WPI president to step down to become director of JPL

January 29, 2022 GMT

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — Worcester Polytechnic Institute President Laurie Leshin has announced that she is stepping down at the end of the current academic year to become the director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, the school’s trustees announced.

Leshin, the first woman to serve as president of WPI, has been at the private college for eight years.

”WPI has achieved great things under Laurie’s leadership and with your partnership, commitment, and dedication,” the trustees said in a statement Thursday. “There will be plenty of time to acknowledge these accomplishments in the months to come. Right now, please know that WPI will continue its focus on supporting the well-being of our community, successfully navigating the pandemic, and meeting the goals of our strategic plan and campaign.”

The school will name an interim president shortly, and put together a search committee that will conduct a “thoughtful and comprehensive national search” for a new leader.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a NASA-funded research and development center managed by the California Institute of Technology.