Alfred Ironside

Vice President for Communications at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Alfred Ironside

Alfred Ironside

Vice President for Communications at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Biography

Alfred Ironside was appointed vice president for communications at MIT in February 2020. He serves as chief communications officer for the Institute and advises the president and other senior leaders on the most effective ways to support and promote MIT’s work and its reputation around the world.

Before joining MIT, Mr. Ironside served as vice president for global communications at the Ford Foundation, one of the world’s largest and most accomplished philanthropies. In that role, he oversaw the foundation’s executive communications, messaging, strategic partnerships, and public affairs. Previously, he served the Ford Foundation as director of strategic communications. In more than 14 years with the foundation, he helped transform it into one of the most visible and influential voices for social justice in the United States.

Prior to his work at the Ford Foundation, he served as chief of media relations for UNICEF. Traveling to more than 40 countries, he acted as the United Nations’ spokesman on issues affecting children and women amidst conflict and natural disaster. Earlier, he spent three years in the U.S. Diplomatic Service as a press officer in East Berlin, where he won commendation for his work during the Berlin Wall crisis, and four years as a spokesman with the American Red Cross.

Mr. Ironside began his career as a news reporter at radio stations in and around Indianapolis and Philadelphia. In the early 1990s, he helped launch the first Western advertising agency in Bulgaria and served as its managing director. He was later a member of the editorial team that launched the English edition of Ha’aretz, Israel’s leading newspaper, in conjunction with the International Herald-Tribune.

A native of Philadelphia, Mr. Ironside holds degrees in both political science and journalism from Butler University in Indianapolis, and a master’s in media administration from the Newhouse School and the Graduate School of Business at Syracuse University.

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Provost at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Vice President & General Counsel at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Vice President & Dean for Student Life at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Dean, School of Architecture & Planning at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Dean, School of Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Associate Provost at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Associate Provost at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Director, Collaborative Initiatives at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Director of Libraries at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Director, Transportation at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Alfred Ironside
Vice President for Communications at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Career History
Vice President for Communications
2020 - Current

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific, engineering, and technological education and research. Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, the institute used a polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction. MIT was elected to the Association of American Universities in 1934.

Special Adviser to the President
2014 - Current

The Ford Foundation supports visionary leaders and organizations on the frontlines of social change worldwide. We believe all people should have the opportunity to reach their full potential, contribute to society, and have voice in the decisions that affect them. We believe the best way to achieve these goals is to encourage initiatives by those living and working closest to where problems are located; to promote collaboration among the nonprofit, government and business sectors; and to ensure participation by men and women from diverse communities and all levels of society. In our experience, such activities help build common understanding, enhance excellence, enable people to improve their lives and reinforce their commitment to society. We work mainly by making grants or loans that build knowledge and strengthen organizations and networks. Since our financial resources are modest compared with societal needs, we focus on key problem areas and program strategies. Created with gifts and bequests by Edsel and Henry Ford, the foundation is an independent, nonprofit, nongovernmental organization, with its own board, and is entirely separate from the Ford Motor Company. The trustees of the foundation set policy and delegate authority to the president and senior staff for the foundation’s grant making and operations. Program officers in the United States, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America explore opportunities to pursue the foundation’s goals, formulate strategies and recommend proposals for funding.

Other Affiliations

Alfred Ironside is affiliated with Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ford Foundation

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