Susan Hockfield (born March 24, 1951) is the sixteenth president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Hockfield’s appointment was publicly announced on August 26, 2004, and she formally took office December 6, 2004, succeeding Charles M. Vest. Hockfield’s official inauguration celebrations took place during the week of May 2, 2005. Her title is “President and Professor of Neuroscience,” and she is the first woman and the first life scientist to hold the title of president of MIT. On February 16, 2012, Dr. Hockfield announced she would step down as MIT’s president once a successor was ready to assume the office.