Board of Directors

Martin A. Schmidt

Provost, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

In February 2014, Martin Schmidt was appointed Provost of MIT. Beginning in 2008, he served as Associate Provost, managing the Institute’s space and the renovation/renewal budgets. Since January 2012, he also assumed responsibilities for “all things industry” as the senior administrative officer responsible for MIT’s industrial interactions. In this capacity, the Technology Licensing Office and Office of Corporate Relations report to him. Beyond his regular responsibilities, he also co-led the Institute’s Task Force on the Budget in response to the 2008 financial crisis. He has played an active role as MIT’s faculty lead in support of the MIT president’s role as co-chair of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP), a national effort bringing together the federal government, industry, universities, and other stakeholders to identify and invest in emerging technologies with the potential to create high-quality domestic manufacturing jobs and enhance the global competitiveness of the United States.

A member of the MIT faculty since 1988, he has been a faculty member in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, and from 1999 to 2006, he served as the director of the Microsystems Technology Laboratories (MTL) at MIT. MTL is an interdepartmental laboratory that provides shared research infrastructure for all of the campuses’ activities in micro and nanotechnology, and supports the research of approximately 500 students and staff.

His teaching and research is in the areas of micro and nanofabrication of sensors, actuators and electronic devices, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), design of micromechanical sensors and actuators, and micro/ nanofabrication technology. He is the co-author of more than 80 journal publications and 120 peer-reviewed conference proceedings. He is also an inventor on more than 30 issued U.S. patents. More than 25 students have completed their PhD degrees under his supervision.

He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award and has an honorary doctorate from the Technical University of Denmark. He was elected as a fellow of the IEEE in 2004 for contributions to design and fabrication of microelectromechanical systems. He has received the Ruth and Joel Spira Teaching Award and the Eta Kappa Nu Teaching Award at MIT.

In addition to his academic pursuits, he is active in consulting with industry in the commercialization of technology. His research group has transferred a number of new technologies to industry, and he has co-founded or has been the co-inventor of the core technology of six start-up companies.

Professor Schmidt received his BS degree from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1981 and his SM and PhD degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983 and 1988, respectively.

Whitney T. Espich

Chief Executive Officer, MIT Alumni Association

Whitney T. Espich is the chief executive officer of the MIT Alumni Association. In this role, Espich directs the strategic effort to engage MIT’s 136,000-plus alumni with the Institute and with each other—to ensure that the global MIT community continues to make a meaningful impact on the world. Previously, she served as executive director of communications, events, and donor relations in MIT's Resource Development group, where she played a significant role in launching the public phase of the MIT Campaign for a Better World. Before joining MIT, Espich worked in Harvard University’s alumni affairs and development office, first as director of university development communications initiatives and then as senior director of strategic marketing and communications. Earlier in her career, she held positions at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Citigate Cunningham, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation (Monticello), and Mary Baldwin College. Espich holds a BA from Indiana University-Bloomington and master’s degrees from the University of Virginia and the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

Jerome I. Friedman

Institute Professor, Professor of Physics, Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Jerome Friedman was born in Chicago in 1930. He received his A.B., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Chicago in 1950, 1953, and 1956, respectively. After spending a year as a research associate at the University of Chicago, he went on to a three year appointment as a research associate at Stanford University. In 1960, he was hired at MIT as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Professor in 1967. At MIT he has served as Director of the Laboratory for Nuclear Science and Head of the Physics Department. In 1991, he was appointed as Institute Professor. He is an experimental particle physicist whose research has included studies of particle structure and interactions with high energy electrons, neutrinos, and hadrons.

He received, jointly with Henry Kendall and Richard Taylor, the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1990 and the W.H.K. Panofsky Prize in 1989 for the experimental discovery of quarks. He also received the Alumni Medal of the University of Chicago. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

He has been a member of numerous advisory committees for the DOE and various laboratories, including the Cambridge Electron Accelerator, Princeton-Penn Accelerator, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Fermilab, Wilson Laboratory, MIT-Bates Linear Accelerator, the Superconducting Super Collider, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. He also served as Vice-Chairman of the Board of the University Research Association and as a member of the Board of Physics and Astronomy of the National Research Council. He was President of the American Physical Society in 1999 and Chair of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents in 2001. He was also a member of the Scientific Policy Committee of CERN and is currently serving on the Council of the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization of Japan.

Joichi "Joi" Ito

Director, MIT Media Lab

Joichi “Joi” Ito has been recognized for his work as an activist, entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and advocate of emergent democracy, privacy, and Internet freedom. As director of the MIT Media Lab, he is currently exploring how radical new approaches to science and technology can transform society in substantial and positive ways. Soon after coming to MIT, Ito introduced mindfulness meditation training to the Media Lab. Together with The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi, founding director of The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT, Ito is promoting the contribution that awareness and focus can bring to the creativity process.

Ito has served as both board chair and CEO of Creative Commons, and sits on the boards of Sony Corporation, Knight Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The New York Times Company, and The Mozilla Foundation. In Japan, he was a founder of Digital Garage, and helped establish and later became CEO of the country’s first commercial Internet service provider. He was an early investor in numerous companies, including Flickr, Six Apart,, littleBits, Formlabs, Kickstarter, and Twitter.

Ito’s honors include TIME magazine’s “Cyber-Elite” listing in 1997 (at age 31) and selection as one of the “Global Leaders for Tomorrow” by the World Economic Forum (2001). In 2008, BusinessWeek named him one of the “25 Most Influential People on the Web.” In 2011, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oxford Internet Institute. In 2013, he received an honorary D.Litt from The New School in New York City. In 2014, he was inducted into the SXSW Interactive Hall of Fame; also In 2014, he was one of the recipients of the Golden Plate award from the Academy of Achievement.

