Honorable Dr. Walter Copan
Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology, and Director, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Dr. Walter G. Copan was confirmed by Congress as Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director on October 5, 2017. As NIST Director, Dr. Copan provides high-level oversight and direction for NIST. He has had a distinguished and diverse career as a science and technology executive in large and small corporations, U.S. government, nonprofit and other public-sector settings.
Dr. Copan formerly served as president and CEO of the IP Engineering Group Corporation, providing services in intellectual property strategy, technology commercialization and innovation. Until June 2017, he was founding CEO and chairman of Impact Engineered Wood Corporation, an advanced materials technology company. He also is a founding board member of Rocky Mountain Innovation Partners, where he led technology transfer programs and innovation services on behalf of the U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. federal labs and academic institutions and helped foster entrepreneurial businesses in the Rocky Mountain West. He also served with the National Advisory Council to the Federal Laboratory Consortium for more than 5 years, providing industry inputs to advance the U.S. economic impacts of the federal laboratory system.
From 2010–2013, Dr. Copan served as managing director of Technology Commercialization and Partnerships at DOE's Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). Among his accomplishments were leading the creation and implementation of the new DOE technology transfer mechanism, “Agreement for Commercializing Technology” (ACT), to facilitate collaborations between the federal labs and U.S. corporations. He led the “Startup America” initiative on behalf of DOE for entrepreneurial business creation, and he initiated the DOE’s new Small Business Innovation Research – Technology Transfer (SBIR-TT) program, which built upon the experiences of NIST. He served as founding partner and board member of the “Accelerate Long Island” alliance for innovation, economic development and early stage investment.
From 2005–2010, Dr. Copan was executive vice president and chief technology officer at Clean Diesel Technologies, Inc., an international technology development and licensing firm. He spearheaded the company’s transformation, growth and listing on NASDAQ (CDTI), as well as the company’s subsequent merger. Prior to joining CDTI, Dr. Copan served at the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) as Principal Licensing Executive, Technology Transfer. There, he led organizational changes that strengthened relationships with industry and the investment community, and led to the more productive commercialization of energy-related technologies.
After earning dual B.S./B.A. degrees in chemistry and music from Case Western Reserve University in 1975, Dr. Copan began his career in chemicals and materials research at the Lubrizol Corporation (now part of the Berkshire Hathaway Group). He earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Case Western in 1982, and subsequently held leadership positions at Lubrizol in research and development, strategy, business unit management, venture capital, and mergers, acquisitions and strategic alliances in the U.S. and abroad. As managing director, Technology Transfer and Licensing, from 1999–2003, he was responsible for Lubrizol’s corporate venturing and open innovation, technology strategy, business development, intellectual assets and the technology licensing business.
Dr. Copan is a patent holder, has authored numerous professional publications and presentations, and has served on the boards of many organizations, including the Licensing Executives Society (LES) USA and Canada, where he recently served as regional vice president for LES USA. He has contributed to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Council on Competitiveness, the World Intellectual Property Organization and the United Nations on innovation, technology transfer, energy and economic development matters.
Honorable Andrei Iancu
Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office
In his role as the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Andrei Iancu provides leadership and oversight to one of the largest intellectual property offices in the world, with more than 12,000 employees and an annual budget of over $3 billion. He also serves as the principal advisor to the Secretary of Commerce on domestic and international intellectual property policy matters.
Prior to joining the USPTO, Mr. Iancu was the Managing Partner at Irell & Manella LLP, where his practice focused on intellectual property litigation. Mr. Iancu appeared in a variety of high-profile matters in front of the USPTO, U.S. district courts, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the U.S. International Trade Commission. He has represented clients across the technical and scientific spectra, including those associated with medical devices, genetic testing, therapeutics, the internet, telephony, TV broadcasting, video game systems, and computer peripherals.
Mr. Iancu has also taught patent law at the UCLA School of Law, and has written and spoken publicly on a variety of intellectual property issues. Prior to his legal career, Mr. Iancu was an engineer at Hughes Aircraft Company.
Throughout his career, many organizations have recognized Mr. Iancu for his work. Among his legal community accolades, the Daily Journal, California Lawyer magazine, Los Angeles Business Journal, Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America, and many others have acknowledged his expertise in commercial litigation and intellectual property law. Mr. Iancu has also been the recipient of the Patent and Trademark Office Society 36th Annual Rossman Award, the Hughes Aircraft Malcolm R. Currie Innovation Award, and the Melville B. Nimmer Copyright Award.
