Gilda A. Barabino is the second president of Olin College of Engineering, which is dedicated to educating the next generation of engineering innovators who recognize needs, design solutions, and engage in creative enterprises for the good of the world.
A chemical engineer by training, with broad interests in global health and interdisciplinary research and education, Dr. Barabino has pioneered new engineering approaches to problems in medicine. Her seminal research in sickle cell disease has informed current technologies and formed the basis for novel therapies. She is a passionate advocate for health equity and leads national efforts to engage engineers in the development of solutions to health disparities.
Prior to becoming president of Olin College, Dr. Barabino served as Dean of the Grove School of Engineering at the City College of New York and held appointments in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering as well as at the City University of New York School of Medicine. There she established the Master’s in Translational Medicine program, which addresses unmet clinical needs through the integration of engineering, medical innovation and entrepreneurship.
Dr. Barabino has also held academic and administrative appointments at Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University and Northeastern University. At Georgia Tech, she served as the inaugural vice provost for academic diversity, and at Northeastern, she served as vice provost for undergraduate education. She is an internationally recognized thought leader and highly sought-after speaker and consultant on race/ethnicity and gender in science and engineering, with a particular focus on creating cultures and climates that support a sense of belonging. She has led a number of initiatives in these areas, including serving as the founder and executive director of the National Institute for Faculty Equity.
In recognition of her visionary leadership and outstanding professional achievement, Dr. Barabino has received many of the highest honors in academia. In 2021, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is also an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and the Biomedical Engineering Society.
Dr. Barabino leads on a global stage. She is the president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest interdisciplinary scientific society. In advancing science, engineering, and innovation, she and AAAS are committed to science for and by all and engineering for everyone. As the second president in Olin’s history, Barabino is leading the college into its next chapter as it continues its mission to transform engineering education around the world.
Dr. Barabino received a B.S. from Xavier University of Louisiana and a Ph.D. from Rice University. She is married to Joseph Barabino, and they have a son, Jori Barabino.