Israel Ruiz

Executive Vice President and Treasurer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Israel Ruiz is the Executive Vice President (EVP) and Treasurer of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The EVP and Treasurer is the Institute’s chief financial officer and is responsible for leading all of the administrative and financial functions at MIT, and working with the President, the Corporation and members of MIT’s senior leadership team to ensure that MIT’s financial, capital, and operational resources are optimally deployed in a manner that supports the Institute’s academic mission of education and research.

The EVP is the chief steward of over $14.1 billion of MIT’s financial assets, $3.2 billion in operating revenues (2013) and is responsible for administering the Institute’s $1.2 billion capital plan. The EVP is responsible for financial strategy development, operations and capital budget planning, debt issuance, and the integrity of financial information. Other administrative areas of responsibility include human resources, information systems, campus security and safety, sustainability, medical, facilities and operations.

As Treasurer of the MIT Corporation, the EVP and Treasurer is the corporate officer responsible for the management and stewardship of the Corporation’s resources. The EVP serves as an ex-officio member of the MIT’s Executive Committee (MIT’s board), the Development committee and of the board of the MIT Investment Management Corporation.

Prior to becoming EVP and Treasurer, Mr. Ruiz was MIT’s Vice President for Finance. In that post, he served a leadership role in the financial aspects of institutional planning and analysis, and was responsible for preparing the financial reporting and materials presented to MIT’s senior leadership.

Mr. Ruiz joined MIT in 2002 as Manager of Financial Planning and Analysis, and became Associate Director of the Office of Budget and Financial Planning in 2003. He was named Director of Finance in 2005, Vice President for Finance in 2007, and EVP and Treasurer in 2011.

Born in Barcelona, Mr. Ruiz holds a master’s degree from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a degree in industrial engineering from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. Before joining MIT he worked as an engineer at Hewlett-Packard and at Nissan Automotive. Mr. Ruiz serves on the board of directors of edX (an MIT and Harvard online learning initiative), Aura Biosciences (a biotech startup), MIT Endicott House, and MIT Technology Review.

David C. Schmittlein

Dean of the MIT Sloan School of Management

David Schmittlein joined the MIT Sloan School of Management as John C Head III Dean in October, 2007. His focus, since arriving on campus, has been to broaden MIT Sloan’s global visibility, work with the faculty to create new high-quality management education programs, develop enhanced educational opportunities for current students, and to develop and disseminate business knowledge that has impact and will stand the test of time. He has also reached out to the many members of MIT’s alumni community to gain their valuable insights on MIT Sloan and management education.

Prior to his appointment at MIT Sloan, Dean Schmittlein served on the faculty at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania from 1980 until 2007. While at Wharton, he was the Ira A. Lipman Professor and Professor of Marketing. He also served as Interim Dean during July 2007 and as Deputy Dean from 2000-2007. In addition, he was chair of the editorial board for Wharton School Publishing. Dean Schmittlein received a Ph.D. and M.Phil. in Business from Columbia University and B.A. in Mathematics (magna cum laude) from Brown University. His research assesses marketing processes and develops methods for improving marketing decisions. He is widely regarded for his work estimating the impact of a firm’s marketing actions, designing market and survey research, and creating effective communication strategies.

Dr. Schmittlein has served as a consultant on these issues for numerous firms, e.g. American Express, American Home Products, AT&T, Bausch & Lomb, Boston Scientific, Ford Motor Company, Gianni Versace S.p.A., Hewlett-Packard, Johnson & Johnson, Lockheed Martin, Pfizer, Revlon, Siebe PLC, The Oakland Raiders, The Quaker Oats Co., and Time Warner. He has over forty publications, most in leading journals in Marketing, Management, Economics and Statistics. He has been an area editor for Marketing Science and a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Interactive Marketing,Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing, Fortune, NPR’s Marketplace, People’s Daily Online, Reuters, The ABC Evening News with Peter Jennings,The Economist, The Financial Times, The Los Angeles Times,The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report and USA Today.

For more than 30 years, Dr. Schmittlein has done extensive consulting work for corporate clients in a wide variety of industries, including consumer products, computer software, pharmaceuticals, entertainment, manufacturing, and management consulting. For a full list of Dr. Schmittlein’s consulting work, visit Dean’s Corporate Consulting engagements page.

Dr. Schmittlein is a member of the American Statistical Association and the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences (INFORMS).

Alan G. Spoon

MIT Corporation Member, Partner Emeritus, Polaris Partners

Prior to joining Polaris, Alan served as President and Board member of The Washington Post Company, a multimedia and education corporation. Earlier he served as Chief Financial Officer, President of Newsweek, and held top marketing and finance positions at The Washington Post. At The Post Company, Alan also led investments in a successful portfolio of early stage companies in cellular (Cellular One), distance learning (Kaplan), and educational software, digital media (, WebTV) and e-commerce ( Alan began his career at, and later became a partner of The Boston Consulting Group, an international consulting firm specializing in corporate strategy.

Current outside Board seats include Danaher Corporation (DHR) and IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI). In his not-for-profit activities, Alan is Regent Emeritus (former Vice Chairman) of the Smithsonian Institution Board of Regents. He is a member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Corporation and serves as a board member at (Harvard/MIT online education platform). He is co-chair of the Smithsonian’s National Capital Campaign and a member of The Council on Foreign Relations.

Alan’s prior business board service included Getty Images, Human Genome Sciences, Inc., Ticketmaster, International Data Group (IDG) and American Management Systems, Inc. Prior not-for-profit board service included WETA (Washington, DC public television and radio) and the Norwood School (Bethesda, MD), where Alan served as chairman.