Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, the world’s first graduate research institution dedicated to alternative energy, environmental technologies and sustainability, has appointed Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh from collaborating partner Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as its President.
General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Masdar Institute. The patron of Masdar Institute is HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales.
Dr. Moavenzadeh, James Mason Crafts Professor of Engineering and Director of the Technology and Development program at MIT, will take up his position in Abu Dhabi on 1st July 2010, to support the institute’s mandate of transforming the emirate into a leading source of advanced technologies and highly skilled human capital.
Masdar Institute, an independent research-driven university, stems from the vision and commitment of Abu Dhabi’s leadership to establish a sustainable knowledge-based economy. This appointment comes at the completion of the Institute’s inaugural academic year. Serving as the nucleus of an interdisciplinary, collaborative, high-technology research and development infrastructure, Masdar Institute forms the centerpiece of Masdar, a subsidiary of the Mubadala Development Company (Mubadala).
Widely recognised for his innovative role in building global institutions and developing new models of teaching and research through international initiatives in education, science and technology, Dr. Moavenzadeh has a long and distinguished career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). As the Director of the Technology and Development Program, a position he has held for the past 39 years, his leadership has facilitated the establishment of a research-based science and technology infrastructure, now regarded as a critical component in the economic development of any nation.
Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar, and the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustee of Masdar Institute, said:
“In a short period of time Masdar Institute has made significant progress towards supporting Abu Dhabi’s goal of cultivating the necessary human capital required to build a knowledge-led and technology exporting economy. I am confident that by bringing Dr. Moavenzadeh and his wealth of experience to Abu Dhabi another important stride has been taken towards our goal.”
“This appointment exemplifies the very nature and strength of the relationship between Masdar Institute and MIT, with Dr. Moavenzadeh already a familiar figure to all at Masdar Institute due to the integral role he has played in establishing the close partnership with MIT. This also demonstrates MIT’s keen interest in establishing Masdar Institute on a similar model of high academic and research standards as itself, ” added Al Jaber.
Commenting on his new appointment, Dr. Moavenzadeh said;
“In responding to the defining challenge of our time, climate change and energy security, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology is embarking on an exciting and vital journey with a comprehensive approach to education and research. I am delighted to be appointed as its President.”
“My mission as President will be to advance the long-term sustaining development of Abu Dhabi by providing a highly trained caliber of people equal to the task and working with other academic institutions in the region, with government officials, and with industry to insure free-flow of information and coordination of effort across platforms that will provide answer to complex questions and needs.”
Through his experience leading the Technology and Development Program at MIT, Dr. Moavenzadeh will seek close cooperation with local academic institutions, governmental organizations, and industry to build a culture of R&D from within the UAE. “I will strive to create an atmosphere of understanding and solutions-based guidance within Masdar Institute and the cultural infrastructure of the region” added Dr. Moavenzadeh.
“Universities outside the United States are often isolated from government and industry relationships, inhibiting the growth of research and development through a lack of large-scale funding. Contracts between government, industry, and graduate-level research universities serve all parties in forwarding the socio-economic development of emerging countries, and this will be a priority for Masdar Institute.”
Dr. Moavenzadeh received his Masters Degree from Cornell University, New York, and his Ph.D. from Purdue University, Indiana. Dr. Moavenzadeh will reside in Abu Dhabi with his wife Linda.