Dr. Laurie Leshin

Dr. Laurie Leshin

Vice Chair, FIRST Board of Directors
President, Worcester Polytechnic Institute   

Dr. Laurie Leshin became the 16th president of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in June of 2014. As president, she is committed to elevating WPI’s impact in communities worldwide. Leshin has over 20 years of experience as a leader in academia and government service, and an accomplished record as a space scientist. Prior to joining WPI, Dr. Leshin served as the dean of the School of Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York. While at Rensselaer, she continued her work as a scientist for the Mars Curiosity Rover mission and was appointed by President Barack Obama to the Advisory Board for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

Previously, Dr. Leshin served as the deputy director of NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, where she was responsible for oversight of NASA’s future human spaceflight programs and activities.

Leshin was also a professor of Geological Sciences at Arizona State University, where she led the development of the first-of-its-kind interdisciplinary School of Earth and Space Exploration and served as director of the Center for Meteorite Studies at Arizona State University.  

WPI is a 20-year FIRST Scholarship Provider; hosts successful FIRST Robotics Competition tournaments; and has functioned as an Operational Partner for FIRST LEGO League in Massachusetts since 2000. In addition, through the WPI FIRST® Robotics Resource Center, the university works to develop interactive communications tools to help FIRST teams improve performance by accessing and sharing new information and ideas.