An MIT Alumni Association Publication

Alumni Association Welcomes New President, President-Select, and Directors

  • Jay London
  • 2

The MIT Alumni Association’s Board of Directors develops strategies and sets policies in collaboration with the MIT Alumni Association CEO, staff, and thousands of volunteer alumni and alumnae, and represents the interests of the Institute’s community of more than 139,000 living alumni.

On July 1, 2019, the Board of Directors officially welcomed R. Erich Caulfield SM ’01, PhD ’06 as its 125th president. A Course 6 graduate, Caulfield was a student leader on the Graduate Student Council and later served on the MIT Corporation. He is the founder and president of the Caulfield Consulting Group in New Orleans and has held roles as New Orleans team lead for the Obama White House’s Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative and as chief policy advisor to the mayor of Newark, New Jersey.

“Providing a mechanism for alumni to engage with each other really is an opportunity to change the world,” Caulfield said in the July/August 2019 issue of Technology Review’s MIT News magazine. “I can’t think of a better time to be a part of the Alumni Association than right now.”

Caulfield’s one-year term will be succeeded by newly appointed president-select Charlene C. Kabcenell ’79. A School of Engineering alumna who is a life member of the MIT Corporation, Kabcenell has served on Corporation visiting committees and is a member of the Campaign Leadership Council, among other roles. She began her career as a software developer at Xerox Corporation before joining Oracle Corporation, where she retired as a vice president of software development.

Learn more about Caulfield in his interview with Technology Review, and see all the newly selected term members, who will serve multiyear terms, and at-large directors, who will serve one-year terms, plus two invited student guests, below. Then visit the Leadership section of the Alumni Association website to learn more about the Board and other volunteer opportunities available to alumni.


  • Caulfield.jpg

    R. Erich Caulfield SM ’01, PhD ’06

    Course 6 (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science)

    Founder and President, Caulfield Consulting Group New Orleans, LA


  • Kabcenell.png

    Charlene C. Kabcenell ’79

    Course 6-3 (Computer Science and Engineering)

    Vice President, Oracle (retired)
    Portola Valley, CA


  • Ball.jpg

    Lola M. Ball ’91, SM ’92

    Course 1 (Civil and Environmental Engineering); Technology and Policy Program

    Principal Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation
    Redmond, WA

  • Colsman.jpg

    Henning Colsman-Freyberg ’96

    Course 14 (Economics)

    Senior Project Manager Technology
    Mannheim, Germany

  • DeFalco.png

    Stephen P. DeFalco ’83, SM ’88

    Course 2 (Mechanical Engineering); Course 15 (Management)

    Partner, Lindsay Goldberg
    Boston, MA

  • DeFalco.png

    Lieutenant Colonel Inge Gedo ’85

    Course 21S (Humanities and Science)

    United States Air Force (retired) Fairfax, VA

  • Harris.png

    Elaine J. Harris ’78

    Course 10 (Chemical Engineering)

    Founder, Golden Rule Technology
    Washington, DC

  • Kuo.png

    Sze-Wen Kuo ’73

    Course 18 (Mathematics)

    Lead Software Engineer
    Bedford, MA

  • San Pedro.png

    Ramon I. San Pedro ’86, SM ’88

    Course 2 (Mechanical Engineering)

    Principal, Stress Engineering Services
    Houston, TX


  • Gonzalez.png

    Rene Adalberto Gonzalez ’92, MBA ’95

    Course 15 (Management)

    Chief Operating Officer, Rev Worldwide, Inc.
    Austin, TX

  • Reddy.jpg

    K. Hari Reddy SM ’01

    System Design and Management

    Potomac, MD


  • Elango.png

    Mahalaxmi Elango ’20

    Course 62 (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science)

    President, MIT Undergraduate Association
    Bellevue, WA

  • Su.jpg

    Peter Su

    Course 3D (Materials Science and Engineering)

    President, MIT Graduate Student Council
    Canton, MI

The Alumni Association’s president, president-select, and all term directors are selected by the Alumni Association Selection Committee, a six-person group whose members are elected at-large by the MIT alumni body. Learn more about the AASC and how you can vote in the election each year.


Erik Sabina

Wed, 03/18/2020 5:43pm

I received this morning my "download" email, which contained much interesting information. That said, keeping in mind the utmost respect that I hold for the Institute and its community, I need to register my deep concern regarding the type of language being used at this difficult time. The title of the download was "We’re not going back to normal. This is normal now." A little bit of thought strongly suggests that this is not true (and I'd use stronger language than the foregoing, but I'm also trying to moderate my speech.) The current condition of social distancing is not at all normal. Pandemics have flowed through human society throughout history, at levels much more virulent than this, and during times of dramatically inferior medical care. Those societies passed through those times and returned to "normal" interaction, and so will we.

One more example: the March 10 article "These are 6 of the main differences between flu and coronavirus" included a paragraph with the bold headline "Coronavirus is far deadlier than the flu." The paragraph's text read as follows: "Thus far, the mortality rate for coronavirus (the number of reported cases divided by the number of deaths) is around 3% to 4%, although it’s likely to be lower because many cases have not yet been reported. The flu’s rate is 0.1%. " We can observe that the details of the paragraph rather strongly contradicted the bold header. I invite those who would like to track the real data on this subject to search the Johns Hopkins website. They are serving as a clearinghouse for worldwide data on the issue. Having gone on too long already, I will just note that the 3% to 4% death rate is certain to be dramatically over-stated, as borne out by the Johns Hopkins data.

I look to MIT for sober, detailed, fact-based analysis. I am concerned that we are being coopted by today's "click bait" culture, using language that is not supported by the facts, in order to attract readers. Please try much harder on this. I expect better of MIT.