Robert A. Brown, Ph.D., 10th president of Boston University, is a distinguished scholar of chemical engineering and an innovative leader in higher education. He assumed the presidency of Boston University in September 2005.
Dr. Brown, 54, a Texas native, earned a B.S. and an M.S. in chemical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. He earned a Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota.
Prior to his appointment at Boston University, Dr. Brown was provost and Warren K. Lewis Professor of Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and numerous other prestigious professional societies.
In 1979, Dr. Brown joined the faculty of MIT as assistant professor. During the last 25 years, he advanced his scholarly and administrative career, serving as co-director of the MIT Supercomputer Facility, Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering, and Dean of Engineering. In 1998, Dr. Brown was appointed Provost of MIT.
Dr. Brown has published approximately 250 papers in areas related to mathematical modeling of phenomena associated with materials processing, fluid mechanics of viscoelastic fluids, interface morphology, and modeling of semiconductor processing. He has served as consultant to major international corporations and to governments. He was named a 2005 Honorary Citizen for his service to the government of Singapore.
During his tenure at MIT, Dr. Brown led the creation of multi-disciplinary research centers including the McGovern Institute for Brain Research; the Broad Institute, a world-renowned genomics research collaboration with Harvard University, its affiliated hospitals and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research; and the development of the Ray and Maria Stata Center as a facility for teaching, research and student life focused on computer and intelligent sciences. Dr. Brown also oversaw the creation of the Biological Engineering Division and the Division of Engineering Systems as new interdisciplinary units in teaching and research.
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced in December 2005 that President Brown was one of 12 city leaders coordinating the search for a new superintendent of the Boston Public Schools.
In recognition of his extraordinary contributions to higher education in Asia, President Brown was named a lifelong honorary citizen of Singapore in January 2006. The award is the highest form of recognition given by Singapore’s government to any non-Singaporean. In 1998, as MIT provost, Brown helped launch the Singapore-MIT Alliance with the aim of creating international collaboration in graduate science and engineering education and research.
In February 2006, President George W. Bush appointed President Brown to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), a panel established to maintain a steady stream of expert advice from the private sector and the academic community on a wide range of scientific and technical matters.
Dr. Brown lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with his wife Beverly, a health care professional with a doctorate in biochemistry. They have two grown sons.