Fellows Selection Committee

Fellows Selection Committee is comprised of 16 Members including: NAI Fellows, recipients of U.S. National Medals, National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees, members of the National Academies, National Science Foundation and senior officials from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Norman R. Augustine

Norm Augustine

National Medal of Technology and Innovation Recipient
National Academy of Science Member
Retired Chairman and CEO of the Board, Lockheed Martin Corporation

Norm Augustine is retired Chairman and CEO of the Board of the Lockheed Martin Corporation. Prior to joining Martin Marietta, he served as Assistant Secretary of the Army (R&D) from 1973-75 and Undersecretary from 1975-77. He was a Professor at Princeton, his alma mater, from 1997-99. Mr. Augustine has been presented the National Medal of Technology by the President of the United States and received the Joint Chiefs of Staff Distinguished Public Service Award. He has five times received the Department of Defense’s highest civilian decoration, the Distinguished Service Medal. He has been elected to membership in the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Science, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the Explorers Club, Tau Beta Pi, Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi.

Karen J.L. Burg, Ph.D

Karen J.L. Burg

Harbor Lights Endowed Chair
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Georgia
AAAS-Lemelson Invention Ambassador
NAI Fellow

Karen J.L. Burg, Ph.D. is Professor and Harbor Lights Endowed Chair in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia (UGA). Prior to joining UGA, she served as vice president for research and professor of chemical engineering at Kansas State University. Honors to Karen include the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the inaugural Swiss AO Research Prize, recognition as an American Association for the Advancement of Science-Lemelson Invention Ambassador, an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow, an American Council on Education Fellow, an American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering Fellow, a Biomedical Engineering Society Fellow, an International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering Fellow, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology TR Young Innovator, a National Academy of Inventors Fellow, and a US Department of Defense Era of Hope Scholar. Karen is the inventor of record of eight issued patents, with licenses serving as the foundation for a thriving diagnostics company. Karen served as a member of the United States delegation for the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Hyderabad, India and as alumna ambassador for the 2019 GES in The Hague, The Netherlands.

Anne H. Chasser

Anne H. Chasser

Former Commissioner for Trademarks
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Anne H. Chasser is an Author and Intellectual Property Strategist and Expert. From 1999-2004 Anne served as the Commissioner for Trademarks at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Appointed by the President Clinton Administration and confirmed by the United States Senate. She served in both the Clinton and Bush administrations, where she oversaw the trademark operations at the USPTO. During her term at the USPTO, the trademark operations implemented full electronic processing of trademark applications and examination and implemented the Madrid Protocol. She was recognized by Managing Intellectual Property Magazine as one of the Fifty Most Influential People in Global Intellectual Property. Anne co-authored two books: Brand Rewired and Domain Rewired, published by John Wiley. In 2014, Anne was awarded the Distinguished Career Award by The Ohio State University, John Glenn School of Public Affairs.

Stephanie Couch, PhD

Executive Director, Lemelson-MIT Program

Stephanie Couch, PhD is the Executive Director of the Lemelson-MIT Program, a nonprofit with a mission to inspire young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention. She has more than a decade of experience in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education policy, research, development and strategic fundraising. She leads the program’s research efforts, partnership development, and guides the Lemelson-MIT Program’s national awards and grants initiatives. 

Couch previously served as the interim Associate Vice President for Research, Bayer Executive Director at the Institute for STEM Education, and Director of the Gateways East Bay STEM Network at California State University at East Bay. Couch also helped design and launch the statewide California STEM Learning Network (CSLNet). She has won numerous awards for her leadership role in advancing STEM education in California. She was selected as one of San Francisco Business Times’ Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business in 2016 and inducted into Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame in the education category. In 2015, she received the Biotechnology Educator of the Year Award from California Life Sciences Association.

