Perkins School for the Blind Names Anantha Chandrakasan to Board of Trustees

Dean of MIT’s School of Engineering Joins Board to Help Further Perkins’ Mission

Headshot of  Anantha Chandrakasan, dean of MIT’s School of Engineering and new Trustee
November 20, 2018

WATERTOWN, MA – Perkins School for the Blind, the first school for the blind in the U.S. and the international leader in blindness education, has added Anantha Chandrakasan, dean of MIT’s School of Engineering, to its Board of Trustees.

In addition to dean, Chandrakasan is MIT’s Vannevar Bush Professor and a former head of its Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS).  He co-chairs the MIT–IBM Watson AI Lab, and is chair of the MIT- SenseTime Alliance on Artificial Intelligence and the Abdul Latif Jameel Clinic for Machine Learning in Health, or J-Clinic. During his six-year tenure as head of EECS, MIT’s largest academic department, Chandrakasan spearheaded a number of initiatives that opened opportunities for students, postdocs, and faculty to conduct research, explore entrepreneurial projects, and engage with department research. He is a board member and chair of the advisory committee dealing with MIT policies for The Engine, an accelerator recently launched by MIT to support startup companies working on scientific and technological innovation with the potential for transformative societal impact. 

Chandrakasan has been the recipient of many awards, including the 2009 Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) University Research Award, the 2013 IEEE Donald O. Pederson Award in Solid-State Circuits, an honorary doctorate from KU Leuven in 2016, and the UC Berkeley EE Distinguished Alumni Award. He was also recognized as the author with the highest number of publications in the 60-year history of the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), the foremost global forum for presentation of advances in solid-state circuits and systems-on-a-chip.  He served as the Conference Chair of ISSCC from 2010 till 2018. A fellow of IEEE, in 2015, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

Perkins’ Board of Trustees include: Stephanie C. Andrews, Kevin S. Bright, Frederic “Fred” M. Clifford, RoAnn Costin, Jim Down, Corinne Basler Grousbeck (Chair), Thomas Hehir, Raymond W. “Ray” Hepper, Randy E. Kinard, Janet LaBreck, Philip L. Ladd, Huntington D. “Hunt” Lambert, Elena Matlack, Katherine McGaugh, Jo Frances Meyer, Oswald “Oz” Mondejar, Vaithehi Muttulingam, Greg J. Pappas, Stephen Pelletier, Paul Perrault, Michael Schnitman, Cynthia Stead and Katherine Chapman Stemberg.

“We’re thrilled to have Anantha join our Board of Trustees and bring his intellectual creativity and energy to Perkins,” said Perkins President and CEO Dave Power. “He shares Perkins’ guiding principle that everyone deserves equal access to the resources that make up our communities and deserve to put their abilities to work by participating and adding value to society.”

Perkins is a progressive, multi-faceted organization with a legacy of global leadership in blindness education and services for people who have visual impairment with multiple disabilities. Committed to both preparing its students for the world -- and the world for those students -- Perkins has served as a catalyst for innovation since its founding more than 180 years ago.

Perkins has recently launched multiple initiatives to address everyday problems faced by people who are blind, including its BlindWays 2.0 app to help those who are blind or visually impaired better access public transportation. This past January, Perkins partnered with Aira, becoming the first campus in the country to pilot the technology company’s remote sighted guide service. In April, the school held its first-ever hackathon, where more than 100 college students from across the country designed technology tools for people who are blind. In May, Perkins created a mock election on behalf of technology firm Clear Ballot to catch accessibility flaws in digital voting systems. This summer, Perkins hosted a talk on campus with the User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA) to highlight the moral imperative behind creating accessible technology and the broader benefits and opportunity to society and businesses.


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Perkins School for the Blind

Since 1829, Perkins School for the Blind has been a leader in preparing students for the world and the world for our students. Today, Perkins’ works globally to foster accessibility with the goal that every person can learn to be as independent as possible and fulfill their unique potential. Learn more at


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