Melissa Nobles named as MIT’s next Chancellor

Kenan Sahin Dean of MIT SHASS will move to the senior academic post overseeing student life at the Institute.

Melissa Nobles, Professor of Political Science, and Kenan Sahin Dean; photo by Gretchen Ertl

“MIT students have an enormous amount to offer society. They also have an enormous amount to learn from society. We have to prepare them for both, for a life-long journey of learning. Our challenge now is to expand our approach to educating the whole student.”

Melissa Nobles, Professor of Political Science; Kenan Sahin Dean of MIT SHASS


MIT has announced that its next chancellor will be Melissa Nobles, an accomplished scholar who has led the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences since 2015.

As chancellor, Nobles will oversee student life and learning, in a broad role that encompasses undergraduate and graduate education and student well-being, as well as strategic planning and fundraising for “all things students.” Nobles is set to become the new chancellor at a time of significant challenges, including the Covid-19 pandemic and increased polarization in society, and significant promise, as MIT continues to expand the resources and programs it devotes to student life and the campus community. She will officially assume her new role August 18, 2021

“Human societies face very serious challenges, and the world’s issues seem quite immediate and pressing, sitting here at our doorstep,” says Nobles, who is the Kenin Sahin Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (MIT SHASS) and a professor of political science. “Our responsibility to educate our students in order to face these challenges is more important than ever. It’s an honor to serve as chancellor and to continue building on MIT’s work to create a healthy and respectful learning environment — one that nurtures intellectual curiosity and emotional maturation.”

The appointment was announced on June 17, 2021 in a letter to the MIT community from President L. Rafael Reif, who cited the distinctive set of skills, interests, and experiences Nobles has brought to the Institute during her 26 years of service.

Full story at MIT News


Suggested links

Melissa Nobles website

Nobles webpage at Political Science

MIT Political Science

Office of the Chancellor

Nobles on Task Force 2021 and the future of MIT educatio

3 Questions: Melissa Nobles on Racial and Restorative Justice

News Story: Taking full account of the past

Foreword: Ethics, Computing, and AI | Perspectives from MIT

Mission of the MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences