Director's Fellows Program, 2013–2020

The Director’s Fellows program was intended to create a diverse global network empowered by technology and creativity from the MIT Media Lab.

From 2013–2020, the Director’s Fellow program connected a global community of charismatic and visionary leaders to the interdisciplinary research culture of the MIT Media Lab. Through curated collaborations, the program aimed to expand the perspectives of our academic community, while strengthening the fellows’ capacity to serve, lead, and act as ambassadors of the Media Lab’s mission, addressing pressing issues through the lens of civic engagement, social change, education, and creative disruption.

The director’s fellows were offered a two-year honorary affiliation with the MIT Media Lab, and the opportunity to meet and connect with the Media Lab network both on and offsite to blur the lines between academia and the world.

Director’s fellows embodied the Media Lab’s signature characteristics of uniqueness, magic, and impact.


Director’s Fellows were offered a two-year honorary affiliation with the MIT Media Lab. The Fellows met and collaborated with Lab students and faculty both on- and off-site to deploy Lab innovation, tackle real-world problems, and expand mutual learning and creativity.


How did we select candidates for the program? We considered each individual’s potential balance with the rest of the cohort, as well as her or his potential for impact. Each Director’s Fellow had something unique to share with the Lab, and each one engaged differently based on serendipity and opportunity. What the Director’s Fellows shared and what bonded them together is that they’re nothing like each other.