Professor Richard C Levin

President Emeritus, Yale University and Chief Executive Officer, Coursera, USA

Professor Richard C Levin is President Emeritus, Frederick William Beinecke Professor of Economics, and Director of the Project on U.S.- China Relations at Yale University. He is also Chief Executive Officer of Cousera, an education platform that partners with top universities and organisations worldwide, offering courses online for anyone to take. Professor Levin served on President Obama’s Council of Advisors for Science and Technology. He is a director of American Express and C3 Energy, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. He received his BA from Stanford University in 1968 and studied politics and philosophy at Oxford University, where he earned a BLitt degree. In 1974, he received his PhD from Yale and joined the Yale faculty. He spent the next two decades teaching, conducting research, serving on committees and working in administration at the university.

In 2013, Professor Levin completed a twenty-year term as President of Yale University, during which time he played an integral role in growing the University’s programmes, resources, and reputation internationally. The internationalisation of Yale was one of his top priorities. Under Professor Levin’s leadership, in 2011, Yale completed a US$3.9 billion fundraising campaign, and has invested US$4 billion in a campus renovation and building program. Professor Levin is recognized as an advocate and leader of the emerging role of higher education in responding to the challenge of sustainable development locally and globally. He developed an effective partnership with the City of New Haven to expand commercial activity near the campus and increase the number of new local companies based on Yale research. Professor Levin was appointed by President Obama to serve on the President’s Council of Advisors for Science and Technology (PCAST); the members– from outside the Federal government – provide advice on matters of science and technology policy. He was a director of ClimateWorks, the National Committee on US–China Relations, and a trustee of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, one of the largest philanthropic organizations in the United States. He served on Presidential Commissions reviewing the US Postal Service and the effectiveness of U.S. intelligence operations. As a member of the board on Science, Technology and Economic Policy (STEP) at the National Academy of Science, Professor Levin co-chaired a committee that examined the effects of intellectual property rights policies on economic and scientific progress and made recommendations for reform of the patent system that are currently under active consideration by the US Congress. In addition, he served on the Blue Ribbon Panel on Baseball Economics. He has been awarded honorary degrees from Harvard, Princeton, Oxford, Peking, Tokyo and Waseda Universities.