Anne Street, the new president of the MIT Alumni Association, is bringing her management experience to her top priority: orchestrating a strategic plan during her year in office. “Since we haven’t had a strategic plan in 15 years, I am hoping that will bring the Alumni Association into a more contemporary focus,” says Street, who was scheduled to take office July 1. “The alumni population and demographics are changing–more women, grad-only, and international alumni. We need to be inclusive of our total alumni base, and looking at the services we offer will help us better serve our constituencies.”
Street’s professional background has certainly prepared her for the task. She earned MIT degrees in metallurgy and materials science and then in ocean engineering, aiming to design submarines. However, she got a firm no from the navy. “Women and submarines don’t match,” she was told. So instead, she spent a decade in the oil business, designing pipelines, pipe-lay barges, and offshore platforms; then she held executive positions with several companies that provide scientific and engineering research for the federal government. Now she heads her own firm, Riverside Consulting Group. She is a trustee of the Aerospace Corporation and has served on boards and committees of the National Research Council and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Supporting MIT has long been a priority, in part because she appreciates what MIT has done for her: in the ’70s, when few women were engineers, her MIT degrees gave her immediate credibility. Through the years, she’s served on the Corporation Development Committee and several Corporation visiting committees, led her home MIT club in Washington, DC, and acted as a class officer.
In the past decade, she has focused on supporting arts projects, such as renovating the MIT Museum façade in 2002. “All my hobbies are artistic–I blow glass and design jewelry,” she says. “I’ve always felt that students should have arts as an option so they can come out of MIT as well-rounded as they now come in. Students now can do anything.”