
Senior Vice President and Executive Dean for Health Sciences, Howard University
Eve Higginbotham, an ophthalmologist, received her SM in chemical engineering from MIT in 1975 and her medical degree from Harvard in 1979. Prior to her post at Howard, she held notable leadership positions at various institutions, including the University of Michigan, the Morehouse School of Medicine, the Emory Eye Center and the University of Maryland, where became the first woman to head a university-based ophthalmology department in the United States. She has won several awards, among them the YWCA Women of Achievement Award and 100 Black Men Trailblazer Award, and has authored four ophthalmology textbooks. At MIT, she currently serves on the 35th-year Reunion Committee.

Charlene C. Kabcenell ’79
Retired Vice President, Oracle Corporation
Charlene Kabcenell was born in Hawaii and grew up primarily in a small sugar-plantation town.  She attended MIT thanks to generous financial aid and studied computer science and engineering. She began her career as a software developer at Xerox Corporation before joining Oracle Corporation as a group product manager, where she retired as a vice president of software development in 1997. Kabcenell now devotes her time to a wide range of charitable and volunteer activities. She has served on two Corporation Visiting Committees (Dean for Student Life and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) as well as the Alumni Fund Board. She currently serves on the Corporation Development Committee and the Committee on Alumni Nominations to Corporation Visiting Committees.

Barry Lam
Founder and Chairman, Quanta Computers, Inc., Taiwan
Barry Lam was born in Shanghai and raised in Hong Kong. He studied electrical engineering at National Taiwan University. His first venture was Kinpo, a manufacturer of handheld calculators. Convinced that notebook computers would be the next big product, Lam co-founded Quanta Computer in 1988 and established the Quanta Research and Development Center in Taiwan. The center collaborates with major institutions — including MIT — to produce next-generation products. Lam was twice chosen by Business Week as one of 50 "Stars of Asia," and was highlighted in the magazine’s top 25 managers of 2002. He is currently serving on two Corporation Visiting Committees: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Materials Science and Engineering.

Leonard H. Schrank ’68 (Alumni/ae Association nominee)
Former CEO, Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), Belgium
Leonard Schrank received a master’s in computer sciences in 1970 from the University of Wisconsin. His first software company, founded with four MIT partners and focusing on econometric analysis and financial planning, was acquired by a division of Chase Manhattan Bank. In 1992, he became CEO of SWIFT, the bank-owned financial network based in Brussels. After the Sept. 11 attacks, Schrank was responsible for providing financial data for terrorism investigations to the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Schrank retired from SWIFT in 2007 as its longest-serving CEO. He is currently the president of the MIT Club of Belgium and an MIT Educational Counselor.

Megan J. Smith ’86, SM ’88 (second 5-year term)
Vice President, New Business Development, Google Inc.
Megan Smith studied mechanical engineering at MIT. She started her career at Apple Computer Japan and General Magic, Inc. before serving as the CEO of PlanetOut, a company that provides interactive services to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered consumers and their communities. She joined Google in June 2003 as director of new business development and strategy, where she team-led recent acquisitions including Keyhole (now Google Earth), Picasa and Where2Tech (now GoogleMaps). Smith was a recent classes member of the Corporation from 1988-93 and has been a term member since 2006. She has served on seven visiting committees as well as the Screening Committee.

K. Anne Street ’69, SM ’72 (Alumni/ae Association nominee)
President and CEO, Riverside Consulting Group, Inc.
Anne Street received an SM in ocean engineering from MIT in 1972 and began her career as the first woman industrial liaison officer at MIT. She then became a project engineer in the offshore oil business for several years before transferring to sales in Washington, D.C. She served as president of Geo-Centers, a company that provides research and engineering services, primarily to the U.S. Department of Defense. Since leaving Geo-Centers, she has started her own consulting firm for corporations and universities pursuing work with the federal government, particularly in the areas of defense, energy, major science facilities and intelligence. She returns to the Corporation as a term member after serving ex officio as president of the Alumni Association. Other past and present MIT activities include three visiting committees, the Corporation Development Committee, the Corporation Joint Advisory Committee on Institute-wide Affairs, the Council for Arts and the MIT Museum board.

Henri A. Termeer (second 5-year term)
Former Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, Genzyme Corporation
Henri Termeer was born in the Netherlands where he studied economics at Erasmus University, and later earned an MBA from the University of Virginia. He has been at the Genzyme Corporation since 1983. Under his leadership, Genzyme has grown to one of the world's leading biotechnology companies. Acknowledged for his contributions to biotechnology and health care, Termeer is active in the areas of humanitarian assistance, policy and innovation in providing access to health care. He serves on the board of directors of several industry groups, hospitals, medical schools and nonprofits. He has been a term member of the Corporation since 2006 and has served on three visiting committees. He has also served on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Sloan School of Management.

R. Gregory Turner ’74, SM ’77
President, Turner Duran Architects
R. Gregory Turner earned his SM in architecture from MIT in 1977 and recently furthered his education with an MBA from the University of Houston in 1997. Turner began his career in architecture with I.M. Pei & Partners and then worked in Philip Johnson’s office, both in New York. With Johnson, he spent several years designing and detailing the groundbreaking AT&T Corporate Headquarters Tower in New York. In 1984, Turner began his own firm in Houston, which now handles mid-size projects for educational, religious, nonprofit and corporate clientele. He has been active in the Alumni Association since 1992 and is serving as its current Board of Directors president-elect. He is also a member of the Corporation Development Committee, and formerly directed the MIT clubs of South Texas and New York.

Alia Whitney-Johnson ’09 (recent classes nominee)
Executive Director, Emerge Global; Rhodes Scholar
Alia Whitney-Johnson studied civil and environmental engineering at MIT. Currently, she is finishing an MPhil in development studies at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. She will then join 13 young leaders from around the world as a Sauvé Scholar in Montreal, where she will work full time on Emerge Global, a nonprofit she founded while she was a student at MIT. Emerge Global – recognized as Boston’s Small Charity of the Year in 2010 — seeks to empower teenage girls in Sri Lanka who have survived sexual abuse by teaching them jewelry-making skills, then assisting them in selling their jewelry both locally and in the United States. Whitney-Johnson was elected as a Recent Classes Member of the Corporation. At MIT, she served on the Hurricane Katrina Relief Initiative, Women’s Independent Living Group and Committee on Campus Race Relations.


Topics: Commencement, MIT Administration, MIT Corporation

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