Meet Amy Brand

New director shapes future of MIT Press

Amy Brand

Amy Brand

When Amy Brand PhD ’89 first arrived in Cambridge for graduate studies in cognitive science, Kendall Square was “a bleak place,” she said, with a greasy spoon diner as the only walkable lunch option. But, Brand recalls, she also had a “gleaming oasis”: the MIT Press Bookstore, where she’d spend hours poring over the latest offerings.

Thirty years later she is astonished to find herself in a bustling, vibrant Kendall Square, taking direction of the MIT Press, where, she said, “the excitement of renewal is palpable.”

According to Chris Bourg, director of the MIT Libraries, Brand is “the ideal leader for the MIT Press at this time of tremendous change and opportunity for scholarly publishing.”

Brand most recently served as a vice president at Digital Science, and prior to that she was an assistant provost at Harvard University and a program manager in Harvard’s Office for Scholarly Communication. From 1994 to 2000, she was an executive editor for MIT Press in cognitive science and linguistics.

Brand will oversee traditional print acquisitions for the press, and help develop new technologies for digital content delivery to a worldwide audience. “The MIT Press has a stellar reputation and history of taking risks and I’m looking forward to breaking new ground,” she said.

Young Press, Major Impact
Although youthful compared to its centenarian peers, the 53-year-old MIT Press is one of the largest university presses in the world. It publishes more than 200 new books each year along with 30 journals in the arts and humanities, the social and natural sciences, and technology, among other disciplines. With a deep bench of authors and a reputation for risk-taking, the Press has established a significant presence in the publishing world for books in such areas as architecture, social theory, and cognitive science. Committed to serving both the MIT community and a global readership, the MIT Press offers a range of publications in both print and digital formats, and continues to seek innovative methods for delivering pathbreaking content.