Bill Bonvillian, Director of the MIT Washington Office, to step down

November 03, 2016

To the MIT faculty and staff,
I am writing to inform you that Bill Bonvillian has notified me of his plans to step down from his position as Director of the MIT Washington Office, effective January 31, 2017.
MIT's Washington Office came to life 25 years ago to ensure a flow of information between Washington, D.C., and our campus. As then-MIT President Chuck Vest wrote, "Good scientific and technological advice is needed as never before in the government, and our faculty can contribute much." Informing federal policy with good scientific and technological advice, of course, remains critical. As many on our campus can attest, for the past 11 years, Bill has done it beautifully.
Bill has been an exceptional advocate for MIT, advancing and communicating the Institute's priorities in education, innovation and research to federal R&D agencies and others throughout the government. With a deep appreciation for MIT's mission and an unwavering commitment to the value of basic research, he has also identified challenging issues on which our community's unique strengths might be brought to bear. In the process, he has enhanced what I believe is a model for engagement between a research university and the federal government.
Bill began his appointment at MIT as we were preparing to take a new approach to solving complex, global challenges. His work to support those efforts—from energy, innovation and advanced manufacturing, to online education and the convergence of life, engineering and physical sciences—has been invaluable.
Bill will maintain a strong connection to the Institute, teaching the Science and Technology Policy Bootcamp this IAP, as he has for the last nine years. In the spring, he will teach a new class on science and technology policy in MIT's Program in Science, Technology and Society and the MIT Department of Political Science. He also plans to work on research projects with the Industrial Performance Center.
Professor Claude Canizares will chair an advisory council to aid in the search for Bill's successor.
Please join me in thanking Bill for serving the Institute with great care and dedication.
L. Rafael Reif