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Vijay Kumar has been providing leadership for sustainable technology-enabled educational innovation at MIT for the past 26 years, most recently as the Founding Executive Director of J-WEL (Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab), and Associate Dean for Open Learning (J-WEL). In his prior roles at MIT as Senior Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education, Assistant Provost and Director of Academic Computing, as well at other institutions, Vijay has been responsible for strategy development,launching and leading units engaged in the effective integration of information technology and media services to enable educational change.

Vijay was the Principal Investigator of O.K.I (Open Knowledge Initiative), an MIT-led collaborative project to develop an open architecture for enterprise educational applications.

He is a member of the Faculty Advisory Committee of MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW). He has served as the Executive officer for MIT's Council on Educational Technology and as a member of the steering committee for I-Campus, the MIT-Microsoft Alliance initiative for educational technology.

He was co-PI of an NSF supported MIT initiative for capacity building in STEM education in Haiti through educational technology and open resources.

He was also co-PI of a US Department of Education project, “Fly-By-Wire” directed towards assisting teachers in scalably addressing the learning needs of differently prepared and motivated students.

Vijay's research as well as his advisory engagements are directed toward strategy, planning and implementing technological innovations to advance educational equity and quality, globally. . These include:

  • World Health Organization - WHO Academy Learning Strategy Advisor.
  • Smithsonian (Advisor for Digital Futures).
  • India National Knowledge Commission, (honorary advisor 2006- 2009).
  • UNESCO (developing strategies for open educational resources, open technology and policy)
  • Open University of Catalonia (Educational Innovation)
  • Al Ghurair Foundation for Education, UAE, MIT partnership for strengthening education in the MENA region,including displaced learners
  • Singapore University of Technology and Design (IT)
  • Qatar Foundation International(educational technology and innovation)
  • Massachusetts STEM Council's Network Operations Board.

His experience also includes programs for K-12 curriculum and teacher professional development and planning through innovative uses of technology.

Vijay co-led CLIx, a Tata-MIT initiative to advance educational quality and access through technology in underserved Indian schools. The initiative received the UNESCO 2017 King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the Use of Information and Communication Technologies in Education.

He is Co-PI for the Woodrow Wilson-MIT collaborative initiative for professional development of teachers through contemporary learning science and technology for challenge based education.

Vijay has been actively involved in efforts, such as the Kaleidoscope project and Curriki, as well as those supported by the Hewlett and Gates Foundations to advance the use of Open Educational Resources for improving educational access and quality.

He has been an important contributor to professional organizations such as Educause (Seminars on Academic Computing (SAC, Chair), ICDE, Internet2 (Applications Strategy Council ,New Media Consortium (Chair), and the Corporation for Research and Education Networking (CREN,Trustee) He serves as Trustee of EDC, an international educational development organization and on the Advisory Board for Learnlaunch, an Ed Tech Accelerator.

Vijay is a co-editor of a Carnegie Foundation book "Opening Up Education" (MIT Press, August 2008). He has authored numerous articles in the area of educational innovations and technology strategy.

Vijay was awarded an Honorary Professorship by Tianjin Open University, October 2013. He was also appointed as the Exxon Mobil Chair for Technology Enabled Learning at the University of Qatar, 2014.


  • Ed.D. University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1986; Dissertation: "Introducing Technological Innovations for Education in a Developing Country - Implications for Planning."
  • M.S. Industrial Management, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, India, 1978; Dissertation: "Systemic Planning for Higher Education Administration"
  • B.Tech. Chemical Engineering, IIT, Madras, India, 1975.
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, IIT, Madras, India, 2011.