Cynthia Barnhart

Chancellor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Appointed Chancellor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2014, Cynthia Barnhart is responsible for advising the president on undergraduate and graduate education and residential life policies. Over the past six years, she has overseen a significant expansion in student health and wellness programs, launched a multifaceted campaign to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct on campus, and focused on new efforts to enhance undergraduate and graduate education.


A member of the Institute’s faculty since 1992, Barnhart is a Ford Foundation Professor of Engineering and a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She previously served as associate and acting dean of the School of Engineering and co-directed both the Operations Research Center and the Center for Transportation and Logistics.


Her teaching and research focuses on large-scale optimization, and transportation operations, planning, and control. She has supervised scores of student theses across a range of disciplines, and has published widely in the flagship journals of her field.


Barnhart earned both her SM in transportation and her PhD from MIT. She is an INFORMS Fellow and elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.

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