A Fireside Chat with FedEx Founder Fred Smith: 50 Years of Delivering Innovation

Thursday, January 26, 2023 at 2:00pm to 3:00pm

Building E51-115 2 Amherst St, Cambridge, MA 02142

To kick off CTL's year of 50th-anniversary celebrations, CTL Director Yossi Sheffi will sit down for a discussion with FedEx Founder and Executive Chairman FredSmith.

Smith founded FedEx in 1971, when neither overnight shipping nor the term "supply chain" itself had become common. Smith and Sheffi will focus on the innovations in the supply chain and logistics field of the past 50 years as well as what the next 50 years might look like.

Registration required.


Speaker Bios

Frederick W. Smith is the founder of FedEx Corporation and Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors. The original analyses about the logistic needs of a highly automated future society were done during his tenure as an undergraduate at Yale.

After four years of service in the Marines, including two tours of duty in Vietnam, he launched the original air-ground Federal Express network, which began operations in 1973 to serve the rapidly growing high-tech, high-value-added sectors of the economy Smith had predicted. The company has since grown into a global enterprise that serves more than 220 countries and territories.


Dr. Yossi Sheffi is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he serves as Director of the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics (MIT CTL). He is an expert in systems optimization, risk analysis, and supply chain management, which are the subjects he teaches and researches at MIT. He is the author of many scientific publications and seven books.

Under his leadership, MIT CTL launched many new educational, research, and industry/government outreach programs, leading to substantial growth. He founded the MITx MicroMasters in Supply Chain Management. He is the founder and the Director of MIT's Master of Supply Chain Management degree. He also led the international expansion of MIT CTL by launching the Supply Chain and Logistics Excellence (SCALE) global network of academic centers of education and research. The network includes centers modeled after MIT CTL in Zaragoza, SpainBogota, Colombia; and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Event Type


Events By Interest

Academic, Career Development, Entrepreneurship, General

Events By Audience

MIT Community, Students, Alumni, Faculty, Staff

Events By School

School of Engineering (SoE)





MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics
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