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Updated: May 25, 2020 The Power 50 Class of 2020

2020 Power 50: Laurie Leshin

Laurie Leshin, president of Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Laurie Leshin
  • Title: President
  • Organization: Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Colleges: Arizona State University & California Institute of Technology

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When Gov. Charlie Baker needed someone from the higher education industry to serve on his advisory board on how to best reopen the Mass. economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, he turned to Leshin.

In a region and state with a multitude of historic and well-regarded institutes of higher learning, this is the power Leshin holds. Beyond simply leading a school with more than 5,000 students and an endowment in excess of $520 million, Leshin in her six years as president has made sure WPI has played an outsized role in the community. WPI hosts incubators, and a dozen new companies with connections to WPI have launched in the past year. She is an outspoken advocate of STEM education and owns the importance of being the first female leader of 155-year-old WPI.

What makes Central Mass. unique? With Ed and Meds comprising some 40% of the local payroll, colleges are significant contributors to the Central Mass. economy. The 11 colleges in Greater Worcester educate the workforce, support cutting-edge research, spin out startups and incubators, and offer rich cultural programming.

Finding her peace: I’m a weaver and a lover of beautiful yarns. Weaving is very zen and helps me to re-center, so there is always a work in progress on a loom in my home office. And, my faithful corgi, Hudson (aka Space Puppy), loves it when he can join me there.

Power 50: View the entire Power 50 Class of 2020

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