List of Massachusetts Institute of Technology alumni

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For Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty, lecturers, or researchers, see List of Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty. For fictional characters related to MIT, see MIT in popular culture.


This list of Massachusetts Institute of Technology alumni includes students who studied as undergraduates or graduate students at MIT's School of Engineering; School of Science; MIT Sloan School of Management; School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; School of Architecture and Planning; or Whitaker College of Health Sciences. Since there are more than 120,000 alumni (living and deceased), this listing cannot be comprehensive. Instead, this article summarizes some of the more notable MIT alumni, with some indication of the reasons they are notable in the world at large. All MIT degrees are earned through academic achievement, in that MIT has never awarded honorary degrees in any form.[1]

The MIT Alumni Association defines eligibility for membership as follows:[2]

The following persons are Alumni/ae Members of the Association:

All persons who have received a degree from the Institute; and All persons who have been registered as students in a degree-granting program at the Institute for (i) at least one full term in any undergraduate class which has already graduated; or (ii) for at least two full terms as graduate students.

Politics and public service[edit]

United States[edit]

NameDegreeDegree YearNotabilityNotes
LtGen James A. Abrahamson (USAF Ret'd)S.B. – Aeronautical Engineering1955Director of President Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative
U.S. Air Force general
[3]
Ben BernankePh.D. – Economics1979Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank[4]
Samuel BodmanSc. D. – Chemical Engineering1965Secretary of Energy (2005–2009)[5]
Jun ChoiS.B. – Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering1994Mayor of Edison, New Jersey
Henry Cohen (civil servant)S.M. – Urban Planning1949Director of Föhrenwald Displaced Persons camp in the American sector of post-World War II Germany
Leighton I. DavisS.M. – Aeronautical Engineering1941U.S. Air Force general
Jimmy DoolittleS.M., Sc. D. – Aeronautical Engineering1924, 1925U.S. Air Force general
Herbert W. EhrgottS.B. – Mechanical Engineering1930U.S. Air Force general
Luis A. FerréS.B., S.M. – Mechanical Engineering1924, 1925Governor of Puerto Rico
Julius A. FurerS.M.1905U.S. Navy admiral
J. Michael GilmoreS.B. – PhysicsDirector of the Operational Test and Evaluation Directorate
Frank KowalskiS.M. – Mechanical Engineering1937United States Representative from Connecticut
Herbert B. LoperB.S. – Civil Engineering1922U.S. Army general
N. Gregory MankiwPh.D. – Economics1984Chairman of President Bush's Council of Economic Advisors
Mark McClellanPh.D. – Economics1993head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration
Katharine Dexter McCormickS.B. – Biology1904suffragette, funded research for The Pill
David NolanS.B. – Political Science1965Founder of United States Libertarian Party
John OlverPh.D. – Chemistry1961US House of Representatives for Massachusetts
John Birdsell OrenM.D. – Marine EngineeringU.S. Coast Guard admiral
Joseph J. RommS.B. – Physics, Ph.D. – Physics1982, 1987Assistant Secretary of the U. S. Department of Energy
Francis SargentDropped out – studied architecture1939Governor of Massachusetts
George SchultzPh.D. – Economics1949Secretary of State
Phillips Waller SmithS.M. – Ordnance Engineering1935U.S. Air Force general
Pete StarkS.B. – General Engineering1956US House of Representatives for California
John E. SununuS.B., S.M. – Mechanical Engineering1987, 1987United States Senator from New Hampshire
John H. SununuS.B., S.M., Ph.D. – Mechanical Engineering1961, 1963, 1966White House Chief of Staff under President George H.W. Bush, Governor of New Hampshire, host of Crossfire

International[edit]

