MIT Corporation elects eight term members, two life members

Top row, left to right: R. Robert Wickham, Armen Avanessians, Stephen D. Baker,
Top row, left to right: R. Robert Wickham, Armen Avanessians, Stephen D. Baker, Nelson P. Lin, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw. Bottom row: Lubna Olayan, Charles Ong, Janet Wolfenbarger, Kate Bergeron, David desJardins, Paul Marcus. Credits : Image: MIT News. Courtesy of MIT Corporation
The term members will serve between three and five years on MIT’s board of trustees.

The MIT Corporation - the Institute’s board of trustees - has elected eight full-term members, who will serve fiveor three-year terms, and two life members. Corporation Chair Diane Greene SM ’78 announced the election results today; all positions are effective July 1.

The full-term members are: Armen Avanessians ’81; Stephen D. Baker ’84, MArch ’88; Nelson P. Lin SM ’87, PhD ’91; Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw; Lubna Olayan; Charles Ong ’90; Janet Wolfenbarger SM ’85; and Kate Bergeron ’93, MBA ’13. The two life members are: David desJardins ’83 and Paul Marcus ’81.

R. Robert Wickham ’93, SM ’95, the 2023-2024 president of the Association of Alumni and Alumnae of MIT, will also join the Corporation as an ex officio member effective July 1. He succeeds Stephen D. Baker ’84, MArch ’88.

The eight new term members are:

Armen Avanessians , global head of Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) (retired) Avanessians, who earned a BS from MIT in electrical engineering in 1982 and an MS from Columbia University in 1983, retired from his position in the spring of 2022. Prior to joining GSAM in 2011, Armen served as head of Strats, a global group responsible for the application of mathematical, quantitative and algorithmic approaches to revenue activities in the securities, investment management and investment banking divisions. He was instrumental in developing the teams, practices and platform (SecDb) that collectively drive the commercial application of analytics across most of the firm’s activities today. Avanessians also served on the Securities Division Executive Committee from 2003 to 2011. He joined Goldman Sachs in 1985 as a foreign exchange strategist and became a partner in 1994.

Stephen D. Baker , president and senior principal of BWA Architecture Baker, who earned his BS and MArch from MIT in 1984 and 1998, respectively, co-founded BWA Architecture with Margaret E. Wohl MAR ’86 in 1994. The practice focuses on affordable housing, academic and institutional work, and mass transit projects. Some of his major projects include 10 Akron Street at Harvard; Lincoln Way; a new 70-unit affordable housing site in Cambridge; Anderson Regional Transportation Center, an intermodal rail and bus terminal in Woburn; and renovation of the Massachusetts Hall, the oldest building on the Harvard Campus. Prior to founding BWA, Baker worked as a sole practitioner from 1992-1994, after serving as an architect and later as a senior associate at Woo and Williams, which was founded by former MIT Kyu Sung Woo. While at Woo and Williams, Baker worked on projects in both the United States and Korea, including the international competition-winning design for the Seoul Olympic Village for the 1988 Olympic Games. Baker earned two degrees from MIT and has received the Harold E. Lobdell Distinguished Service Award (2012), the Bronze Beaver Award (2017), and the Great Dome Award (2019).

Nelson P. Lin , director of global market access and pricing at AbbVie Lin has over two decades of strategy development and commercial experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. In his current role, he leads the Venetoclax Global Market Access and Pricing team. He previously worked as AbbVie’s Early Oncology Pipeline Lead in the Global Commercial Development Department. Prior to his work at AbbVie, he held roles in commercial strategy at Gilead from 2006 until 2012, serving as Oncology Therapeutic Area Lead. Lin also worked in market development for oncology at Genentech from 2003 until 2006 and as a senior consultant at the Strategic Decisions Group prior to that. Earlier in his career, he worked in the oil refining business as a research engineer and refining planning specialist for BP Amoco. He holds a BS in chemical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, and an MS and PhD in chemical engineering from MIT, as well as an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 1999.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw , chairperson and managing director of Biocon Limited Mazumdar-Shaw is a pioneer of India’s biotech industry and founder of the country’s leading biotech enterprise, Biocon. She has been named among TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. Mazumdar-Shaw holds key positions in various educational, government, and industry positions, including: member of numerous institutes and departments in India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT); chairperson of the Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE), a nonprofit pan-India forum representing the Indian biotechnology sector; and member of the governing body of the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission. She was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences in 2006. She established a 1,400-bed medical center in Bangalore to deliver affordable cancer care to patients of all socioeconomic backgrounds, and a nonprofit research institute dedicated to treating a range of human diseases. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Bangalore University and a master’s degree from Ballarat College of Melbourne University, and has been awarded several honorary degrees.

Lubna Olayan , CEO and deputy chairperson of Olayan Financing Company In 2004, Olayan became the first woman to join a Saudi company’s board, having been elected to the board of Alawwal Bank, where she currently serves as vice chairperson. She has been a member of the board of Schlumberger since 2011. In 2016, she joined the board of Ma’aden, a Saudi company operating in the mining sector. Olayan also sits on the advisory boards for Akbank, Allianz SE, McKinsey and Co, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and is a board member of the Down Syndrome Charitable Association in Saudi Arabia. She is a trustee of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and of the Asia Business Council. She also chairs Alfanar, one of the first venture philanthropy organizations in the Arab world. Olayan has been listed by TIME as one of the 100 most influential people in the world and Fortune’s list of most powerful women. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and an MBA from Indiana University.

Charles Ong , co-chairperson and co-CEO of RRJ Capital Ltd Ong received his bachelor’s degree from MIT in 1989 and graduated with an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1995. Ong started his career with Lazard Freres and Co. in New York in 1989 and relocated to Singapore in 1995 to help expand Lazard’s operation in Asia. He oversaw Deutsche Bank’s investment banking business in Southeast Asia from 1998 to 2002. Beginning in 2002, Ong had a 10-year career with Temasek Holdings, where he held various positions including chief investment officer and chief strategy officer. From 2009 to 2011, he was also concurrently the CEO of Seatown Holdings International, a global investment firm and a wholly owned subsidiary of Temasek. Ong has been with RRJ Group since 2012.

Janet Wolfenbarger , general (retired), U.S. Air Force Wolfenbarger earned a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1980, a master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics from MIT in 1985, a master’s degree in national resource strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1994, and an honorary doctoral degree from Wright State University in 2013. She retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2015, culminating a distinguished 35-year career as the Service’s first female four-star general. She commanded Air Force Materiel Command, which employs 80,000 people and manages a $60 billion annual budget. The command is responsible for executing the critical mission of warfighter support through leading-edge science and technology, cradle-to-grave life cycle weapons system management, world-class developmental test and evaluation, and world-class depot maintenance and supply chain management. Since retirement, she has served as a board director for two entities and volunteers in a number of other capacities. Wolfenbarger will serve a three-year term with the Corporation.

Kate Bergeron , vice president of hardware engineering, Apple Bergeron has worked at Apple since 2002, when she joined the company as senior mechanical engineer. She earned her BS from MIT in 1993 and her MBA in 2013. Since 2014 she has served as vice president of hardware engineering, where she currently heads-up Apple’s expanding footprint in audio. Previously, she served as senior director for ecosystem products and technologies and senior director of Macintosh product design. Bergeron co-developed the course MIT D-Lab: Design for Scale, first offered in the fall of 2013, and co-taught the course from 2013-2017. Earlier in her career, she worked as a mechanical engineer at EM Designs and at the Palo Alto Design Group (now Flextronics International Ltd.). She has regularly been named by Business Insider as one of the most powerful woman engineers in the world. Bergeron was elected to the National Academy of Engineers in 2022.

The two life members are:

David desJardins , retired Google engineer and current investor and philanthropist DesJardins earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from MIT in 1983. After graduating, he spent many years in industry before completing a PhD in mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley in 2002. He was a research staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses from 1988 to 1999. In 1999, he joined Google as the 25th employee of the tech giant, then still a relatively new company. There, he worked to improve the scale and reliability of Google’s search engine and later focused on improving search quality. In 2005, he ended his full-time Google employment to focus on consulting, philanthropy, and investing, having now invested in many startups. He is currently a board member of TigerLabs, a seed fund, hackspace, and entrepreneurship center in Princeton, New Jersey, and serves on the boards of several nonprofits, including the Democracy Alliance, the Scholars Strategy Network, Better Markets, and the University of California, Berkeley Foundation.

Paul Marcus , CEO, Marcus Partners Marcus graduated from MIT in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. In addition to leading Marcus Partners, a role he has held since 2008, Marcus is a founder of the Boston-based Autism Consortium, which facilitates broad-based collaboration among 15 Boston-area institutions - including MIT - and funds clinical innovation and translational research in autism and other related brain disorders. He currently serves on Business Executives for National Security (BENS) and co-chairs the BENS-Boston Chapter. He was a founding member of the 484 Phi Alpha Foundation, an MIT-affiliated educational foundation. He is currently a member of the Boston Children’s Hospital Chairman’s Council and has served a 10-year term as a member of the Trust Board of Children’s Hospital, where he was a founder of the Children’s Hospital Developmental Medicine Center Philanthropic Leadership Council. Marcus served as chairman of the board and is a past president of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP).

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