Mr. Iancu holds a Juris Doctor from the UCLA School of Law. He also has a Master of Science in mechanical engineering and a Bachelor of Science in aerospace engineering, both from UCLA.
Mr. Iancu was born in Bucharest, Romania. He has lived in the United States since the age of 12. He and his wife, Dr. Luiza C. Iancu, have two children, Ariella and Robert.
Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer
Michael Kratsios is a Deputy Assistant to the President and the Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer at the White House. Kratsios advises the president on a broad range of technology policy issues and drives U.S. technology priorities and strategic initiatives.
Under his leadership, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy encourages the development of emerging technologies in the United States, empowers American companies to commercialize and adopt new technologies, and improves and expands access to the tools necessary for Americans to succeed in the 21st-century economy. His office is also responsible for aligning the development of new technologies with the administration's priorities, including standing up for the American worker, defending American innovations abroad, and protecting the safety and security of the American people.
Prior to joining the White House, Kratsios was a Principal at Thiel Capital, where he invested in and advised technology companies. He graduated from Princeton University and served as a Visiting Scholar at Beijing’s Tsinghua University.
Honorable Wilbur L. Ross
Secretary of Commerce
Wilbur L. Ross, Jr. was sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence as the 39th Secretary of Commerce on February 28, 2017. Secretary Ross is the principal voice of business in the Trump Administration, ensuring that U.S. entrepreneurs and businesses have the tools they need to create jobs and economic opportunity.
Secretary Ross is the former Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer of WL Ross & Co. LLC and has over 55 years of investment banking and private equity experience. He has restructured over $400 billion of assets in the airline, apparel, auto parts, banking, beverage, chemical, credit card, electric utility, food service, furniture, gypsum, homebuilding, insurance, marine transport, mortgage origination and servicing, oil and gas, railcar manufacturing and leasing, real estate, restaurant, shipyard, steel, textile and trucking industries. Secretary Ross has been chairman or lead director of more than 100 companies operating in more than 20 different countries.
Named by Bloomberg Markets as one of the 50 most influential people in global finance, Secretary Ross is the only person elected to both the Private Equity Hall of Fame and the Turnaround Management Hall of Fame. He previously served as privatization adviser to New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the board of the U.S.-Russia Investment Fund. President Kim Dae-jung awarded Secretary Ross a medal for helping South Korea during its financial crisis and, in November 2014, the Emperor of Japan awarded him the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star.
As a philanthropist, Secretary Ross has served as Chairman of the Japan Society, Trustee of the Brookings Institution and Chairman of its Economic Studies Council, International Counsel Member of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, Trustee of the Blenheim Foundation, President of the American Friends of the Rene Magritte Museum in Brussels and Director of the Palm Beach Civic Association. He also was an Advisory Board Member of Yale University School of Management.
Secretary Ross is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Business School (with distinction). He and his wife Hilary Geary Ross have four children, Jessica Ross, Amanda Ross, Ted Geary and Jack Geary.
Honorable Dr. Marcia McNutt
President, National Academy of Sciences
Marcia McNutt is a geophysicist and president of the National Academy of Sciences. From 2013 to 2016, she served as editor-in-chief of the Science family of journals. Prior to joining Science, she was director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) from 2009 to 2013. During her tenure, the USGS responded to a number of major disasters, including earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, and Japan, and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. McNutt led a team of government scientists and engineers at BP headquarters in Houston who helped contain the oil and cap the well. She directed the flow rate technical group that estimated the rate of oil discharge during the spill’s active phase. For her contributions, she was awarded the U.S. Coast Guard’s Meritorious Service Medal.
Before joining the USGS, McNutt served as president and chief executive officer of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), in Moss Landing, California. During her time at MBARI, the institution became a leader in developing biological and chemical sensors for remote ocean deployment, installed the first deep-sea cabled observatory in U.S. waters, and advanced the integration of artificial intelligence into autonomous underwater vehicles for complex undersea missions.
McNutt began her academic career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she was the E.A. Griswold Professor of Geophysics and directed the Joint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science & Engineering, jointly offered by MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Her research area is the dynamics of the upper mantle and lithosphere on geologic time scales, work that has taken her to distant continents and oceans for field observations. She is a veteran of more than a dozen deep-sea expeditions, on most of which she was chief or co-chief scientist.
