MIT Sloan Latin America Office establishes new endowment

David Schmittlein (Photo: MIT)

CAMBRIDGE, MA–With the support of MIT alumni and prominent business leaders in South America, such as the Luksic and Solari families and Gustavo Pierini, the MIT Sloan Latin America Office has created a new endowment. The endowment, for the Santiago-headquartered MSLAO, puts the Office on a solid financial footing and assures its sustainability in perpetuity.

“The establishment of an endowed fund for the MIT Sloan Latin America Office is a wonderful milestone, which we hope will continue to allow this unique Office to conduct important work in the region, for Chile, and for MIT,” the Luksic family says. “We have proudly supported this Office since its inception, and with this endowment MIT has shown Chile and Latin America that it plans to build a lasting legacy between Cambridge and our region.”

MIT Sloan Dean David Schmittlein commented, “The MSLAO was our first global brick and mortar office outside of the United States. I am pleased to see that the School’s efforts to expand its reach have been fruitful for both Latin America and the Institute. The endowment is a demonstration of our commitment to our alumni and the region.”

With its continuity guaranteed, MSLAO can now channel all its energies into looking towards the future and generating maximum impact throughout the region.

In this vein, the Office will fund more long-term research and projects throughout Latin America, centered on its core strategic areas of Energy, Water, and Sustainability; Innovation and Entrepreneurship; and Growth and Productivity.

MSLAO also looks forward to stepping up visits by MIT faculty members to the region. Last year, MIT academic staff came to Latin America for research and educational purposes on a near-monthly basis. With access to additional resources, the Office is well-placed to increase this already impressive rate. Renowned past visitors include Roberto Rigobon, Professor of Applied Economics and the Faculty Director for the MSLAO; Andrew McAfee, Co-Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy; Fiona Murray, Co-Director of MIT’s Innovation Initiative; Robert Pindyck, Professor of Economics and Finance; and Rosalind Picard, Founder of the Affective Computing Research Group at MIT Media Lab.

Entrenching the Office has long been a cherished goal of MIT alumni in Latin America, whose unflagging advocacy was instrumental to the establishment of the endowment. The institutional support of Dean David Schmittlein, President Rafael Reif, Associate Provost Richard Lester and Executive Vice President and Treasurer Israel Ruiz, too, was indispensable.

“The MSLAO endowment is the result and testament to the initiatives and meaningful impact, which MIT has focused in Latin America,” says David V. Capodilupo, Assistant Dean of MIT Sloan Global Programs. “The endowment provides the sustainability necessary as we continue to engage with long- term research projects in the region.”

In creating a programming office endowment, the university is blazing a trail for US universities in Latin America. This innovative new model will provide a template for other North American institutions of higher education seeking to bolster their regional presence.