Advisory Committee on Research Administration (AC-RA)

Updated April 2021


To serve as advisory body to the Vice President for Research (VPR), the Vice President for Finance (VPF) and Research Administration Coordinating Council (RACC), on all matters related to research and sponsored program administration.  The meetings will serve as a forum to discuss research and sponsored programs administration issues and activities at MIT.

  • On-going review of research and sponsored program administration policies, training, systems and business practices and processes in the context of changing funding and regulatory environments. Provide feedback to RACC and executive sponsors.
  • Identify opportunities for how Research Administration Services (RAS), VPR and VPF can offer services to the research community.
  • Assess impact of proposed changes affecting research and sponsored programs administration – policies, systems and processes.  Help to prioritize changes and provide feedback to RACC and executive sponsors.
  • Serve as a conduit for information exchange between central offices involved in research administration and the Department, Lab and Center (DLC) research administration community.
  • Provide expertise and participate in working groups for initiatives and projects related to research administration.

Meeting Schedule

Two to three meetings per year.


Representative Assistant Deans and senior staff from the Schools/Areas, Assistant Provosts from the Provost Office and the Office of the VPR, administrative area representatives from VPR, VPF, Human Resources (HR), Information Systems and Technology (IS&T), Audit Division and Risk Management and Compliance Services (RMCS); and DLC representatives with strong research administration experience and broad view.

Executive Sponsors

  • Maria T. Zuber, Vice President for Research
  • Katie Hammer, Vice President for Finance


  • Ron Hasseltine, Assistant Provost for Research Administration, VPR
  • Pam Buckley, Senior Director, Practice and Process Improvement, VPF

Members of the Research Administration Coordinating Council (ex-officio)

  • Ken Goldsmith, Assistant Dean, School of Architecture and Planning (SAP)
  • Elizabeth Lennox, Assistant Dean, School of Engineering (SOE)
  • Marc Jones, Assistant Dean, School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (SHASS)
  • Heather Williams, Assistant Dean, School of Science
  • Heather Finney Curran, Senior Associate Director, Financial Planning and Operations, Sloan School
  • Eileen Ng Assistant Dean, Schwarzman College of Computing (SCC)
  • Doreen Morris, Assistant Provost, Office of the Provost
  • Colleen Leslie, Assistant Provost for Research Administration, VPR
  • Carol Wood, Director of Research Administration Support, VPR
  • Danielle Khoury, Controller, VPF
  • Kathleen McGrath, Director of Financial Operations, VPF
  • Saumya Khanduja, Manager of Institutional Risk Services, RMCS
  • Michael Moody, Institute Auditor, Audit Division
  • Nick Hambridge, Institute Risk Officer, Risk Management & Compliance Services
  • Eamon Kearns, Senior Director, Emerging Solutions, IS&T

Dean’s Office and Administrative Office Representatives

  • Chris Durham, Assistant Director of HR/Payroll, VPF
  • Christina Lo, Director of Strategic Sourcing and Contracts, VPF
  • Long Tran, Assistant Controller, VPF
  • John Larkin, Assistant Director of Financial Operations, Processes and Compliance, VPF
  • Rachel Arons, Manager of Accounts Receivable and Cashier Services, VPF
  • John Donahue, Director of Cost Analysis, VPR
  • Michelle Jackson, Audit Services Manager, Audit Division
  • Kate Miller, Manager of Institutional Compliance, RMCS
  • Karen Shirer, Chief of Staff, VPR
  • Sarah Brady, Assistant Dean for Finance, SOS
  • Mary Ellen Sinkus, Administrative Officer, SOE
  • Olu Brown, Director of Platform Engagement, IS&T

DLC Representatives

(3-year terms, staggered-term noted: 1 - 6/30/21, 2 - 6/30/22, 3 - 6/30/23)

  • Peggy Bryan, Manager, Finance and Administration, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, SAP (3)
  • David Sears, Assistant Director JPAL, SHASS (2)
  • Benn Egan, Senior Sponsored Research Officer, Sloan (2)
  • Amanda Tat, Administrative Officer, Center for Environmental Health Sciences, VPR (2)
  • Melissa Sheehan, Manager for Fiscal Administration, Research Laboratory of Electronics, VPR (2)
  • Joshua Freedman, Assistant Director for Finance and Administration, ISN, VPR (1)
  • Dianne Bickford, Senior Financial Officer, Department of Biological Engineering, SOE (2)
  • Jack Defandorf, Administrative Officer, MIT Kavli Institute, SOS (1)
  • Alison Salie, Senior Financial Officer, Department of Biology, SOS (1)
  • Catherine Gyewu, Senior Financial Officer, Department of Chemical Engineering, SOE (2)
  • Kariuki Thande, Senior Financial Officer, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, SOE (2)
  • Gilbert Cordova, Administrative Officer, MIT Quest for Intelligence, SCC (3)
  • TBA, VPR (3)