About the Institute Community and Equity Officer

Dan Hastings

is the Cecil and Ida Green Professor in Education in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the interim Institute Community and Equity Officer, as well as the interim Vice Provost for Faculty.

Previously, as the School of Engineering’s Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Hastings worked with faculty colleagues to ensure continued progress toward a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for all members of the engineering community.

Hastings has served in many leadership roles at the Institute. He was MIT’s dean of undergraduate education from 2006–13, and in 2014 he was appointed to a five-year term as the director of SMART, the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology. He was head of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics from 2018–23. In 2021, Hastings was appointed co-chair of MIT’s Values Statement Committee and engaged the MIT community in developing a statement of shared values grounded in universal ideals that also speaks to MIT’s distinctive character and culture.

Hastings’ research spans laser material interactions, fusion plasma physics, spacecraft plasma environment interactions, space plasma thrusters, and space systems analysis and design. Throughout his tenure he has taught courses in space environment interactions, rocket propulsion, advanced space power and propulsion systems, space policy and space systems engineering. In recognition for his special service of outstanding merit performed for the Institute, he was presented with MIT’s Gordon Billard Award in 2013.

Hastings has had an active career of service outside of MIT. From 1997–99 he served as chief scientist of the US Air Force where he was the chief scientific adviser to the chief of staff and the secretary and provided assessments on a wide range of scientific and technical issues affecting the Air Force mission. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and in 2022 was named president-elect of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Hastings grew up in England and Jamaica and received his undergraduate degree from Oxford. He first joined the MIT community as a graduate student in 1976, earning an MS in 1978 and PhD in 1980, both in aeronautics and astronautics. He joined the MIT faculty in 1985. 

Dan Hastings
Dan Hastings (photo by Gretchen Ertl)