Executive Advisory Board

Nasser Arshadi, Ph.D.

Professor of Finance, University of Missouri – St. Louis

Nasser Arshadi, Ph.D., is a professor of finance at the University of Missouri – St. Louis, where he teaches and writes on banking, financial markets, venture capital and private equity. Previously he served as the chief research officer for the university leading efforts in securing grants and contracts for research, infrastructure, technology transfer and economic development activities. In this role, his accomplishments included the creation of platforms, facilities and practices to expand cutting-edge research; commercialization of discoveries; implementation of multi-stakeholder economic development projects; development and management of research centers; collaborations with industry and government agencies. Currently, he serves as a senior editor for Technology and Innovation, the journal of the National Academy of Inventors and is a member of the editorial boards of several international journals. He is the founder of ITE, a technology startup incubator and a board member of the Center for Emerging Technologies – a life sciences startup incubator.


Kurt H. Becker, Ph.D. 

Vice Dean for Research, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship, New York University, Tandon School of Engineering

Kurt H. Becker is currently Vice Dean for Research, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering and also a Professor of Applied Physics and of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. In his role at NYU Tandon, he oversees faculty research and directs initiatives aimed at facilitating the acceleration and commercialization of science and engineering breakthroughs by NYU Tandon faculty, postdocs, and students into new products, devices, and processes that will benefit society. Recently, he was also appointed Founding Director of the Institute for Invention, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship (IIIE) at NYU Tandon.  The IIIE aims to empower the School’s faculty to become thought leaders in scholarly and educational activities around invention, Innovation, and entrepreneurship and educate its students to become innovative and entrepreneurial thinkers.

Becker received a Diplom in Physik (MS) degree and a Dr. rer. nat. (PhD) degree from the Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken, Germany in 1978 and 1981, respectively.  He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the National Academy of Inventors.  He received the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award and the SASP Erwin Schrödinger Medal and he holds an honorary professorship from the Leopold Franzens Universität Innsbruck, Austria. As a physicist, he is known for his research into the properties of atmospheric-pressure microplasmas and their use in environmental, biological, and biomedical applications. He holds several US and international patents on stable atmospheric-pressure plasmas and their application and was involved in their commercialization through 2 startups, one of which was acquired by Stryker Instruments in 2005.

Randy E. Berridge

President, Florida High Tech Corridor Council

Randy Berridge has been president of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council since its formation in 1996. He also serves as president of the Berridge Consulting Group, Inc., and advisory board member of SunTrust Bank, N.A.  Previously, he held management positions with AT&T Corporation including chair of the Central Florida AT&T Management Council and district manager of public relations for the Florida division.  He is an alumnus of Leadership Orlando and Leadership Florida, a past member of the Mayor of Orlando’s High Tech Task Force, the Advisory Board for Florida Community Colleges, and a founding board member of the Astronaut’s Memorial Foundation.


Eric R. Fossum, Ph.D.

Professor of Engineering, Director, Ph.D. Innovation Program, Dartmouth College

Eric R. Fossum, Ph.D., is professor at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth and director of the Ph.D. Innovation Program. While at Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Caltech, he invented the CMOS image sensor used in billions of camera phones, webcams, DSLRs, swallowable pill cameras, dental x-ray sensors, and many other applications. He co-founded and led Photobit to further develop and commercialize the technology which was eventually acquired by Micron. He holds over 150 U.S. patents and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame and the Space Technology Hall of Fame. He has published over 270 papers, is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering, an IEEE Fellow, and received the IEEE Andrew Grove Award and the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal. He is a founder and past-president of the International Image Sensor Society, serves on several boards, and is a trustee of Trinity College. He is a Charter Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Arlene A. Garrison, Ph.D.

