John T. Preston

Former Director of Technology Development (and Licensing), MIT

John T. Preston is a founder of TEM Capital, an investment firm focused on transformative energy and materials. Mr. Preston spent much of his career (30 years) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, managing the interface between researchers and industry. His titles included Associate Director of the MIT, Industrial Program and the Director of Technology Development (and Licensing) at MIT, where he was responsible for the commercialization of intellectual property developed at MIT. MIT generates roughly two inventions per day on a research budget of about $750 million.

In Mr. Preston’s capacity, he oversaw activities that led to the creation of hundreds of new technology-based companies, as well as the negotiation of thousands of licenses with existing companies. He also oversaw many complex negotiations including the creation of the U.S. standard for high definition television, while representing MIT on the HDTV Grand Alliance. Mr. Preston also taught entrepreneurship at MIT as a Senior Lecturer.

Mr. Preston was awarded the rank of “Knight of the Order of National Merit of France” by French President Mitterrand. He was awarded the “Hammer Award for Reinventing Government” by Vice President Gore. He chaired President George H.W. Bush’s conference announcing the President’s technology initiative. He co-chaired a conference for HRH Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales Technology Awards Conference. He advised the Clinton White House in preparation for the Kyoto Summit on climate change and he spoke at President Reagan’s White House Conference on Superconductivity. He testified before Congress seven times as an expert on technology innovation and has been on advisory boards for the U.S. DOD, NASA, U.S. DOC and numerous others.

He is the recipient of many other awards and honors, including the Thomas Jefferson Award, given to the leading American in technology transfer, and the Renaissance Engineering and Science award from Stevens Institute of Technology. Mr. Preston is Honorary Alum of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Mr. Preston has served on four public company boards including Clean Harbors (1993 – present) and as Board Advisor to Mars Incorporated.

Mr. Preston received a B.S. in physics from the University of Wisconsin and a M.B.A. from Northwestern University.