Contact Us  |  Search:  
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable
Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable
Policy and Global Affairs
Home About Us News Events Reports Projects CONTACT US
Quick Links

GUIRR logo

Upcoming Events

January 30, 2019, 1pm ET
Collaborating with the International Space Station National Laboratory

February 19-20, 2019
GUIRR Meeting

October 2018 meeting banner  

Speaker Biographies

Curt Carlson headshot

Curt Carlson
Founder and CEO of the Practice of Innovation  
Curtis Carlson is a pioneer in the development and use of innovation best practices and an evangelist for innovation, education, and economic development. He has worked with universities, government agencies, businesses, and foundations worldwide. In 2017 he was inducted into the  “WPI Hall of Luminaries,” given to only 11 graduates over the university’s 150 year history. Carlson is sought out as a speaker and thought leader, advising ministers and other leaders in the U.S., Malaysia, Japan, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Lithuania, Taiwan, Singapore, and Finland on innovation, competitiveness, and educational reform. He was the keynote speaker for Taiwan President Ma’s announcement of the first National Innovation Awards.

He has served on President Obama’s National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Scientific Advisory Board of Taiwan. He is currently on the U.S. National Science Foundation Engineering Advisory Board and the Singapore National Research Foundation Advisory Board.  His insights led to creation of the i4i value-creation guidebook, whose concepts and practices are being used by companies and government agencies in the United States, Sweden, Finland, Chile, Malaysia, Japan, Brazil, Taiwan, and other countries. He helped write the 2017 National Academy of Engineering report on global value creation best practices. In 2018 he created the “Innovation for Impact Value Creation Guidebook” for the U.S. National Science Foundation.

Carlson was President and CEO of SRI from 1998 to 2014. During this time SRI’s revenue more than tripled and SRI became a global model for the systematic creation of high-value innovations, such as HDTV, Intuitive Surgical, Siri, and many other world-changing advances. These innovations created tens of billions of dollars of new economic value. Mayfield Ventures partner, David Ladd, said, “SRI is now the best enterprise at turning its technology into economic value.” Before joining SRI, Carlson was a technical director at RCA Laboratories and GE Global Research. At the Sarnoff Corporation he was the senior vice president and later he became Chairman of the Sarnoff Corporation. He started and helped lead the digital high-definition television (HDTV) program that became the U.S. standard. The team won an Emmy Award in 1977. In 2000, another Sarnoff team started by Carlson won an Emmy for a system to optimize satellite broadcast image quality. 

With partners, he has helped form more than two dozen companies, including Siri now on the iPhone. He is currently working with two start-ups in Silicon Valley. In 2006, Carlson won the Otto Schade Prize from the Society for Information Display for developing the first model for predicting image quality. Carlson is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He has received the Suffolk University’s first Global Leadership in Innovation and Collaboration Award. He was a member of the General Motors’ SAB. He has been a Board Member of Nuance Communications, Sarif, Pyramid Vision Technologies, and Sensar and a co-founder and Director of the U.S. National Information Display Laboratory. He has been on numerous DoD review boards and he was a member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board. He has received honorary degrees from the Malaysian Technical University (MTU), Stevens Institute of Technology, Kettering University, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.  
Wesley Cohen headshot

Wesley Cohen
Professor of Economics at Duke University

Wesley M. Cohen is Professor of Economics and Management and the Frederick C. Joerg Distinguished Professor of Business Administration in the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University. He also holds secondary appointments in Duke’s Department of Economics and School of Law, is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and serves as the Faculty Director of the Fuqua School’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Before coming to Duke in 2002, Professor Cohen taught at Carnegie Mellon University for 20 years, after having spent a year as Postdoctoral Fellow in Industrial Organization at the Harvard Business School. With a research focus on the economics of technological change and R&D, Professor Cohen has examined the determinants of innovative activity and performance, considering the roles of firm size, market structure, firm learning, knowledge flows, university research and the means that firms use to protect their intellectual property, with a particular focus on patents. Most recently, he has conducted research on the “division of innovative labor,” investigating the ties across firms, and between firms other institutions that influence innovative performance.

He has published widely in scholarly journals, including the American Economic Review, the Economic Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Management Science, the Review of Economics and Statistics, Science, and the Strategic Management Journal, and has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the Kauffman Foundation, the Sloan Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Ford Foundation, among others. He served for five years as a Main Editor for Research Policy and served on the National Academies’ Committee on Intellectual Property Rights in the Knowledge-Based Economy, the National Academies' Panel on Research and Development Statistics at the National Science Foundation, and, most recently, the National Academies’ Committee on the Management of University Intellectual Property. He was named to the World Economic Forum’s “Global Innovation 100” in 2008. He has taught courses on the economics of technological change, industrial organization economics, policy analysis, organizational behavior, corporate strategy, entrepreneurship, technology strategy and the management of intellectual capital. He has also consulted on legal issues bearing on intellectual property.