Vice President, University Partnerships Office, Oak Ridge Associated Universities

Arlene Garrison, Ph.D., holds the position of Vice President, University Partnerships at Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Garrison previously served as Program Director in the National Science Foundation EPSCoR office and as Associate Vice President for Research at the University of Tennessee (UT). Garrison received her doctorate in analytical chemistry in 1981 and much of her research has emphasized process analysis and control. She is an ACS Fellow, Alternate Councilor for the East Tennessee Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS), a member of the ACS Senior Chemists Committee, and Chair of the Business Development and Management Committee. Garrison also currently serves on the Board of the Southern Appalachian Science and Engineering Fair, the Anderson County Chamber Board, and the National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for the Small Business Innovation Program. In recognition of her volunteer work in science outreach to pre-college students, Garrison was one of the 10,000 Olympic Torch Bearers as the torch moved to the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Judy Genshaft, Ph.D.

President, University of South Florida System

Dr. Judy Genshaft serves as University of South Florida System President and President of the University of South Florida, one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive metropolitan research universities. As Chief Executive Officer of the USF System, she oversees a system serving more than 47,000 students at two institutions, including a major academic medical center, and two regional campuses. Dr. Genshaft is responsible for the management of all units of the USF System, a $1.5 billion operating budget that includes over $400 million in sponsored research funding, and relations with the Board of Trustees, the Board of Governors, the State Board of Education, the Florida Legislature and other state agencies, as well as Congress and federal agencies.

Stephen K. Klasko, M.D., MBA

President and CEO, Thomas Jefferson University

Stephen K. Klasko, M.D., MBA, is president and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health. He has championed transformation of American health care as university president, dean of two medical colleges, and CEO of three academic health centers. Since 2014, Jefferson Health has grown from a three hospital urban academic medical center with annual revenues of $1.8 billion to an eleven hospital geographically dispersed regional academic medical center with eleven hospitals and annual revenues of $4.8 billion. Klasko is author of 2016’s We CAN Fix Healthcare in America, and editor in chief of Healthcare Transformation. He is an international speaker on changing the DNA of health care through physician leadership and his entrepreneurial spirit helped one university he led to be in the top ten in the world for obtaining U.S. patents. He serves on the corporate board and audit committee of Teleflex (TFX: NYSE), a multi-billion dollar health care solutions corporation. He also serves on the board of Lehigh University, the Emory University/Georgia Tech Innovation advisory board, and the Friedrich’s Ataxia Research Alliance.

Keara Leach, MBA, MS

Assistant Vice President for Strategic Planning and Special Initiatives, The University of Texas at Arlington

Keara A. Leach is Assistant Vice President for Strategic Planning and Special Initiatives at The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). In this capacity, Keara supports the president’s office with the development and implementation of a variety of new University-wide initiatives as well as the ongoing strategic support of various interdisciplinary endeavors designed to advance the University’s goals within the framework of the Bold Solutions, Global Impact strategic plan. Prior to joining UTA, Keara served as the Program Director of the National Academy of Inventors. She has nearly a decade of experience in higher education administration and research. She received her MBA and MS in Entrepreneurship in Applied Technologies from the University of South Florida and serves as an Executive Advisory Board Member and Honorary Member of the National Academy of Inventors.

Shirley Malcom, Ph.D.

Head of Education and Human Resources Programs, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Shirley Malcom, Ph.D., is head of education and human resources at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She works to improve the quality and increase access to education and careers in STEM. Malcom is a trustee of Caltech, a regent of Morgan State University, and a member of the Advisory Board for the SUNY Research Council. She served on the National Science Board, the policymaking body of the NSF, and on President Clinton’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Malcom, a native of Birmingham, Alabama, received her Ph.D. in ecology from Penn State University, master’s in zoology from UCLA and bachelor’s in zoology from the University of Washington. She holds 16 honorary degrees. Malcom serves on the boards of the Heinz Endowments, Public Agenda, the National Math-Science Initiative and Digital Promise. In 2003, Malcom received the Public Welfare Medal of the National Academy of Sciences, the highest award given by the Academy.


Arthur Molella, Ph.D.

