MIT’s well-known Media Lab, the multidisciplinary thought manufacturing unit that produces many a captivating invention and influential thinker, has found a new director in its yard after scouring the globe for candidates. Dava Newman, MIT professor of aeronautics and astronautics and former deputy administrator of NASA beneath Obama, will helm the mental hub.
The Media Lab is famed for its freewheeling techno-intellectual prowess, however for greater than a yr has been leaderless following the resignation of former head Joi Ito. Ito resigned when it was found that billionaire and alleged baby intercourse trafficker Jeffrey Epstein had given funding and reportedly obtained particular remedy and entry to the Media Lab beneath his management.
The following management search little doubt seemed for, if not precisely new blood (Newman has been concerned with MIT for many years) then definitely a break from the previous. Out of 60 candidates, they interviewed 13 and ended up choosing Newman for a wide range of causes.
“In a subject of excellent candidates, Professor Newman stood out for her pioneering analysis, big selection of multidisciplinary engagements, and exemplary management. She is a designer, a thinker, a maker, an engineer, an educator, a mentor, a convener, a communicator, a futurist, a humanist and, importantly, an optimist,” wrote Dean Hashim Sarkis in a letter asserting the appointment.
Coincidentally (or is it?), Newman just last week was a speaker at TC Sessions: Space, the place she appeared to provide a preview of her new tasks speaking concerning the significance of inclusion in main efforts like NASA’s Artemis.
“It’s going to carry the scientists and engineers collectively, however we’d like the artists, we’d like the designers, they’re the visionaries,” she mentioned. (In the event you missed the occasion, you possibly can watch this and all our different panels on Extra Crunch.)
Newman appears to be beginning off the job by emphasizing probably the greatest qualities a frontrunner ought to have: listening to the individuals she’ll be main.
“I plan to start out by doing quite a lot of listening and studying,” she mentioned within the MIT announcement. “I like to satisfy individuals the place they’re, and to encourage them to place all their nice concepts on the desk. I believe that’s one of the best ways to go ahead, working with the entire group — college, college students and workers — to faucet into everybody’s creativity. I can’t wait to get began.”