Vice President Claude Canizares Stepping Down

November 25, 2014

To the members of the MIT Community:

I am writing to inform you that Claude Canizares will step down from his position as Vice President, effective June 30, 2015.

For 40 years MIT has benefited from Claude’s exceptional commitment and service. A faculty member in the Department of Physics since 1974, Claude joined the central administration in 2001 as Associate Provost. In 2006 his role expanded to include the responsibilities of Vice President for Research. In 2013 he moved to a new Vice President position overseeing MIT’s expanding global engagements. He has served three MIT Presidents and four Provosts. Through it all, he has maintained an active research group, serving as Associate Director of the Chandra X-ray Observatory Center.

Claude has excelled at making contributions that have touched nearly every corner of the Institute. In overseeing the work of Lincoln Laboratory, Claude and Lab Director Eric Evans established new programs that have strengthened the Lab’s connection to the Cambridge campus. As Chair of the Committee for Renovation and Space Planning, he connected MIT’s academic priorities to the Institute’s strategy in capital planning process and executed major renovations in the Main Group. And as Chair of the Committee on the Design of the Faculty Housing Program, he shaped MIT’s Faculty Housing Assistance Program. 

During his time as Vice President for Research, Claude oversaw MIT’s research and research funding enterprise and MIT’s relationships with federal and corporate sponsors. He played a key role in establishing the MIT Energy Initiative, the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, and he spearheaded the formation of the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Consortium. As MIT’s point person for international strategy, he has worked to develop MIT’s portfolio of global engagements, including those in Singapore, Russia and Abu Dhabi.

I have had the privilege of working closely with Claude for many years and have benefited enormously from his experience, insight and collegiality. Please join me in thanking him for his outstanding leadership and wishing him well as he prepares for a well-deserved sabbatical.   

Moving forward, oversight of MIT’s international engagements will shift to the Office of the Provost, with a new position of Associate Provost for International Activities established to manage MIT’s growing international portfolio. As Provost Schmidt begins this search, he welcomes community input by email at He will treat any suggestions as confidential.


L. Rafael Reif