NameDegreeYearNotabilityNotes
Tadatoshi AkibaPh.D. – Mathematics1970Mayor of Hiroshima; Recipient of Ramon Magsaysay Award
Kofi AnnanS.M. – Management1972Former Secretary-General of the United Nations
Pedro Aspe ArmellaPh.D. – Economics1978Mexican Secretary of Finance
Raghuram RajanPh.D. – Economics199123rd Governor of Reserve Bank of India
Youssef Boutros GhaliPh.D. – Economics1981Former Egyptian Minister of Finance
Virgilio BarcoS.B. – Civil Engineering1943Colombian president
Ahmed ChalabiS.B. – Mathematics1965controversial Iraqi politician, now currently deputy prime minister of Iraq
Harold DemurenPh. D. – Aeronautical Engineering1975Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority; 1st African elected as President of ICAO General Assembly
Mario DraghiPh. D. – Economics1977President of the European Central Bank
José Figueres Ferrer1926President of Costa Rica
Pervez HoodbhoyM.S. – Solid-State Physics,
Ph.D. – Nuclear Physics
1973, 1978A faculty member at the Quaid-e-Azam University since 1973 and a renowned nuclear research scientist in Pakistan.
C.D. Howe1907Canadian politician and cabinet minister
Mao Chi-kuoPh.D.1982Minister of Transport & Communications of the Republic of China (Taiwan) (2008–)[6]
David MilibandS.M. Political Science1990British politician, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Mohammad Ali NajafiS.M. – Mathematics1979former Vice President of Iran[7]
Benjamin NetanyahuS.B. – Architecture, S.M. – Management1975, 1976Prime Minister of Israel
Uzi LandauPh.D – Engineering1976National Infrastructure Minister of Israel
Ngozi Okonjo-IwealaM.C.P. – City Planning,
Ph.D. – Urban Studies & Planning
1978, 1981Finance Minister of Nigeria (2003–2006) (2011–Present), Foreign Minister of Nigeria, (2006)
Rachid Mohamed RachidPh.D. – Management1993Former Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry
Milen VelchevS.M. – Management1995Bulgarian financial minister (2001–2005)
David WalterS.M. – Political Sciencecirca.
1970
British BBC and ITN correspondent and later political advisor
Robert WintersCanadian politician
Tony Tan Keng YamS.M. – Operations Research1964President of the Republic of Singapore, who held various cabinet positions over the years.
Lucas PapademosS.B. – Physics,
S.M. – Electrical Engineering,
Ph.D. – Economics
1970, 1972, 1978Vice President of the European Central Bank (2002-2010) and Prime Minister of Greece (2011–2012)
Ali Akbar SalehiPh.D. – Nuclear Engineering1977Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran (2012–present)

Architecture and design[edit]

Business and entrepreneurship[edit]

Computers and Internet[edit]

Engineering[edit]

Manufacturing and defense[edit]

Finance and consulting[edit]

Health care and biotechnology[edit]

Miscellaneous[edit]

Education[edit]

Humanities, arts, and social sciences[edit]

Science and technology[edit]

Sports[edit]

Miscellaneous[edit]

Nobel laureate alumni[edit]

As of April 2011, the MIT Office of the Provost says that 76 Nobel awardees had or currently have a formal connection to MIT.[28] Of this group, 29 have earned MIT degrees (MIT has never awarded honorary degrees in any form).[1]

NameDegreeDegree YearAward YearAwardCitationNotes
George AkerlofPh.D.19662001Economics"for their analyses of markets with asymmetric information"[29]
Sid AltmanS.B.19601989Chemistry"for their discovery of catalytic properties of RNA"[30]
Kofi AnnanS.M.19722001Peace"for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world"[31]
Robert AumannS.M.19522005Economics"for having enhanced our understanding of conflict and cooperation through game-theory analysis"[32]
Elias James CoreyS.B., Ph.D.1948, 19511990Chemistry"for his development of the theory and methodology of organic synthesis"[33]
Eric CornellPh.D.19902001Physics"for the achievement of Bose-Einstein condensation in dilute gases of alkali atoms, and for early fundamental studies of the properties of the condensates"[34]
Peter DiamondPh.D.19632010Economics"for [the] analysis of markets with search frictions"[35]
Richard FeynmanS.B.19391965Physics"for their fundamental work in quantum electrodynamics, with deep-ploughing consequences for the physics of elementary particles"[36]
Andrew Z. FirePh.D.19832006Medicine/Physiology"for their discovery of RNA interference – gene silencing by double-stranded RNA"[37]
Murray Gell-MannPh.D.19511969Physics"for his contributions and discoveries concerning the classification of elementary particles and their interactions"[38]
Leland H. HartwellPh.D.19642001Medicine/Physiology"for their discoveries of key regulators of the cell cycle"[39]
H. Robert HorvitzS.B.19682002Medicine/Physiology"for their discoveries concerning 'genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death'"[40]
Henry W. KendallS.B., Ph.D.1948, 19511990Physics"for their pioneering investigations concerning deep inelastic scattering of electrons on protons and bound neutrons, which have been of essential importance for the development of the quark model in particle physics"[41]
Lawrence KleinPh.D.19441980Economics"for the creation of econometric models and the application to the analysis of economic fluctuations and economic policies"[42]
Paul KrugmanPh.D.19772009Economics"for developing new trade theory and"[35]
Robert B. LaughlinPh.D.19791998Physics"for their discovery of a new form of quantum fluid with fractionally charged excitations"[43]
Robert C. MertonPh.D.19701997Economics"for a new method to determine the value of derivatives"[44]
Robert S. MullikenS.B.19171966Chemistry"for his fundamental work concerning chemical bonds and the electronic structure of molecules by the molecular orbital method"[45]
Robert MundellPh.D.19561999Economics"for his analysis of monetary and fiscal policy under different exchange rate regimes and his analysis of optimum currency areas"[46]
Charles PedersenS.M.19271987Chemistry"for their development and use of molecules with structure-specific interactions of high selectivity"[47]
William D. PhillipsPh.D.19761997Physics"for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light"[48]
Burton RichterS.B., Ph.D.1952, 19561976Physics"for their pioneering work in the discovery of a heavy elementary particle of a new kind"[49]
Adam RiessS.B.19922011Physics"for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe through observations of distant supernovae"[50]
John Robert SchriefferS.B.19531972Physics"for their jointly developed theory of superconductivity, usually called the BCS-theory"[51]
William ShockleyPh.D.19361956Physics"for their researches on semiconductors and their discovery of the transistor effect"[52]
George F. SmootS.B., Ph.D.1966, 19702006Physics"for their discovery of the blackbody form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation"[53]
Joseph StiglitzPh.D.19662001Economics"for their analyses of markets with asymmetric information"[29]
Carl E. WiemanS.B.19732001Physics"for the achievement of Bose-Einstein condensation in dilute gases of alkali atoms, and for early fundamental studies of the properties of the condensates"[34]
Robert Burns WoodwardS.B.19361965Chemistry"for his outstanding achievements in the art of organic synthesis"[54]

