MIT Sloan executive director honored by Queen Elizabeth II

Published: November 20, 2012

Peter HirstMIT Sloan’s Peter Hirst with
Queen Elizabeth II



On Friday, Nov. 9, Queen Elizabeth II awarded MIT Sloan Executive Education Executive Director Peter Hirst a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). Hirst was honored during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace. The honor was in recognition of his accomplishments in the area of executive education.

In his role at MIT Sloan, Hirst leads a team of professionals who partner with clients and top academics to develop, design, and deliver innovative executive education programs for individuals and companies. Formerly CEO of the commercialization, consulting, and executive education business of the London School of Economics, he has more than fifteen years of experience in international strategy, technology consulting, and organizational development.

“I was surprised and delighted to learn that I would be awarded an MBE in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list,” said Hirst, who first learned of the award this past summer. “This recognition is a reflection of the talents and endeavors of the many colleagues and friends I have had the opportunity and pleasure to work with in outstanding institutions, businesses, and organizations in the United Kingdom and United States.”

Before the ceremony, Hirst met with Nick Jones, deputy director of digital communications, Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet Office, and discussed MIT Sloan’s Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program along with experiments MIT Sloan Executive Education is currently conducting with avatar-based virtual worlds for delivering engaging executive education programs remotely.

A native of Aberystwyth, Wales, Hirst earned a PhD from the University of Saint Andrews, Scotland for research in plasma physics and microwave engineering. After a period of academic entrepreneurship in a variety of related fields, including optoelectronics, neural network computing, and the interfaces between technology and terrorism, he was appointed Westminster Fellow in the United Kingdom Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, where he advised members of Parliament and peers of all parties on policy issues in the physical sciences, defense, and information technology.

Hirst has served as a director and board adviser to businesses and non-profit organizations on three continents, including two years as president of the British American Business Council of New England, for which he currently serves as a board director. He is also a founding member of its Energy and Environment Committee.