Stephen Fantone, PhD

1975 Hertz Fellow
Chair of the Board of Directors, Hertz Foundation
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Stephen Fantone is the founder and president of Optikos Corporation, a senior lecturer in the Mechanical Engineering Department at MIT, and the chair of the board of directors at the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation.

Before founding Optikos, Stephen worked at Polaroid Corporation. He has been awarded over 70 patents and is a recognized expert in optical engineering and optical product development. Stephen also serves on the boards of the Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research and The Optical Society (OSA) Foundation, which awarded him its Distinguished Service Award for his more than 40 years of involvement with the organization. Stephen received his SB in electrical engineering and management from MIT and his PhD in optics from the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester.

Hertz Foundation Role

Board of Directors

Graduate Studies

University of Rochester
Design, Engineering, and Manufacturing Aspects of Gradient Index Optical Components

Undergraduate Studies

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


2007, Distinguished Service Award, Optica
2015, Distinguished Scholar Award, University of Rochester
2022, Member, National Academy of Engineering

Related News

Nov 21, 2023
As part of the Hertz Foundation’s 2023 Philanthropy Report, Board Chair Stephen Fantone and President Robbee Kosak share their aspirations for building on our 60–year legacy of impact and leadership in science and technology.
Jun 2, 2023
Chairman emeritus and esteemed Hertz Fellow David Galas peacefully left us on May 27 at his home on Bainbridge Island, following a courageous battle with cancer.
Mar 14, 2023
The Fannie and John Hertz Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering the most promising innovators in science and technology, has announced the election of Stephen D. Fantone as chair of its board of directors.
Dec 13, 2022
As John and Fannie Hertz demonstrated decades ago, investment in science and technology can lead to life-changing innovation and enduring impact. We are committed to building on their legacy and invite you to join us. Let's think bigger togethe
Oct 3, 2022
Stephen Fantone, A Hertz Fellow and Acting Chair and Vice President of the Board of Directors at the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation, has been elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering.