Born in Venezuela to Jewish parents who fled Europe in the 1930s, Leo Rafael Ruiz studied electrical engineering before attending Stanford University and eventually joining MIT where he would serve as president for over a decade.
Reif joined MIT in 1980 as a professor in the university’s department of electrical engineering and computer science. Prior to becoming president, he served as MIT’s provost from 2005 to 2012.
Building a Trusted Future
Recognizing the growing importance of artificial intelligence and machine learning, Reif oversaw a major restructuring of MIT with the launch of the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing to enable better study of the ethical and societal implications of artificial intelligence developments. Previously, when he led the university’s Microsystems Technology Laboratories, Reif championed the study of micro- and nanotechnologies.
Reif also strongly believes in supporting the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Under his guidance, MIT has created a new venture firm specifically focused at developing emerging technologies into innovations for broader society.