McNutt received a B.A. in physics from Colorado College and her Ph.D. in earth sciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Her honors include membership in the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She holds honorary doctoral degrees from the Colorado College, the University of Minnesota, Monmouth University, and the Colorado School of Mines. In 1988, she was awarded the American Geophysical Union’s Macelwane Medal for research accomplishments by a young scientist, and she received the Maurice Ewing Medal in 2007 for her contributions to deep-sea exploration.
McNutt served as president of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) from 2000 to 2002. She was chair of the Board of Governors for Joint Oceanographic Institutions, responsible for operating the International Ocean Discovery Program’s vessel JOIDES Resolution and associated research programs. She is a fellow of AGU, the Geological Society of America, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and International Association of Geodesy.
Dr. Mark Kamlet
University Professor Of Economics And Public Policy, Provost Emeritus, Carnegie Mellon University
Mark S. Kamlet is University Professor of Economics and Public Policy and Provost Emeritus at Carnegie Mellon, with joint appointments in the Department of Social and Decision Sciences in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy. He joined Carnegie Mellon as a faculty member in 1976.
From 1990 to 1993 he served as department head of Social and Decision Sciences. From 1993 to 2000 he served as dean of the Heinz College (School of Information Systems; School of Public Policy and Management).
From 2000 to 2014, Kamlet served as provost (chief academic officer) and executive vice president. In this role, he oversaw the research and educational activities of campus, as well as space, facilities, and computing infrastructures. He was especially engaged in the university’s technology commercialization activities, the growing internationalization of the university’s footprint, and the role of technology in education.
He serves on the boards of various for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, and has served on the board of five start-ups in the technology-enhanced learning space. Kamlet has served on study panels of the National Academy of Science, the National Institutes for Health, and the National Academy of Medicine. He is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Kamlet earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Stanford. He has a master’s in mathematical statistics, a master’s in economics, and Ph.D. in economics from the University of California at Berkeley.
Honorable Margaret Weichert
Deputy Director for Management, Office of Management and Budget
Ms. Weichert currently serves as Deputy Director for Management at the Office of Management and Budget. Ms. Weichert is a seasoned business executive who has served as a Principal at Ernst & Young, LLP since 2013. In her 25 year professional career, Ms. Weichert has also held executive leadership positions at Market Platform Dynamics, First Data Corporation, Bank of America, and Andersen Consulting focused on strategy, innovation, and business process improvement in banking and payments technology. An innovator and entrepreneur, Ms. Weichert also co-founded an Internet company, Achex, Inc., and sold that company to First Data in 2001. As a result of her innovative work in payment technology, Ms. Weichert has been named as an inventor on 14 successful U.S. patents. An avid supporter of technology innovation in Georgia, Ms. Weichert has served since 2010 on the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG)’s Fintech Steering Committee.
She holds a B.S. of Foreign Service (Magna Cum Laude) from Georgetown University, a post-graduate diploma in Economics with distinction from the University of Sussex (UK) and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of California at Berkeley. Ms. Weichert also is certified as a Green Belt in Six Sigma, Design for Six Sigma. She is a current resident of Falls Church, VA.
President, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities
Peter McPherson became president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) in 2006. Before assuming leadership of the nation’s oldest higher education association, his career spanned a wide array of positions at the highest levels of academia, government, and the private sector.
During his tenure at APLU, the association has significantly expanded its focus to include projects and initiatives well beyond the scope of a typical trade association. APLU has extended the focus of its work to comprise not just government, media, and member relations, but also initiatives that drive innovation across public higher education. These efforts are aimed at boosting degree completion, enhancing transparency and accountability, and expanding community and economic engagement.
In 2011, McPherson shepherded the creation of Project Degree Completion, a joint APLU-American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) initiative to collectively award 3.8 million more degrees by 2025. APLU has developed a variety of strategies to help institutions increase college access, contain costs, and improve student retention – all to increase the number of bachelor’s degree holders in the United States. To date, public universities are on track to surpass the goal of awarding 3.8 additional degrees by 2025.