Former NAI Board of Directors Member and Director Emeritus, Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation

Arthur Molella is the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Director Emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the National Museum of American History. He is the Center’s founding director. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in the history of science from Cornell University. In 2005, he was awarded a Doctor of Science, honoris causa, from Westminster University, U.K. At the National Museum of American History, he has also served variously as Curator of Electricity, Chairman of the Dept. History of Science and Technology, and Assistant Director for History. He is also Senior Lecturer in the Dept. History of Science and Technology, the Johns Hopkins University. He was head curator of the Smithsonian’s Science in American Life exhibition and co-curator of the international exhibition, Nobel Voices, a celebration of the centenary of the Nobel Prize. With colleagues at Westminster and Johns Hopkins Universities, he is co-sponsor of the International Eco-city Initiative. He has published and lectured widely on the relations between science, technology and culture. His publications include Inventing for the Environment (ed. with Joyce Bedi, MIT, 2003) and Invented Edens: Techno-Cities of the 20th Century (with Robert Kargon, MIT, 2008). Dr. Molella served on the selection committee for the National Inventors Hall of Fame, including special Blue Ribbon panels for historical inductees. In addition to the National Academy of Inventors, he currently sits on the boards of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and of the MIT Museum.


George R. Newkome, Ph.D.

Former Board Member & President of the Ohio Research Foundation

George R. Newkome received his B.S. and Ph.D. in Chemistry from Kent State University. After a post doctorate at Princeton University, he joined LSU where he became a full professor in 1978, and then LSU Distinguished Research Master in 1982. In 1986, he went to USF as their Vice President for Research and professor of chemistry then in 1992 was named Distinguished Research Professor. In 2001, he went to The University of Akron as their Vice President for Research, Dean, Graduate School; the Oelschlager Professor of Science and Technology; and professor, departments of Polymer Science and Chemistry. Currently, he is also President & CEO of the University of Akron Research Foundation, the Akron Innovation Campus, and on the board of directors for 14 corporations. He has published over 450 scientific papers, has 45 patents, and edited/written over 15 scientific books/monographs. He was inducted as a Charter Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in 2012 and served on the Board of Directors from 2010-2016.


Vinit Nijhawan

Former NAI Board Member and Entrepreneur, Venture Capitalist, & Academic

Vinit Nijhawan was Managing Director, Office of Technology Development at Boston University. Vinit teaches MBA courses on Entrepreneurship at BU Questrom School of Business, over 300 students have taken his courses. Vinit has over 30 years of experience building five startups: as CEO of three, five were acquired. Vinit was Venture Partner at Key Venture Partners and over two years sourced over 200 deals and made one investment that was acquired for $430M. Vinit is an advisor and board member to several technology startups and was a Mass High Tech All-Star in 2005. Vinit has participated in over 240 panel discussions and paper presentations, and was a Board Member of Mass Ventures, an early stage, quasi-public Massachusetts venture capital firm, a co-founder of EdTech Accelerator/Incubator LearnLaunch, President of Massachusetts Association of Technology Transfer Offices and was on the Advisory Board of Walker Innovation (OTC QB: PPRO). Vinit earned a B.A.Sc in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.


Thomas N. Parks, Ph.D.

Former Vice President for Research, University of Utah

Thomas Parks is Emeritus Professor of Neurobiology & Anatomy at the University of Utah School of Medicine. From 2008 until his retirement in 2016, he was the university’s Vice President for Research and President of its Research Foundation.  After training in neuroscience at the University of California, Yale University, and the University of Virginia, Dr. Parks joined the Utah faculty in 1978.  His research on neurobiology of the developing auditory system was continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health for 26 years, he taught neuroscience to medical and graduate students for 30 years, and he served as chair of his department for 15 years. Dr. Parks was a co-founder of NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc. and a board member from 1986-2006; the company developed three first-in-class drugs and was acquired by Shire Plc for $5.2 billion in 2015. He has also served as a board member or scientific advisor for several private companies (currently including ConusRx, Navigen Pharmaceuticals, Q Therapeutics, and SentrX Animal Care) and as a trustee or director for several non-profit organizations. He received a Claude Pepper Award from the National Institute on Deafness and Communicative Disorders in 1993, was elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in 2013 and received a Utah Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology in 2015.