L. Rafael Reif

Leo Rafael Reif ( born August 21, 1950 in Maracaibo, Venezuela) is an American electrical engineer and university teacher. Since July 2012, he is president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).


Childhood and education

Reif was born as the son of Eastern European Jewish immigrants in the Venezuelan city of Maracaibo. As a result, even Yiddish was spoken in the family besides Spanish.

After frost had studied electrical engineering at the Universidad de Carabobo, he spent a year working as an assistant professor at the Universidad Simón Bolívar in Caracas, before he left the country for the United States. In 1979 he received his doctorate at Stanford.

Career at MIT

His career as a lecturer at MIT began in 1980, first as assistant professor ( equivalent to the German Junior Professor ), and later as associate professor ( Associate Professor ). In 1988 he was appointed full professor ( Professor ). From 2005 to 2012, he served as Provost in the administration of MIT. In 2012, he joined the successor to Susan Hockfield as president of MIT. He is the first president of MIT, whose native language is not the English language.


Frost research interests were in the areas of microsystem technology and nanotechnology, where he made ​​himself particularly to the study of the 3D integration and semiconductor technology deserves. The latter production he tried to make more environmentally friendly.

He has also held several senior positions in the Department of Electrical Engineering and computer science, the largest at MIT before he ascended to the head of this department and this position held in the years 2004 and 2005: Reif was first appointed Head of the Microsystems Technology Laboratories, then he was charged with the direction of the Department of Electrical Engineering.

Dr. Reif also owns or ( co-) inventor of 15 patents, and he is the author of five books.

Hoop work has won several awards, such as the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award and the Aristotle Award.


Mature lived with his wife Christine, born Chomiuk, to respect the Gray House, the residence of the President of MIT, in Newton. His wife bore him two children, Jessica and Blake.