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Subra Suresh, National Science Foundation

Subra Suresh, distinguished engineer and professor, was sworn in as the 13th director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) on October 18, 2010. He oversees the NSF’s $7 billion budget, directing programs and initiatives that keep the United States at the forefront of science and engineering, empower future generations of scientists and engineers, foster economic growth and innovation, and improve the quality of life for all Americans.

Prior to his confirmation as the NSF director, Suresh served as dean of the Engineering School and Vannevar Bush Professor of Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). During his more than 30 years as a practicing engineer, he held joint faculty positions in four departments at MIT as well as appointments at the University of California at Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Brown University.

Holding true to his personal ideals, Suresh successfully leveraged his renowned research and leadership positions in academia to increase the number of women and minority engineers. As department head and dean of engineering, he led a successful campaign to increase the number of women among MIT’s engineering faculty ranks.

Suresh has been elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences, German National Academy of Sciences, Academy of Sciences of the Developing World, Indian National Academy of Engineering, and Indian Academy of Sciences.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras in 1977; his master’s from Iowa State University in 1979; and his doctorate from MIT in 1981.