McPherson has also championed a range of transparency and accountability efforts. In 2007, he led APLU’s role in co-founding the Voluntary System of Accountability – which was designed to enable institutions to demonstrate their voluntary commitment to publishing access, cost, and student outcomes measures for the benefit of the public, prospective students, and lawmakers. Building on these efforts, APLU co-founded the Student Achieve Measure (SAM) in 2014 to provide a more complete understanding of student success at universities. SAM was created to address flawed federal education data that only counts first-time, fulltime students who receive federal financial aid. As the profile of U.S. college students continues to change, SAM provides a badly needed stopgap to fill several of the federal data’s major shortcomings.
Another focus of McPherson’s leadership has been the expansion of community and economic engagement efforts. In 2013, APLU launched the Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) Designation and Awards program to recognize universities that are leaders in spurring and promoting regional economic development. Participating institutions complete a rigorous self-study process and earn the IEP designation if enough benchmarks are met. Those who earn the designation are then eligible to apply for the IEP Awards, which are given in the categories of Talent, Innovation, Place, and Connections. More than 50 universities have received the designation and 12 universities have earned the distinction of being exceptional leaders, gaining invaluable insights into their economic engagement work in the process.
His leadership of APLU has also included the formation of a permanent partnership with the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU) in an effort to incubate and promulgate the reforms necessary to help public urban research universities best serve their rapidly changing student populations. USU works these institutions to pilot, refine, and share the most effective practices to accelerate innovation across higher education. Its work is centered on recruiting, admitting, retaining, educating, and graduating high‐need, traditionally at‐risk students while reducing costs, reexamining campus business models, and fostering mutually beneficial campus‐community engagements.
Before leading APLU, McPherson served as president of Michigan State University (MSU) from 1993 to 2004. His accomplishments at MSU included holding tuition increases to inflation for all but three years of his leadership. He also led a campaign to vastly increase the number of students participating in study abroad, nearly tripling the number of students participating in the program and cementing Michigan State’s distinction of having one of the largest and most active programs in the country. Other initiatives he led include the expansion of the honors college, deepening the university’s ties to K-12 schools, and redoubling the institution’s fundraising efforts while bolstering its endowment returns.
Before being named president of Michigan State University, McPherson held a variety of senior positions at Bank of America. He first oversaw bank negotiations for all troubled sovereign debt and later managed the bank’s work in Latin America and Canada before managing the bank’s domestic and international private banking operations alongside its institutional investments and mutual funds.
During the Reagan administration, McPherson served as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury from 1987 to 1989. As the number two official at Treasury, his work focused on trade, tax, and international issues. He also served as one of three of negotiators for the Canadian Free Trade Agreement, the forerunner of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Between Treasury Secretaries Baker and Brady, he served as Acting Secretary of the cabinet department.
Before his work at the Treasury Department, McPherson served as Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from 1981 to 1987. While serving in that role, he oversaw missions in 70 countries and was tasked with the U.S. response to famine in East Africa, orchestrating the delivery of more than two million tons of food to Africa over a 12-month period. As USAID administrator, he also led worldwide efforts with the United Nations Children’s Fund to address diarrhea and dehydration, then the leading causes of death for children in the developing world. The campaign saved millions of lives.
Chief Executive Officer, Association of University Technology Managers
Dr. Steve Susalka is the Chief Executive Officer for the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) and is responsible for ensuring that AUTM serves the needs and interests of the Membership through strategic plan implementation, outreach, advocacy, governance, and operational accountability. He has more than a decade of experience in technology transfer. He has been an Associate Director for Commercialization at Wake Forest Innovations, the commercialization enterprise of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Steve is a registered U.S. Patent Agent and a past Board Member of multiple Wake Forest-affiliated startups. As a Licensing Associate at the University of Virginia Patent Foundation (UVAPF), he co-authored the UVAPF Operating Manual that details the technology transfer process from invention disclosure to royalty collection and monitoring. Steve has served in a number of previous leadership positions within AUTM, including Vice President for Meeting Development on the AUTM Board. Steve earned his doctorate in Neuroscience from the University of Virginia. He majored in Biology and Psychology at the College of William & Mary where he earned a Bachelor of Science.
Executive Director, Office of Technology Licensing, Stanford University
Katharine Ku has been the Executive Director of Stanford’s Office of Technology Licensing (OTL) for 27 years. OTL transfers early-stage university innovations to industry via licensing and has generated $1.9B in royalties since its inception in 1970. Many of Stanford’s most impactful inventions have been funded by federal R&D dollars.
Ku was instrumental in the development of the university technology transfer profession, particularly in the formative years after Bayh-Dole was passed. She spearheaded the implementation of Nine Points to Consider guiding principles for the university technology transfer community and the Points to Consider when Universities Partner with Foundations: A University Perspective.
Ku manages OTL on a day to day basis, growing the office from 20 to 48 staff. She has extensive knowledge about licensing and licensing operations as well as a deep understanding of industry-university research contracts and relations.
Ku served as President of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) from 1988-90. She received the AUTM 2001 Bayh-Dole Award for her efforts in university licensing. In 1999, Stanford OTL received the LES Achievement Award. Ku was a committee member of the NAS study entitled Management of University Intellectual Property: Lessons from a Generation of Experience, Research, and Dialogue.
Ku has been active in LES, currently serving on the Board of the LES-Silicon Valley Chapter Board. She served as Vice President, Western Region and Trustee of LES, IP100 Advisory Board and various committee chairs. She also served on the Board of Governors for the Certified Licensing Professionals, Inc. (CLP) and the BIO Board. She was a member of the NIH Advisory Committee to the Deputy Director of Intramural Research, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Science and Technology Partnership Advisory Committee. Ku is currently a member of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) Advisory Council and the Biomedical Engineering Society’s Industry Advisory Board.
Ku has a B.S. Chemical Engineering (Cornell University), an M.S. in Chemical Engineering (Washington University in St. Louis) and is a registered patent agent.
Honorable Deborah Wince-Smith
President and CEO, Council on Competitiveness
Deborah L. Wince-Smith is the president & CEO of the Council on Competitiveness, a coalition of CEOs, university presidents, labor leaders and national laboratory directors, committed to driving U.S. competitiveness. She has more than 20 years of experience as a senior U.S. government official, as the first Senate-confirmed Assistant Secretary for Technology Policy in the U.S. Department of Commerce and Assistant Director for International Affairs in the Reagan White House.
Ms. Wince-Smith is also the president of the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils, whose creation she led. She is a member of Japan’s Science & Technology in Society Forum Council and of the Commission on the Theft of Intellectual Property, co-chaired by Mr. Craig Barrett, former chairman of Intel Corporation and Admiral Dennis Blair, former U.S. director of national Intelligence. She serves on Purdue University’s Strategic Research Advisory Council and on the boards of several private-sector organizations including, The American College in Greece, the oldest American-accredited college in Europe and the largest private college in Greece.
Ms. Wince-Smith has served as the vice-chair and chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Competitiveness. She was previously a member of the Smithsonian National Board and the Naval Academy Foundation Board
Ms. Wince-Smith earned a degree in classical archaeology and graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Vassar College. She earned her master’s degree from King’s College, Cambridge University, and received an honorary doctorate in humanities from Michigan State University, an honorary doctorate in public administration from the University of Toledo, an honorary doctorate of law honoris causa from the Queens University Belfast, and an honorary doctorate of humane letters honoris causa from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
President and Chair, Licensing Executives Society
At Rockwell Collins, Bill Elkington has provided leadership in multiple dimensions of IP management for the past 12 years including: The application of IP protection, valuation, business relationship, and transaction strategy to business strategy; Enterprise policy, procedure, training, tools, and change management strategies to protect IP and to enhance value extraction in business relationships; and The development and application of metrics and standards to the areas of IP protection and IP transactions.
Rockwell Collins is an aviation and high-integrity solutions company that supplies its commercial products and services to military customers world-wide.
Mr. Elkington has served on the LES (USA & Canada) Board of Trustees as the Public Policy/Regional VP, USA and is Co-chair of the LES Standards initiative, whose purpose is to develop standards for the field of IP management.
He also is a member of the Aerospace Industries Association, Intellectual Property Committee, where he works on education and policy issues with colleagues from other aerospace companies, specifically regarding software and data rights in Department of Defense contracting.
Mr. Elkington is regarded as a thought leader in the field of IP management, having written many articles for IAM Magazine and having been the subject of several round-table interview articles written by others for IAM. He is also a member of the IAM Strategy 300, an elite global group of IP strategists.
