Marc Tessier-Lavigne, New President of Stanford University
Reporter: Aviva Lev- Ari, PhD, RN
Please read the entire article
ON THE JOB: Tessier-Lavigne will spend his first few months “listening and learning.” (Photo: Art Streiber)
Stanford’s 11th president, who took office on September 1, is an adventurous optimist whose indefatigable nature, intellectual prowess and management skills are a formidable combination, according to those who have worked closely with him. What’s more, says O’Connor, Stanford’s new leader is that rare individual who inspires both respect and affection. “You’re really going to like him.”
Tessier-Lavigne, a neuroscientist credited with pathbreaking discoveries who is also hailed for his two highly successful tenures as an executive, first at the drug company Genentech and then at Rockefeller, one of the world’s leading biomedical research institutions.
Although he is a relative newcomer, Tessier-Lavigne is no stranger to the Farm. He was a professor of biological sciences at Stanford from 2001 to 2005. (For two of those years, he was on leave.) He and his wife, Mary Hynes, have lived in the Bay Area on and off for 20 years. Hynes, also an esteemed neuroscientist whose work attempts to unravel the mysteries of Parkinson’s disease, led a small research group at Stanford for eight years before joining her husband at Rockefeller. (See sidebar below.) She will reopen her lab on the Farm this fall. Also this fall, the couple’s daughter, Ella, joins the freshman class of 2020. Ella applied and was admitted early decision last year, before her dad became a candidate for the Stanford presidency. To say she had the upper hand in setting some ground rules might be an understatement. “If I see her on campus, I’m not allowed to wave,” Tessier-Lavigne says, grinning.
He inherits an institution that is healthy and well-positioned. “The strength across all sectors of the academy and all of the schools is a sight to behold,” he says. “Thanks to the work of John Hennessy and John Etchemendy and their teams, the university has assumed a world-leading position.”
says Tessier-Lavigne, the Genentech experience was both fulfilling and an opportunity to stretch. “Private-sector experience helped me understand the importance of creating an environment of innovation and fostering collaboration,” he says. “In the private sector you see the power of teamwork. There are different centers of gravity in different places; professionals with very diverse backgrounds coming together to solve a problem. Figuring out how to do that — how to bring people together in a productive way rather than working at cross purposes because they speak different languages — that’s a very valuable experience for work in the academic sector, where of necessity we’re organized into schools and there can be less immediate interaction.”
SOURCE: Excerpts from
A Leader in Full – As a scientist and as an executive, Marc Tessier-Lavigne has made a career out of making a difference.
BY KEVIN COOL
From: Stanford Report on behalf of Stanford Report <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thursday, September 1, 2016 at 7:02 AM
To: Aviva Lev-Ari <AvivaLev-Ari@alum.berkeley.edu>
Subject: Stanford’s new president; AI 2030; SB 32