1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | All | Print this article

London Calling

PM David Cameron and Fiona MurrayPM David Cameron and Fiona Murray

The first class of the newly established Course XV convened at MIT just as war erupted in Europe in 1914. The new Engineering Administration program’s first years were understandably rocky. As students left to enlist and faculty members volunteered their services and expertise to the war effort, the Institute was forced to temporarily discontinue or consolidate classes. Of the 37 students in that first graduating class, 24 entered military service. Many Course XV faculty—Davis R. Dewey, Erwin Schell, Carroll W. Doten, and Martin J. Shugrue—worked in support of various U.S. government departments.

Over a century later, MIT Sloan faculty members have continued the proud tradition of serving the public. For decades since, they have been widely recognized not only for their innovative ideas and groundbreaking research, but also for their ability to transform those ideas into viable solutions to the world’s problems. Given MIT Sloan’s long-standing commitment to providing real-world relevance, it’s no surprise that the School has consistently taken a rare open stance, encouraging faculty members to develop close associations with industry and organizations outside the School—and to go out into the world and make a difference. Along with the many partnerships the School has established in the private and nonprofit sectors over the years has come the enduring bonds forged with governing bodies in the United States and abroad.

This year, Fiona Murray and Kristin Forbes follow in the footsteps of a long line of faculty members who recognize MIT Sloan as a platform for making a positive impact in the world.

The ability to put their exceptional research and experience to work for the good of a nation—in this case, the United Kingdom—was a driving factor for both Murray and Forbes in accepting new appointments.

Giving Britain Counsel on Science and Technology

In March, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron appointed Fiona Murray to his Council for Science and Technology (CST). For the next two years she will advise the prime minister on issues related to science, technology, and innovation, including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, research, policy, and the economy. In the position, Murray will no doubt call upon her international expertise on ways to accelerate the process of bringing new technologies out of labs and into the marketplace. No stranger to real-world problems, Murray has ample experience working with science-based startups on their commercialization strategies. She has consulted for a range of firms designing global organizations that are both commercially successful and at the forefront of science.

“My work is strongly focused on the ways policies and programs can be designed to improve and accelerate innovation-driven prosperity in countries, regions, and businesses. I especially focus on ‘innovation ecosystems,’ where governments and their policies are important,” says Murray. “So, when I had the chance to participate in shaping British policy, it was an ideal opportunity for me to put my expertise into action.”

More »