Laura Manley headshot

Laura Manley
Director of the Technology and public Purpose Project at the Harvard Belfer Center
Laura Manley is the inaugural Director of the Technology and Public Purpose Project at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Led by former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, the project aims to steer rapid technology-driven change in directions that serve net, long-term public good. Manley is also a Senior Consultant for the World Bank Group and the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs.

Previously, Manley co-founded the Center for Open Data Enterprise in Washington DC, which is a nonpartisan research organization that works with governments to leverage data for social and economic good.

Manley is an Adjunct Professor at the NYU Wagner School of Public Policy where she teaches Data for Social Innovation, an Instructor at the Harvard University Extension School, teaching Data-Driven Decision Making for Business Leaders, and an Associate Lecturer at Columbia University School for Professional Studies where she teaches Open Data in the Applied Analytics Program.
Andre Argenton headshot

Andre Argenton
Vice President of Core R&D at Dow Chemical Company

Andre Argenton is the Vice President of Core R&D. He oversees a broad portfolio of corporate research programs and world leading innovation capabilities that enable technology development across multiple key market segments.

Previously, Andre was the global R&D director of Industrial Intermediates & Infrastructure. His responsibilities included managing the innovation p pipeline across multiple chemistry envelopes including Polyurethanes and Industrial Solutions.

Argenton earned a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Sao Paulo and joined Dow Brazil in 1999. While in Brazil, he developed application technologies in surfactants, chelants, biocides and water soluble polymers. Argenton relocated to the U.S. in 2007 where he held multiple leadership roles in the research groups of Home & Personal Care, Polyglycols & Surfactants and Chelating Agents. In 2010, he became the senior strategy leader for Global R&D working for Dow's Chief Technology Officer. From 2012‐2015, Argenton was director for Dow Corporate Venturing, External Technology, and the R&D Statistics Group where he was responsible for the pipeline of programs in disruptive technologies and new business development. Argenton is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt.

Donna Bell headshot

Donna Bell
Director of the USCAR Leadership Group, Research and Advanced Engineering, Ford Motor Company
Donna Bell has been with Ford Motor Company for 25 years. She is currently the Director, USCAR Leadership Group, which is Ford’s lead interface to the U.S. Council for Automotive Research. In this role, Donna interfaces with key leaders at USCAR, US industry OEMs, and other agencies to support the mission of USCAR. She is responsible for implementing policy and strategy direction for USCAR as directed by the USCAR Council.  Also in this role, Donna is responsible for supporting the delivery of the company’s technology strategy. 

Prior to Donna’s role as Ford’s lead interface to USCAR, she was the Director of Research Operations at Ford’s Greenfield Labs (GFL) in Palo Alto, California. She was responsible for all operational aspects of GFL, which included acquiring key talent, managing the research operating budget, creating a culture that encourages innovation, interfacing with local universities on key projects, interfacing with the global Ford team, and connecting new technologies and innovations that are created in Silicon Valley with products and services within Ford to create “smart vehicles for a smart world”.    
Previously, Donna was the Global Product Development (PD) Quality Manager for Electrical Engineering at Ford. In this role, she was responsible for Electrical and Electronic Systems Engineering (EESE) Quality, globally. She worked closely with the PD community, ensuring the delivery of electrical designs that meet or exceed customer expectations. Prior to her Global Quality role, Donna served as the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure and Smart Grid Technology Manager in Ford’s Sustainability and Environmental organization. In this role, Donna launched new technologies and concepts that support improvements in greenhouse gas emissions. Her responsibilities also included supporting the USDRIVE Grid Interaction Tech Team.    
Robie Samanta Roy headshot

Robie Samanta Roy
Vice President of Technology Strategy and Innovation at Lockheed Martin
Robie I. Samanta Roy is Vice President of Technology Strategy and Innovation at Lockheed Martin. Dr. Samanta Roy’s primary responsibilities include: 1) developing and providing technical intelligence and strategy for the corporation; 2) engaging the global S&T ecosystem outside the corporation – including government labs, universities, large and small businesses, and startups; and 3) fostering cross-enterprise innovation within the corporation. In this role, he works with leaders from across the Corporation to develop and actively manage enterprise technology roadmaps aligned with customer and business area needs. Dr. Samanta Roy also serves as a liaison with government and non-government organizations critical to the formation of S&T policy and the execution of research.

Prior to joining Lockheed Martin, Dr. Samanta Roy was a professional staff member with the Senate Armed Services Committee from 2010 to 2014 with the portfolio of the Department of Defense’s wide spectrum of science and technology-related activities. He came to that position from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy where he was the assistant director for Space and Aeronautics from 2005 to 2009 and was responsible for space and aeronautics activities ranging from human space flight to the Next Generation Air Transportation System. Dr. Samanta Roy previously served as a Strategic Analyst at the Congressional Budget Office and as a Research Staff Member in the Systems Evaluation Division of the Institute for Defense Analyses in Alexandria, Virginia.