Richard Chylla Ph.D., CLP, RTTP

Executive Director of MSU Technologies

Dr. Chylla is the Executive Director of MSU Technologies, the technology transfer office at Michigan State University, the nation’s pioneer land grant university, leading an office of 20 professionals who manage the university’s diverse intellectual property portfolio. He has been in university technology transfer since 2008. Prior to joining MSU, Chylla served as the Director of Technology Transfer for the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

Dr. Chylla spent the first two decades of his career in the specialty chemicals industry working in a variety of technology management, engineering, and product development roles for BASF and Johnson Polymer, including assignments in Europe as the European Technical Director, and Asia as the Global Product Development Manager. He won his company’s highest inventor award three times, developing polymer technology that achieved more than $1 billion in sales over the life of the patents.

Dr. Chylla has served on the AUTM Board of Directors since 2016 and is currently the Chair of the Board.

Elizabeth Lea Dougherty, J.D.

Senior Advisor
Director of Inventor Education, Outreach, and Recognition, USPTO

Elizabeth Dougherty is the Director of Inventor Education, Outreach, and Recognition in the Office of Innovation Development at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In this capacity, she develops, implements, and supervises programs that support the independent inventor community, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and the intellectual property interests of colleges and universities. Elizabeth has spearheaded a number of special projects with federal, state and local governments, and private organizations to promote and support invention and innovation in the United States. She oversees a portfolio of ongoing and future initiatives designed to assist independent inventors, entrepreneurs, and underserved communities.

Elizabeth is currently on a special assignment to the USPTO’s Office of the Under Secretary and Director where she serves as a Senior Advisor.  Directly prior to this special assignment, Elizabeth was detailed to the USPTO’s Office of Government Affairs where she was and continues to assist in coordinating outreach to the Congressional Caucuses of the 115th Congress.  Prior to her current assignment at the USPTO, she served in various executive service roles, most recently as Acting Deputy Director in the Office of Patent Legal Administration. In this capacity, she was responsible for the oversight and direction of a team of senior legal advisors and staff assisting the Patent Examining Corps in matters of legal policy. Having begun her career at the USPTO as a patent examiner, Elizabeth examined patent applications filed in the area of Class 73, Electric Devices used for Measuring or Testing.

Andrew H. Hirshfeld, Esq.

Andrew Hirshfeld

Commissioner for Patents
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

As Commissioner for Patents, Drew Hirshfeld manages and leads the patent organization as its chief operating officer. He is responsible for managing and directing all aspects of the organization which affect administration of patent operations, examination policy, patent quality management, international patent cooperation, resources and planning, and budget administration.

During his time as Commissioner, Mr. Hirshfeld has led the Patent business unit by emphasizing both transparency and collaboration. He has managed efforts to ensure the consistency and reliability of patent grants. Mr. Hirshfeld has further played a lead role to ensure that the examining corps is provided with updated examination guidance and training.

Prior to serving as Commissioner for Patents, Mr. Hirshfeld held the positions of Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy and Chief of Staff to the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. Mr. Hirshfeld began his career in 1994 as a Patent Examiner, he became a Supervisory Patent Examiner in 2001, and was promoted to the Senior Executive Service in 2008 as a Group Director in Technology Center 2100.

Mr. Hirshfeld received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Vermont, and a J.D. from Western New England College School of Law.

Robert S. Langer, Sc.D.

Robert S. Langer

National Medal of Technology and Innovation Recipient 
National Medal of Science Recipient 
National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee 
David H. Koch Institute Professor 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Robert S. Langer is the David H. Koch Institute Professor at MIT (there are 13 Institute Professors at MIT; being an Institute Professor is the highest honor that can be awarded to a faculty member). He has written more than 1,400 articles. He also has over 1,300 issued and pending patents worldwide. His many awards include the United States National Medal of Science, the United States National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the Charles Stark Draper Prize (considered the engineering Nobel Prize), Albany Medical Center Prize (largest US medical prize), the Wolf Prize for Chemistry and the Lemelson-MIT prize, for being “one of history’s most prolific inventors in medicine.” Langer is one of the very few individuals ever elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Engineering ,the National Academy of Inventors and the National Academy of Sciences.

Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D.

Cato T. Laurencin

University Professor & Albert and Wilda Van Dusen
Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
University of Connecticut
NAI Fellow

Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D. is the 8th designated University Professor in the history of the University of Connecticut. A surgeon-engineer-scientist, he is the Van Dusen Distinguished Endowed Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, and Professor of Chemical, Materials, and Biomedical Engineering at UConn. He serves as Chief Executive Officer of the Connecticut Convergence Institute for Translation in Regenerative Engineering, and Director of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Center for Biomedical, Biological, Physical and Engineering Sciences at UConn Health. He earned his B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University, his M.D., Magna Cum Laude, from the Harvard Medical School, and his Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Laurencin is a pioneer of the field of Regenerative Engineering. He received the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, and the National Science Foundation’s Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation Grant Award for this field. For his work, the American Association for the Advancement of Science awarded Dr. Laurencin the Philip Hauge Abelson Prize given ‘for signal contributions to the advancement of science in the United States’. He is the recipient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, America’s highest award for technological achievement. Dr. Laurencin is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering, and an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Internationally, Dr. Laurencin is an elected fellow of the Indian National Academy of Sciences, the Indian National Academy of Engineering, the African Academy of Sciences, The World Academy of Sciences, and is an Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

Sheila Martin

Sheila Martin

Vice President for Economic Development and Community Engagement

Sheila Martin is Vice President for Economic Development and Community Engagement at the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities. She engages with senior university leaders and policy stakeholders on issues relating to talent and workforce development, innovation and entrepreneurship, and social, cultural and community engagement including directing APLU’s Commission on Economic and Community Engagement.

Prior to arriving at APLU, Dr. Martin served as Director of the Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies and the Population Research Center at Portland State University. She also served as Washington State Governor Gary Locke’s economic development advisor, and worked as a Senior Economist at the Research Triangle Institute. While at RTI, Sheila built a research program in technology economics and policy and researched the value of innovation and the impact of technology in industry. Sheila earned a B. A. in Economics and Political Science from Southern Illinois University, M.A. in International Studies from the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce at the University of Kentucky and a Ph.D. in Economics from Iowa State University.

Arthur Molella, Director Emeritus 

Director Emeritus
Smithsonian Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation

Arthur Molella, Ph.D., was the founding director, now emeritus, of the Smithsonian Institution’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the National Museum of American History. He received his Ph.D. in the history of science from Cornell University and a Doctor of Science, honoris causa, from Westminster University, U.K (2005). At the National Museum of American History, he served variously as curator of electricity, chairman of the Department of History of Science and Technology, and assistant director for History. At Johns Hopkins University, he has served as Senior Lecturer, Dept. History of Science, and currently Lecturer M.A. in Museum Studies, On-Line, Advanced Academic Programs. He was head curator of the Smithsonian’s Science in American Life exhibition, co-curator of the international exhibition, Nobel Voices. He is co-sponsor of the International Eco-City Initiative. He has published and lectured widely on the history of science, invention, technology, and modern technological culture. His recent books include Invented Edens: Techno-Cities of the 20th Century (MIT, 2008), Places of Invention (Smithsonian, 2015), and World’s Fairs on the Eve of War (Pittsburgh, 2015). He has published many articles and reviews, supplied on request. In addition to serving on the Executive Advisory Board of the National Academy of Inventors, he is on the board of the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame.

