September 25, 2008

Vahram Erdekian Named Industry Co-Director of MIT’s Leaders for Manufacturing Program

MIT's Leaders for Manufacturing (LFM) program has announced the appointment of Vahram (Vah) Erdekian as industry co-director, effective September 22, 2008.

Erdekian brings over 30 years of manufacturing and operations experience to LFM, including executive leadership positions at several leading technology companies. In addition to his role with LFM, Erdekian also serves as Distinguished Executive in an advisory role to the global supply chain management organization at Cisco Systems, where he has been a manufacturing leader since joining the company in 2000.

At Cisco, Erdekian originally led the integration of all optical operations and, as vice president of manufacturing operations, was responsible for the complex high end plant from 2002 to 2006. More recently, he was vice president in charge of overseeing the integration of newly merged and acquired companies into Cisco's manufacturing operations.

"Vah will bring vital experience to LFM in his role as industry co-director," said David Simchi-Levi, professor of civil and environmental engineering and engineering systems, and LFM-SDM engineering co-director. "His leadership in global supply chain management at Cisco and his invaluable experience in engineering, manufacturing operations and logistics will continue to give LFM the competitive edge it has had since it was created in 1988," he said.

Tom Allen, LFM's management co-director, Howard Johnson Professor of Management, Emeritus, and Professor of Engineering Systems, Emeritus, added that Erdekian's experience in successfully leading manufacturing, logistics, engineering and global operations is unsurpassed. "Vah has demonstrated repeatedly that he can lead companies to continue to succeed despite changes in technology and global market," he said.

Prior to joining Cisco, Erdekian was president of the eastern region at Solectron Corporation, where he was responsible for all operations on the East Coast from 1998 to 2000. At Bay Networks, later acquired by Nortel, he held several executive positions from 1993 to 1998, including worldwide vice president of operations and logistics. Previously, he was CEO at Megascan Technology, a startup in the imaging and document management field.

For the past two years, Erdekian has served as the Cisco representative to the LFM operating committee and the governing board of the China LFM program at Shanghai Jiao tong University in Shanghai, China. He is also a member of the Computing Advisory Council at Dartmouth College.

Erdekian holds an AB and ME in Engineering from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Babson College.

About MIT's Leaders for Manufacturing program:

An active partnership among MIT School of Engineering, MIT Sloan School of Management, and more than 20 corporations, the MIT Leaders for Manufacturing (LFM) program develops world-class leaders for manufacturing and operations. This innovative two-year graduate program, created in 1988, includes an integrated engineering and management curriculum along with a six-and-a-half month internship at a partner company. Students earn an MBA or Master of Science in Management, as well as a Master of Science in one of eight participating engineering programs. LFM focuses on theory and global practice from concept development through product delivery, including challenges faced on factory floors and in global supply chains. Corporate partners provide generous fellowships for all students.