Richard K. Lester

Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Richard K. Lester

Richard Lester is the Japan Steel Industry Professor and Vice Provost at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he oversees the international activities of the Institute. From 2009 to 2015 he served as head of MIT’s Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering. He is the founding director and faculty chair of the MIT Industrial Performance Center. Professor Lester’s research focuses on innovation strategy and management, applied most recently to the problem of deep decarbonization of the energy sector. He is also widely known for his research on nuclear technology innovation, management and control. Dr. Lester holds an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Imperial College and a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from MIT. He is the author or co-author of eight books, including Unlocking Energy Innovation: How America Can Build a Low-Cost, Low-Carbon Energy System, and The Productive Edge: A New Strategy for Economic Growth. From 2015 to 2019 he served as chair of the National Academies’ Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy.



What’s the secret to MIT’s success as the world’s number one university?

QS, August 2022 read

Leveraging science and technology against the world’s top problems

NSE News, February 2022 read

The Open University — Universities to U.S. government: When it comes to China, help us help you

The Wire, February 2021 read

Powering the energy transition with better storage

MIT News, March 2021 read

On the Risks and Benefits of New International Engagements

MIT Faculty Newsletter, May/June 2020 read

MIT’s Relationship to China

MIT Faculty Newsletter, October 2018 read

Study: The Role of Firm Low-Carbon Energy Resources in Deep Decarbonization of Power Generation

MIT News, September 2018 read

A Global Strategy for MIT

May 2017 read

Massachusetts Institute of Technology