About President Miaoulis
A visionary leader in experiential learning and a champion of STEM education, Ioannis N. Miaoulis became the 11th president of Roger Williams University in August 2019.
As his first priority in office, Dr. Miaoulis spearheaded a university-wide process that developed RWU’s Strategic Action Plan, establishing a guiding framework that centers the university’s initiatives on Academic Excellence, Engaged Learning, Student Success, A Thriving Community, and Sustainable Futures. This plan has been a catalyst for launching new interdisciplinary initiatives in the Blue Economy and Sustainable Coastal Futures; Real Estate; the Public Humanities and Arts Collaborative (Co-Lab); STEM; Food Studies; and Entrepreneurship and Leadership, involving the university’s undergraduate and graduate programs, law school, and professional and trades programs at our Providence campus.
Under his tenure, RWU announced a transformative $20 million partnership with Cummings Foundation and dedicated the Cummings School of Architecture and the new Cummings Institute for Real Estate. He has also overseen the opening of the Richard L. Bready Applied Learning Labs, a state-of-the-art experiential learning building in engineering, computing and construction management; the transformation of the School of Engineering, Computing and Construction Management as a hub of science and emerging technology innovation, featuring a new interdisciplinary Data and Modeling Lab; and opening of an interdisciplinary Design Thinking Studio in the Mario J. Gabelli School of Business.
In 2023, Dr. Miaoulis began leading an ambitious Campus Master Plan for the next period of construction growth on the Bristol campus that will invest $150 million into facilities and grounds renovations over the next decade on our Bristol campus. Our infrastructure priorities include the construction of a new Campus Center that will become the hub of our community in the heart of campus, the addition of a residence hall, and upgrades to build pedestrian-friendly connective arteries and athletics fields.
Prior to joining RWU, he served as President and Director of the Boston Museum of Science since 2003, developing an internationally acclaimed STEM education institution through fundraising efforts that included a $50 million gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies. At the museum, he led the development of the National Center for Technological Literacy (NCTL), providing K-12 curricula programs that have reached an estimated 200,000 teachers and 18 million students.
Before his work at the Museum of Science, Dr. Miaoulis served as dean of what became the School of Engineering at Tufts University through his collaborative efforts with the faculty. During his tenure as dean, the number of engineering student applications doubled, and the number of female undergraduates increased by 30 percent. Additionally, he significantly increased faculty and student diversity, boosting the proportion of female faculty members from 1 percent to 25 percent. He initiated the first internship program and an entrepreneurial leadership minor at Tufts, reflecting his passion for experiential learning, which is central to RWU’s mission.
Dr. Miaoulis holds a doctoral degree in mechanical engineering, a master of arts in economics and a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from Tufts University, as well as master of science in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the State University of New York. He has published numerous research papers, several educational textbooks, and holds two engineering patents.
He currently serves on the board of trustees for Cummings Foundation, as trustee emeritus of Tufts University, and on the boards of the Patricia and Philip Frost Museum of Science, the International Space Station National Laboratory and the National STEM Education Advisory Panel. He has served on the NASA Advisory Committee, NASA Education and Public Outreach Committee, National Steering Committee for the National Education Assessment Program, the Board of Wellesley College, WGBH and as Presidential Appointee to the National Board of Museum and Library Services.
Among his many honors and accomplishments, he was inducted in the STEM Hall of Fame in 2017 and has earned the 2014 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) President’s Award (jointly with the NCTL), the 2016 Adelson Prize of AAAS, the 2012 Science Club for Girls Catalyst Award, the 2011 ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) Ralph Coats Roe Medal, NASA's Exceptional Public Service Medal in 2009, the 2003 Tufts University Alumni Association's Distinguished Service Award, the William P. Desmond Award for Outstanding Contributions to Public Education, the Allan MacLeod Cormack Award for Excellence in Collaborative Research, and the Presidential Young Investigator Award. In 2018, he was named one of the 100 most influential people in Boston by Boston Magazine.
First Generation Story
Roger Williams University formally celebrates students, faculty, staff, and alumni who identify – or identified – as first-generation college students at our First-Generation Celebration Day. To commemorate the occasion, President Miaoulis shared his experiences as a first-generation and international college student.