M. Christina Gabriel
Director, Innovation Economy
The Heinz Endowments
Dr. Christina Gabriel joined The Heinz Endowments in 2006 with extensive experience in research, research management, university-industry collaboration, and technology transfer. She is responsible for the foundation’s efforts to capitalize on the research strengths of the region’s universities, medical centers, corporate and government laboratories to promote economic growth and opportunity in southwestern Pennsylvania.
After receiving her doctorate in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Gabriel began her professional career in 1985 as principal investigator conducting experimental research at AT&T Bell Laboratories in New Jersey. Her work focused on lasers, optical fibers and thin-film waveguide devices for telecommunications, switching and computing applications. She holds three patents.
Dr. Gabriel joined the National Science Foundation in 1991 to direct industry-university collaborative centers programs and by 1997 was deputy head of the $350 million engineering directorate. During the 1994 legislative cycle she served a detail on Capitol Hill as one of three majority professional staff members for the $90 billion VA, HUD and Independent Agencies Subcommittee of the U. S. Senate Committee on Appropriations. From 1998 to 2006, she worked at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, eventually becoming vice provost and chief technology officer. While in that position she also represented the region’s three major research universities on the leadership team of the corporate consortium that competed successfully in 2004 to manage the five-year R&D Services Support Contract for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.
Dr. Gabriel received both her master’s and doctoral degrees from MIT and her undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. In 1990 she was a visiting professor at the University of Tokyo in Japan. She has served as a reviewer and steering committee member for the National Science Foundation and the National Academies, and is a member of the MIT Corporation Visiting Committee on Sponsored Research and the Penn State Research Foundation Board. Dr. Gabriel has served on several nonprofit boards in Pittsburgh and as an external technology adviser for the Pittsburgh Public Schools’ strategic planning process. She was a National Merit Scholar and an AT&T Bell Laboratories GRPW Fellow. Dr. Gabriel is married and has three children.