Prior to joining Rockwell Collins, Mr. Elkington was co-founder and VP of Program Management at MeshNetworks, a wireless startup company established to commercialize ITT's novel communications technology. MeshNetworks was sold to Motorola in 2004. Prior to joining MeshNetworks, he held positions in IP management, technology marketing, strategic and operations planning, and program management in ITT's Aerospace/Communications Division (A/CD) and General Electric R&D organizations.
Vice President, Global Innovation Policy Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Patrick Kilbride is vice president of international intellectual property for the Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. There, he oversees the center’s multilateral and international programs promoting the protection and enforcement of intellectual property (IP) rights, managing a team of country and regional experts. Previously, Kilbride was Executive Director, Americas Strategic Policy Initiatives, and Executive Vice President, Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Latin America (AACCLA), within the Chamber’s International Division.
Prior to joining the U.S. Chamber, Kilbride was appointed to serve in the Bush administration as deputy assistant U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) for Intergovernmental Affairs & Public Liaison. At USTR, Kilbride worked with state and local officials, business organizations, and non-governmental organizations to advance the President’s trade policy agenda; he served as USTR liaison to the network of industry trade advisory committees (ITACs), as well as the President’s Export Council; and, he was part of a White House-led, inter-agency team that coordinated efforts to secure congressional approval of pending U.S. free trade agreements.
Previously, Kilbride was director of Government Affairs at the Council of the Americas, where he played leading roles in industry coalition efforts that saw the network of U.S. free trade partners in the Americas expand from two countries to twelve in less than a decade.
At the American Apparel & Footwear Association, Kilbride represented U.S. apparel manufacturers as government relations representative, helping to secure enactment of the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership and African Growth and Opportunity Acts. Kilbride began his career in global economic policy as an international trade specialist with the law firm of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae.
He is a graduate of the George Washington University, and resides with his family in Alexandria, Virginia.
Dr. Christopher Austin
Director, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health
Christopher P. Austin, M.D., is director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Austin leads the Center’s work to improve the translation of observations in the laboratory, clinic and community into interventions that reach and benefit patients — from diagnostics and therapeutics to medical procedures and behavioral changes. Under his direction, NCATS researchers and collaborators are developing new technologies, resources and collaborative research models; demonstrating their usefulness; and disseminating the data, analysis and methodologies for use by the worldwide research community.
Austin’s career has spanned the spectrum of translational research in the public and private sectors. He joined NIH in 2002 as the senior advisor to the director for translational research at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), where he was responsible for conceptualizing and implementing research programs to derive scientific insights and therapeutic benefits from the results of the newly completed Human Genome Project. While at NHGRI, Austin founded and directed the NIH Chemical Genomics Center (now the NCATS Chemical Genomics Center), Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases program, Toxicology in the 21st Century initiative, and NIH Center for Translational Therapeutics. When NCATS launched in late 2011, Austin became the inaugural director of the Center’s Division of Pre-Clinical Innovation, and then was appointed as the NCATS director in 2012. Before joining NIH, Austin worked at the pharmaceutical company Merck, where he directed programs on genome-based discovery of novel targets and drugs, with a particular focus on treatments for schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Austin is trained as a clinician and geneticist, and he is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, formerly the Institute of Medicine. He earned an M.D. from Harvard Medical School and an A.B. summa cum laude in biology from Princeton University. He completed a research fellowship in developmental neurogenetics at Harvard, studying genetic and environmental influences on stem cell fate determination. Austin also trained in internal medicine and neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, after which he practiced medicine in academic and community hospitals, providing primary care in urban settings and in rural Alaska and Africa.
Dr. Paul Sanberg
President, National Academy of Inventors; Senior VP for Research, Innovation, and Knowledge Enterprise and Distinguished University Professor, University of South Florida
Dr. Paul R. Sanberg is Senior Vice President for Research, Innovation & Knowledge Enterprise, President of the USF Research Foundation, Distinguished University Professor of Medicine, Engineering, and Business, and Executive Director of the Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair at the University of South Florida, and President of the National Academy of Inventors.
A Florida native, Dr. Sanberg trained at York University, University of British Columbia, Australian National University and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and held faculty appointments at the University of Cincinnati and Brown University, among others. Prior to his current position, he served USF as Associate Dean in the Morsani College of Medicine, Associate Vice President for USF Health, Senior Associate Vice President for Research & Innovation and Special Assistant to the President.
