Maria T. Zuber is the E. A. Griswold Professor of Geophysics and Vice President for Research at MIT, where she is responsible for research administration and policy. She oversees MIT Lincoln Laboratory and more than a dozen interdisciplinary research laboratories and centers, including the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, MIT Energy Initiative, MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, Plasma Science and Fusion Center, Research Laboratory of Electronics, Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies, and Haystack Observatory. Vice President Zuber is also responsible for intellectual property and research integrity and compliance, as well as research relationships with the federal government.
Vice President Zuber’s research bridges planetary geophysics and the technology of space-based laser and radio systems. Since 1990, she has held leadership roles associated with scientific experiments or instrumentation on nine NASA missions, most notably serving as Principal Investigator of the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory or GRAIL mission.
Vice President Zuber is the first woman to lead a science department at MIT and the first to lead a NASA planetary mission. In 2004 she served on the Presidential Commission on the Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy. In 2002 Discover magazine named her one of the 50 most important women in science and, in 2008, she was named to the USNews/Harvard Kennedy School List of America’s Best Leaders. In 2013 President Obama appointed her to the National Science Board, and in 2016 she was elected Board Chair.