About the Vice President for Equity and Inclusion

Karl W. Reid

is MIT’s first Vice President for Equity and Inclusion. Deeply grounded in the Institute’s culture and values, he brings a range of compelling skills and experience to his role. 

After earning two MIT degrees in materials science and engineering, Reid spent a dozen years in product management and consulting in the computing industry. In 1991, five years into a successful career in sales and marketing with IBM, he read Jonathan Kozol’s Savage Inequalities, a seminal book about educational disparities in the U.S., which sparked his passion for bringing about positive change through education of African Americans and other underserved populations. 

In 1998, Reid returned to MIT as executive director of the Office of Engineering Outreach Programs; in 2005 he was named associate dean of undergraduate education and director of the Office of Minority Education. While at MIT, Reid earned a doctorate in education from Harvard. His dissertation explored the interrelationship of race, identity, and academic achievement for African American males in college. He also taught a residence-based freshman seminar in Chocolate City that applied many of the research findings, and helped to establish and improve several of OME’s signature programs. 

Reid went on to leadership roles at two national nonprofits focused on promoting educational opportunity. From 2008-14 he served as senior vice president at the United Negro College Fund, which supports the nation’s private historically Black colleges and universities, and from 2014 to 2021 he was the executive director of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and co-founded the national 50k Coalition. Most recently, he served as senior vice provost and chief inclusion officer at Northeastern University, where he was also a professor of practice in the Graduate School of Education in the College of Professional Studies. He co-leads the Engineering PLUS Alliance, a national NSF INCLUDES Alliance which he will continue at MIT. 

Reid sits on the National Council for Inclusive Innovation at the US Patent and Trademark Office; the Advisory Board of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Research Institute; the Committee on Advancing Anti-racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in STEMM Organizations and the Board on Behavioral, Social, and Sensory Sciences at the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM). He also serves on the dean’s advisory cabinet for the University of Michigan College of Engineering and on the boards of Saga Education, the Peake Fellowship Program, and E4USA, a program that introduces engineering curricula in high school. He holds memberships in the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE), the Society for Diversity, and the National Society of Black Engineers.

Reid is a recipient of an honorary doctorate in engineering from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, the Excellence in Leadership Award from NSBE Boston Professionals, the Kenneth Andrew Roe Award from the American Association of Engineering Societies (AAES) for his effectiveness in promoting unity among engineering societies, and the IT Senior Management Forum (ITSMF) Silver Dome Award for mentoring leadership in STEM.

A frequent contributor to the national diversity dialogue on broadening participation in STEM, Reid authored several commentary pieces, has appeared on SiriusXM Karen Hunter Show, and has been quoted in numerous articles in publications such as Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report and The Hechinger Report.

As a student at MIT, Reid served as national chair of the NSBE, co-founded the Black Christian Fellowship, and received the Institute’s highest student honor, the Karl Taylor Compton Award, which recognizes outstanding achievements in citizenship and devotion to the welfare of MIT.

Born in the Bronx and raised in Roosevelt, New York, Reid made his way to MIT via a magnet high school, inspired by the achievements of his older brother, the late Keith Reid ’79. In 2017, he published Working Smarter, Not Just Harder: Three Sensible Strategies for Succeeding in College… and Life, a guide for prospective college students that draws on his experience in learning to “drink from the fire hose.” He lives in Boston, with his wife, Andrea; both enjoy visiting their three adult children.

Karl W. Reid
Karl W. Reid

Karl Reid presents a lifetime achievement award to Clarence Williams at MIT’s 2024 MLK Annual Celebration