Astronaut alumni[edit]

NameDegreeYearMission
James Alan AbrahamsonS.B. – Aeronautics/Astronautics1955Manned Orbital Laboratory (selected but program canceled)
Buzz AldrinSc. D- Aeronautics/Astronautics1963Gemini 12, Apollo 11
Dominic AntonelliS.B. – Aeronautics/Astronautics1989STS-119
Jerome AptPh. D – Physics1976STS-37, STS-47, STS-59, STS-79
Kenneth CameronS.B., S.M. – Aeronautics/Astronautics1978, 1979STS-37, STS-56, STS-74
Gregory ChamitoffPh.D. – Aeronautics/Astronautics1992STS-124, Expedition 17, Expedition 18, STS-126
Franklin Chang-DiazSc. D. – Nuclear Engineering1977STS-61-C, STS-34, STS-46, STS-60, STS-75, STS-91, STS-111
Philip K. ChapmanS.M., Ph.D.1964, 19671967
Catherine "Cady" ColemanS.B. – Chemistry1983STS-73, STS-93
Timothy CreamerS.M.1992
Charles DukeS.M. – Aeronautics/Astronautics1964Apollo 16
Anthony W. EnglandS.B., S.M., Ph.D. – Earth, Atmosphere, and Planetary Sciences1965, 1965, 1970STS-51-F
Mike FinckeS.B. – Aeronautics/Astronautics; S.B. Earth, Atmosphere, and Planetary Sciences1989Soyuz TMA-4, Expedition 9, Soyuz TMA-13, Expedition 18, STS-134
John GrunsfeldS.B. – Physics1980STS-67, STS-81, STS-103, STS-109, STS-125
Terry HartS.M. – Mechanical Engineering1969STS-41-C
Frederick HauckS.M. – Nuclear Engineering1966STS-7, STS-51-A, STS-26
Wendy LawrenceS.M. – Ocean Engineering1988STS-67, STS-86, STS-91, STS-114
Mark C. LeeS.M. – Mechanical Engineering1980STS-30, STS-47, STS-64, STS-81
William B. LenoirS.B., S.M., Ph.D. – Electrical Engineering1961, 1962, 1965STS-5
Michael MassiminoS.M., Technology Policy S.M., Mechanical Engineer, Ph.D. – Mechanical Engineering1988, 1988, 1990, 1992STS-109, STS-125
Ronald McNairPh.D. – Physics1976STS-41-B, STS-51-L
Pamela Ann MelroyS.M. – Earth, Atmosphere, and Planetary Sciences1984STS-92, STS-112, STS-120
Edgar MitchellSc. D. – Aeronautics/Astronautics1964Apollo 14
Nicholas PatrickS.M., Ph.D. – Mechanical Engineering1990, 1996STS-116
Albert SaccoPh.D – Chemical Engineering1977STS-73
Russell SchweickartS.B., S.M. – Aeronautics/Astronautics1956, 1963Apollo 9
David ScottS.M., Engineer in Aeronautics/Astronautics1962, 1962Gemini 8, Apollo 9, Apollo 15
William ShepherdS.M., Ocean Engineer1978, 1978STS-27, STS-41, STS-52, Soyuz TM-31, Expedition 1, STS-102
Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-PiperS.B., S.M. – Mechanical Engineering1984, 1985STS-115, STS-126
Daniel TaniS.B., S.M. – Mechanical Engineering1984, 1985STS-108, STS-120, Expedition 16, STS-122
Robert ThirskS.M., M.S. – Mechanical Engineering, Management1978, 1998STS-78, Soyuz TMA-14, Expedition 19, STS-127
Janice VossS.M., Ph.D. – Electrical Engineering, Aeronautics/Astronautics1977, 1978STS-57, STS-63, STS-83, STS-94, STS-99
Stephen RobinsonPost Doc at Man-Vehicle Lab, Aeronautics/Astronautics1993STS-85, STS-95, STS-114
Neil WoodwardS.B.1984

References[edit]

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