Dr. Samanta Roy earned his Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in aeronautics and astronautics from MIT. He earned a master’s degree in space policy from George Washington University and diplomas from the International Space University and Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris. Dr. Samanta Roy is an Associate Fellow and member of the Board of Trustees of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a member of the National Research Council’s Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board. He also chairs the Industry Relations Committee of the International Astronautical Federation and serves on the Board of Visitors for the University of Maryland’s College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences and on the FAA’s Drone Advisory Committee. Dr. Samanta Roy continues to serve in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.
JoAnn Suzich headshot

JoAnn Suzich
Vice President of R&D at Medimmune
JoAnn Suzich, Ph.D. serves as vice president of research and IMED lead for microbial sciences as MedImmune. In her research role, she is responsible for studies at the intersection of infection and immunity, including pediatric lung infections associated with childhood asthma, the impact of the microbiome on disease and health, and the link between chronic infection and cancer. As IMED lead, she is responsible for MedImmune’s infectious disease clinical portfolio.

Since joining MedImmune in 1988 as a scientist, she has held positions of increasing responsibility and has been involved in several key development programs, including Synagis® and the virus-like particle technology that is the basis of the human papillomavirus vaccines use to prevent cervical cancer. In 2014 Dr. Suzich received the MedImmune Global Excellence Award for inspirational leadership.

Before joining MedImmune, Dr. Suzich was a scientist at Molecular Genetics, Inc. from 1986 to 1988. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from Susquehanna University, and received her doctorate in biochemistry from Purdue University. She received an honorary doctorate from Purdue University in 2011 in recognition of her work on the development of the cervical cancer vaccine.
Ganesh Thakur headshot

Ganesh Thakur
Director of Energy Industrial Partnerships at the University of Houston and former Vice President and Global Advisor at Chevron 

Ganesh Thakur [NAE] is the Director of Energy Industry Partnership (EIP) and a Distinguished Professor of Petroleum Engineering at the University of Houston. The EIP team is leading the charge to help the University of Houston emerge as the leading energy university by bringing value to the energy industry using smart, innovative and integrated approaches to the recovery of oil and gas through research pertaining to carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery, water injection, improved oil recovery and multi-disciplinary reservoir management of conventional and unconventional reservoirs, and carbon capture and storage. He leads many teams of top class scientists and engineers working in the field of energy to solve complex problems for the industry.

Before joining UH, Professor Thakur worked for Chevron as Vice President of Energy Technology Company providing strategic guidance and consultation on key upstream oil and gas projects worldwide. Served as the highest level technical professional across the entire corporation; recognized with hands on technical knowledge, ability to communicate with and influence executives within Chevron and JV partner companies, including NOCs. He actively worked on and/or led teams in the design of several key deep water offshore, shallow water offshore and onshore major capital projects involving billions of dollars of CAPEX, which successfully created significant values for company through hundreds of million barrels of reserves and hundreds of thousand barrels of production. He also served as the Chairman of the Corporate Reservoir Management Forum (focusing on the development of oil and gas projects and surveillance, analysis and optimization of projects) sharing best practices and lessons learned from projects around the world. He participated in corporate reserves review for various assets around the world for 15 years.  Dr. Thakur also served as the President of the Society of Petroleum Engineers Intl. (a 140,000 member global organization). He is an author/co-author of three books: Integrated Petroleum Reservoir Management, Integrated Waterflood Asset Management, and Reservoir Management of Mature Fields; and over 60 technical and management articles.  

Barry Johnson headshot

Barry Johnson
Director of the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at the National Science Foundation

Barry W. Johnson is the Division Director for the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at the National Science Foundation (NSF). The Division is responsible for several NSF-wide programs including: (1) Industry University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRCs), (2) Innovation Corps (I-Corps™), (3) Partnerships for Innovation (PFI), (4) Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI), (5) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR), and (6) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR). Prior to joining NSF, he was the Senior Associate Dean in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Virginia where one of his responsibilities was strategic partnerships. In this role, he served as the Founding Director of the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM), a research partnership involving five universities, 26 companies, and NASA. He continues to hold the L. A. Lacy Distinguished Professorship at the University of Virginia.

In 1998, he was a founder of Privaris, Inc., a biometrics security company. While on leave from the University of Virginia from 2002 to 2006, he served as Chairman and CEO of Privaris, Inc. Prior to joining the University of Virginia, he worked as a research engineer for Harris Corporation in their Government Aerospace Systems Division. He is the author of two books, nine book chapters and more than 150 journal and conference articles. He is also an inventor on 34 issued patents and more than 30 applications currently pending.

Dr. Johnson received the B.S., M.E., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia. He is a Fellow of the IEEE for his contributions to fault-tolerant computing. He is also a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors for his contributions to invention and innovation in computer system safety and security including biometric-based identity verification. His major awards include the 1992 C. Holmes MacDonald Outstanding Young Electrical Engineering Professor Award from Eta Kappa Nu, the 1991 Frederick Emmons Terman Award from the American Society for Engineering Education, a 1992 Alan Berman Research Publications Award from the Department of the Navy, a 1990 Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia, a 1997 David A. Harrison Outstanding Faculty Award from the University of Virginia, and the 2011 Outstanding Faculty Award from the University of Virginia Engineering Foundation.


Kacy Gerst
Chief of Commercial Strategy at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency