Charles M. Vest
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Charles M. Vest is President Emeritus and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Vest earned his B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from West Virginia University in 1963 and both his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan in 1964 and 1967, respectively. He is the recipient of ten honorary doctoral degrees.

Dr. Vest served as President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1990 through 2004. During this time, he placed special emphasis on enhancing undergraduate education, exploring new organizational forms to meet emerging directions in research and education, building a stronger international dimension into education and research programs, developing stronger relations with industry, and enhancing racial and cultural diversity at MIT.

Dr. Vest has worked to bring issues concerning education and research to broader public attention and to strengthen national policy on science, engineering and education. He chaired the President’s Advisory Committee on the Redesign of the Space Station and serves on the President’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology. He chaired the U.S. Department of Energy Task force on the Future of DOE Science Programs, was vice chair of the Council on Competitiveness for 8 years, and is a past chair of the Association of American Universities. Dr. Vest recently completed service as a member of the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction and of the U.S. Secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher Education. He now serves on the Department of State Secretary's Advisory Committee on Transformational Diplomacy and the Rice-Chertoff Secure Borders, Open Doors Advisory Board Subcommittee. He has been nominated to serve as president of the National Academy of Engineering for the period of 2006-2012.

Dr. Vest is the author of two books on higher education and research policy: Pursuing the Endless Frontier: Essays on MIT and the Role of the Research University (MIT Press 2004), and The American Research University from World War II to World Wide Web (University of California Press, to be published in summer 2007).

Dr. Vest is a Life Member of the MIT Corporation, the Institute’s board of trustees.

A partner in Dr. Vest's presidency was his wife, Rebecca McCue Vest, who has been active with national and international MIT alumni/ae events, student affairs and the service-oriented MIT Women's League. The Vests have two children and three grandchildren. Their daughter, Kemper, is a defense analyst who lives in Arlington, Va., with her husband John Gay and their two children. Their son John is a cardiologist and a fellow in electrophysiology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He and his wife Christina and their daughter live in Wellesley, MA.


flag Grand Challenges and Engineering Systems: Inspiring and Educating the Next Generation
as author at  MIT World Series: Second International Engineering Systems Symposium,
together with: Daniel Roos, Susan Hockfield,
flag The Future of OCW and Education
as author at  MIT OpenCouseWare Milestone Celebration - Unlocking Knowledge, Empowering Minds,
together with: Sam Pitroda, John Seely Brown, Harold Abelson,
flag Globalization and Higher Education: Competition and Cooperation - iCampus: Closing Remarks
as author at  MIT World Series: Learning without Barriers / Technology without Borders,
together with: Susan Hockfield,
flag Educating Engineers for 2020 and Beyond
as author at  MIT World Series: Brunel Lecture Series on Complex Systems,
flag Pursuing The Endless Frontier: Essays on MIT and the Role of Research Universities
as author at  Authors@MIT,
flag Focus on Educational Innovation
as moderator at  MIT World Series: Alumni Leadership Conference,
together with: Dick K.P. Yue, Shigeru Miyagawa, Henry Jenkins,
flag The University as Patron of Cutting Edge Architecture (Part One)
as moderator at  MIT World Series: The Max Wasserman Forum on Contemporary Art,
together with: Jane Farver, James S. Ackerman, Kimberly Alexander,
flag Perspectives on Engineering
as author at  MIT World Series: Engineering Systems Symposium 2004,
together with: James A. Champy (moderator), Thomas Hughes, Daniel Roos,
flag MIT Files Brief in Supreme Court on University of Michigan Affirmative Action Case
as author at  MIT 29th Annual Breakfast - 2003,
flag Knowledge Based Economy and Education: Changing Roles for Universities - The MIT Perspective
as author at  MIT World Series: Asia Pacific Conference,