Douglas Spreng SB '65
Other Affiliations : MBA - Harvard
Douglas Spreng has led the Energy & Environment Series for the MIT Club of Northern CA since 2010 and has been a major donor to MIT’s Energy Initiative. He also served as club president from 2014-16.
Prior to his retirement in 2006, he was a high-tech executive at Hewlett Packard and 3Com Corporation and was most recently CEO of MMC Networks and Ubicom, both network processing companies. He received his BS in Electrical Engineering from MIT in 1965 and MBA from Harvard in 1967.
Why did you decide to volunteer with the MITCNC?
Help deal with climate change by educating and engaging our alumni regarding replacement of fossil fuels in energy production and transportation and increasing understanding of the perils of climate change. MIT is a global leader in this area; I wanted MITCNC to be a Bay Area leader in the same regard.
Tell us a bit about your role with the MITCNC. What are your responsibilities in this position?
I have been leading this track for the past ten years, averaging seven events per year with an audience of around 1,000 per year. As the overall leader, I consider myself the executive producer of the track and encourage our volunteers to take leading roles such as series planners, event managers and moderators.
What exciting things can we expect to see from your area of focus in the coming months? (e.g., social events, speakers, etc.)
We enter our 2020 – 21 season with an all-virtual lineup of speakers, including some nationally-known ones. We are making these events free for all MIT alums with a club membership worldwide and hope to expand our audience well beyond our region, since most of our events have national and even global content. We’ve also been able to land some important speakers on the East Coast, who have agreed to do an event for us without having to travel. The challenge is to produce professionally-done virtual events in place of the in-person events of the past, expand our audience and have them be just as well-received.
Describe one of your most memorable MIT moments.
Being one of three Class Speakers at my 50th Reunion and telling the story of how I developed a second career by leading the E&E track at MITCNC, along with many other energy-related activities with MIT.