Interim Vice President of Research, USC (Jan 2020-Jul 2021)
I served as the Interim Vice President of Research at USC from Jan 2020 until the end of July 2021. During that time, USC reached its record of nearly $1B in externally-funded research and increased innovation while also successfully navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic. I oversaw the USC Office of Research staff of 166, spanning 9 organizations: Department of Contracts and Grants, Department of Animal Facilities, the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, Office of the Protection of Human Subjects and the Institutional Review Board (IRB), Office of Research Integrity, USC Stevens Center for Innovation, Washington DC Office of Research, Office of Research Initiatives and Facilities, and Research Technology Services. Also oversaw the Institute of Creative Technologies, a US Army UARC.

Research engagement and strategy:
  • Established and chaired the USC Research Council, bringing together research deans and research relevant leads to continually work on USC research strategy and tactics.
  • Established and chaired the USC Innovation Council, bringing together innovation leads across USC to update the IP policy and enhance the university’s culture of innovation.
  • Established and chaired the USC Research Council to comprehensively address issues of research data collection, storage, security, and sharing.
  • Developed an analysis and strategy for doubling USC research.
  • Collaboratively developed a strategy for USC AI/Data Science.
  • Awarded almost $7.5M in internal research grants to a broad span of USC research projects, new collaborative teams, and strategic initiatives.
  • Introduced incentives and resources for shared datasets and data repositories.
COVID-19 pandemic research strategy:
  • Chaired the Project Restart Research Working Group
  • Chaired the Project Restart Contract Tracing Working Group
  • Member of Public Health Policy Advisory Group 2020-present
  • Set up a comprehensive web portal for COVID-19 research policies in 2020.
  • Set up a comprehensive web portal for COVID-19 research resources, networking teams and experts, and facilitating research in 2020.
  • Awarded $1.7M in internal COVID-19 focused research funding in 2020.
  • Held an open-to-all forum on “USC Research during COVID-19” in August 2020
  • Oversaw significant growth of proposal submissions during the pandemic, in particular by groups that elsewhere saw a decline (including women and less represented groups).
  • Oversaw new workforce planning toward improving both productivity and individual preferences around remote work.
Outreach to the research community:
  • Set up a monthly Research Update e-newsletter to the USC research community.
  • Set up an annual virtual open-to-all day-long fall forum on “Navigating Research at USC”.
Infrastructure and operations:
  • Streamlined the structure of the Office of Research into nine suborganizations serving key USC research support functions.
  • Grew the USC IRB staff to match research needs and respond to pandemic-related growth.
  • Streamlined animal operations and IACUC.
  • Oversaw the successful reaccreditation of USC’s IRB in 2020.
  • Oversaw the successful reaccreditation of USC’s Department of Animal Resources in 2020.
  • Lead the redesign and update of the entire Office of Research web portal.

Vice Dean of Research, Viterbi School of Engineering (Jul 2006-Dec 2019)
Viterbi Leadership Team

I served as the Vice Dean for Research in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering from July 2011 until December 2019, and as the Senior Associate Dean for Research July 2006-2011. In that role, I had the opportunity to design, initiate, and run a variety new initiatives and programs, including those listed below, as well as to unify and lead the Viterbi K-12 STEM outreach program.

Research strategy:
  • Annual Viterbi Research Retreat (since 2007)
  • Monthly Viterbi Research Committee meetings (since 2000)
  • Model for sustainable shared research infrastructure (since 2019)
Interdisciplinary programs:
  • Viterbi Internal Center Incubator, supported over a dozen strategic internal research centers (since 2010)
  • The USC Health Technology Engineering program (HTE@USC) (participated in the program design and inception, since 2008)
  • Retreats with USC Schools of Medicine, Gerontology, Social Work, Communications, College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (since 2006)
Research programs and tools to facilitate collaboration and research excellence:
  • USC Center for Excellence in Research (2006)
  • Weekly research newsletter and web portal (since 2007)
  • On-line research topic database for facilitating research collaboration (since 2007)
  • Web portal with resources for junior faculty (2006)
  • Annual internal grant proposal review and mentoring program (since 2007)
  • A system for facilitating teaming and preparation of large/center-scale proposals
PhD, postdoc, and undergraduate student research and career mentoring:
  • Twice-yearly mentoring panel for academically-bound PhD students and postdocs
  • Annual PhD fellowship training workshop (2006)
  • Twice-yearly undergraduate “office hours” for familiarizing undergrads with research (2018)
  • Undergraduate-faculty research matching tool (2008)
Faculty recognition and equity:
  • Set up Viterbi Awards Office (2012)
  • Gender equity efforts for Viterbi School service and course materials (2018)
Interdisciplinary programs:
  • PI of two consecutive NSF Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Sites (2011-2019)
  • Co-PI of a Viterbi School NSF GK-12 grant (2012-2015)
  • Initiated VAST, a faculty-based K-12 STEM outreach program (2013)
  • Designed annual programs including: USC Robotics Open House (since 2010; up to 2000 visitors/event), STEM Spotlight program: discipline-themed public outreach (since 2014), SHINE, a program that pairs top high school students with engineering faculty for summer research (since 2014)
  • Now lead the combined Viterbi School K-12 STEM outreach