As a researcher, his early work was pioneering in understanding why brain cells die in neurological disorders and in drug abuse research. His recent research has focused on discovering innovative ways to repair the damaged brain, and has helped lead the team that demonstrated that bone marrow and umbilical cord blood derived stem cells can be transformed to neural cells that may be useful in stroke, spinal cord injury and ALS. His work has been instrumental in translating new pharmaceutical and cellular therapeutics to clinical trials for Tourette syndrome, depression, stroke, Huntington's disease and Parkinson's disease.
He is an inventor on 48 U.S. and 110 foreign patents. He is the author of more than 650 articles and 14 books, with more than 28,700 citations to his published work. He has served on editorial boards for more than 30 scientific journals and is co-editor-in-chief of Technology and Innovation: Journal of the National Academy of Inventors. Dr. Sanberg was a long-term member of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health and has served on numerous scientific advisory boards for health-related foundations and companies. He has significant industry experience as a founder or director of a number of companies involved in cell therapy for degenerative disorders and biopharmaceutical development.
Dr. Sanberg is the founder and a Charter Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and has served as president of a number of professional societies, including the American Society for Neural Transplantation and Repair, Cell Transplant Society, and International Behavioral Neuroscience Society. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), Royal Societies of Chemistry, Public Health, and Medicine, American Psychological Association, International Behavioral Neuroscience Society, and American Society for Neural Therapy and Repair, and has received numerous scientific awards, including the Everfront Award for Stem Cells and Cancer Research. He is the 2015 Medalist of the Florida Academy of Sciences, recipient of Sigma Xi's 2016 McGovern Medal, an inductee in the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame, AAAS-Lemelson Invention Ambassador, and was named 2015 Alumnus of the Year for Research and Academics by the Australian National University. He serves on the nomination evaluation committee of the United States National Medal of Technology and Innovation with the U.S. Department of Commerce, Smithsonian Innovation Festival selection committee, and advisory board of the APLU Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness, and Economic Prosperity.
USF Research & Innovation (USFRI) coordinates and facilitates institutional research initiatives and provides support for university-wide research programs and infrastructure development. USFRI provides administrative direction and oversight of research policies and procedures, assurances, budgetary matters, and central services for its departments. As Senior Vice President of USFRI, Dr. Sanberg's vision and initiatives have established USFRI as a mission-critical central hub for the university's research enterprise, in support of the university's strategic plan. USFRI promotes and supports the research and scholarship activities of faculty, staff, and students, and strives to make USF a leading national research university.
Dr. France A. Córdova
Director, National Science Foundation
France A. Córdova is an astrophysicist and the 14th director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), the only government agency charged with advancing all fields of scientific discovery, technological innovation, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. NSF is a $7.8 billion independent federal agency; its programs and initiatives keep the United States at the forefront of science and engineering, empower future generations of scientists and engineers, and foster U.S. prosperity and global leadership.
Córdova is president emerita of Purdue University, and chancellor emerita of the University of California, Riverside, where she was a distinguished professor of physics and astronomy. Córdova was the vice chancellor for research and professor of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Previously, Córdova served as NASA's chief scientist. Prior to joining NASA, she was on the faculty of the Pennsylvania State University where she headed the department of astronomy and astrophysics. Córdova was also deputy group leader in the Earth and space sciences division at Los Alamos National Laboratory. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University and her doctorate in physics from the California Institute of Technology.
More recently, Córdova served as chair of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution and on the board of trustees of Mayo Clinic. She also served as a member of the National Science Board (NSB), where she chaired the Committee on Strategy and Budget. As NSF director, she is an ex officio member of the NSB.
Córdova's scientific contributions have been in the areas of observational and experimental astrophysics, multi-spectral research on x-ray and gamma ray sources and space-borne instrumentation. She has published more than 150 scientific papers. She has been awarded several honorary doctorates, including ones from Purdue and Duke Universities. She is a recipient of NASA's highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal, and was recognized as a Kilby Laureate. The Kilby International Awards recognize extraordinary individuals who have made "significant contributions to society through science, technology, innovation, invention and education." Córdova was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is a National Associate of the National Academies. She is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Association for Women in Science (AWIS).
Córdova is married to Christian J. Foster, a science educator, and they have two adult children.