Rini Paiva

Rini Paiva

Executive Vice President for Selection and Recognition
National Inventors Hall of Fame

Rini Paiva is the Executive Vice President for Selection and Recognition, National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF). In this role, she oversees the annual Inductee Selection process for the NIHF, working with a wide-ranging group of experts in science, technology, engineering, intellectual property, and history to ultimately recognize the world’s foremost patented inventors for their life-changing and innovative work. In addition, Paiva facilitates the Collegiate Inventors Competition (CIC), which brings recognition to the country’s outstanding college students who create the technologies that shape the future. Both the NIHF and the CIC are dedicated to recognizing and fostering invention, creativity, and entrepreneurship. Paiva also provides oversight for the NIHF Museum in Alexandria, Virginia, which features the life-changing Inductees of the NIHF and demonstrates the power of intellectual property and innovation. Also integral to her work is encouraging NIHF Inductees to be involved in the organization’s education programs, Camp Invention and Invention Project, so that they may serve as inspiration, encouragement, and examples to younger generations. With the National Inventors Hall of Fame since 1995, Paiva is an authority on the topic of U.S. invention.

Jessica A. Sebeok

Deputy Vice President for Federal Relations and Counsel for Policy

Jessica Sebeok has served at AAU since August 2014. As the Deputy Vice President for Federal Relations and Counsel for Policy, she has primary responsibilities for issues related to intellectual property and information technology and technology transfer. She shares responsibilities for a wide range of other regulatory, compliance and legal issues that affect research universities. She is the lead staff for the AAU Council on Federal Relations and the AAU General Counsels Committee.

She previously served as Counsel for Policy and International Affairs in the U.S. Copyright Office, Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, and Assistant General Counsel of Yale University.

Jessica received her JD from Yale Law School and her master’s degree from the University of Oxford, where she was a Marshall Scholar. She earned her BA in History from the University of Chicago.

Phillip Singerman

Associate Director for Innovation and Industry Services
National Institute of Standards and Technology

Phillip Singerman is the Associate Director for Innovation and Industry Services at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). In this capacity he is responsible for the NIST suite of external partnership programs, including the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, the Office of Advanced Manufacturing, NIST technology transfer, economic analysis, and small business innovation research awards. 

Singerman has more than 35 years of experience in tech based economic development; he was the first chief executive of two of the best known and longest lasting private-public partnerships; the Ben Franklin Technology Center of Southeastern Pennsylvania and the Maryland Technology Development Corporation. During the Clinton Administration he served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, a Presidential appointment requiring Senate confirmation. 

James K. Woodell, Ph.D.

James K. (Jim) Woodell, Ph.D. helps to realize the economic and societal impact of higher education. He provides professional services to institutions of higher education, and to their current and prospective partners in the private, civic, and government sectors. Spanning multiple areas of impact, his expertise includes: community development and improved quality of life in regions through higher education engagement, outreach, and public service; education, training, and workforce development, including strategies for design and delivery of programs; and R&D and innovation, including technological advancement, entrepreneurship, and regional technology-based economic development.

Woodell recently served as Vice President for Economic Development and Community Engagement at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), where he worked closely with member institutions to develop tools and resources to enhance their regional engagement and economic development efforts. He served as the staff director for APLU’s Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness and Economic Prosperity (CICEP), and also the organization’s Council on Engagement and Outreach (CEO), advancing APLU’s economic and community engagement agenda. Woodell maintains APLU’s strong presence in national issues related to the economic and social impacts of public research universities.


Denise Zannino, Ph.D.

Science Policy and Communications Analyst
National Science Foundation

Denise Zannino, Ph.D. is a Science Policy and Communications Analyst at the National Science Foundation in the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs. In this capacity she is responsible for internal communications and strategic visioning, project management for special events such as press conferences and symposiums, and general science outreach and communications projects. Prior to this role Denise was a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow in the same office.

Denise earned her Ph.D. in neuroscience from Vanderbilt University, and a BS in biology and psychology from James Madison University. She is passionate about utilizing her scientific background and experience in biomedical research to communicate science to a varied range of audiences including the public, media, and other scientists, and to promote scientific programs, outreach, and awareness.


 2019 NAI Fellows Advisory Committee