Rick Levin is a Senior Advisor at Coursera and the former CEO. He joined the company in 2013, after completing a 20-year term as President of Yale University, during which time he rebuilt the campus, redeveloped downtown New Haven, co-founded Yale-NUS College in Singapore, and generally strengthened the University’s international programs – in China in particular. He is the Frederick William Beinecke Professor of Economics, Emeritus.
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 established the Office of Sustainability in 2005, and during that year endorsed an aggressive greenhouse gas reduction target and strategy for the University. In 2007–2008, President Levin convened the leadership of Yale’s peer institutions nationally and internationally, challenging each of these universities to respond to the pressing issue of climate change.
Levin is also a trustee of the Hewlett Foundation, a director of Climate Works and American Express, and a member of the National Committee on United States-China Relations. He served on a bipartisan commission to recommend improvements in the nation’s intelligence capabilities and chaired a major review of the nation’s patent system for the National Academy of Sciences. President Levin holds honorary degrees from Harvard, Princeton, Oxford, Peking, Tokyo, and Waseda universities and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
He received his B.A. from Stanford University in 1968 and studied politics and philosophy at Oxford University, where he earned a B.Litt. degree. In 1974 he received his Ph.D. from Yale and joined the Yale faculty. Before becoming president, he chaired the economics department and served as dean of Yale’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
Levin is back at Yale after four years in California. He will not be teaching a class of his own, but he will be available to meet with students and to make guest appearances in classes taught by others.