“Grace” Jinliu Wang to serve as new executive vice president for research, innovation and knowledge enterprise at Ohio State
Dr. Wang brings nearly 20 years of experience to help expand research enterprise and cultivate stakeholder relationships for the university
The Ohio State University
Kristina M. Johnson, president of The Ohio State University, today announced that “Grace” Jinliu Wang, a veteran higher education administrator, has been appointed to fill the newly created post of executive vice president for research, innovation and knowledge enterprise where she will play a lead role in expanding the university's cutting-edge research, creative expression and scholarship; as well as building strategic partnerships.
Under Wang’s leadership, Ohio State will be consolidating and leveraging a number of existing offices and programs into one unit, including the Office of Research, Corporate Engagement and Technology Commercialization Offices, the Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship and the West Campus Innovation District.
“Grace is a proven executive who will spearhead our efforts to grow the research enterprise and accelerate the translation of novel technologies into the marketplace by leveraging our existing strengths in research, innovation, corporate partnerships and entrepreneurship,” Johnson said. “Her decades of expertise in leading research initiatives, attracting grant funding, cultivating stakeholder relationships, and empowering researchers and entrepreneurs have had measurable impacts for the communities she served. We are thrilled to welcome her to the Buckeye family.”
In her new role, Wang will focus on growing key strategic research areas and enabling large-scale research activities that hold the promise to push disciplinary boundaries and address societal challenges. She will help attract, support and empower leading scholars from diverse backgrounds to further stimulate frontier research and cultivate a dynamic culture for sustainable research growth.
Wang will lead the team to identify and engage with key strategic stakeholders including the state and federal government, industry, nonprofit institutions and national labs to support Ohio State’s innovative goals. She will guide the Corporate Engagement Office in cultivating critical partnerships and investing in strategic growth areas to enhance the university’s position as a leading academic partner for R&D collaborations and startup activities.
“I am thoroughly impressed by the strengths and capacities in Ohio State’s existing research and creative expression, which provide a strong foundation on which to build,” said Wang. “We have an opportunity to leverage this research to help address some of the most pressing societal challenges and drive economic growth. I look forward to working closely with our talented faculty, staff and students; supporting President Johnson, who is an exciting leader; and joining the invigorating Buckeye community.”
The creation of the position of executive vice president for research, innovation and knowledge enterprise is part of an ongoing reorganization effort undertaken by Johnson. The main goal is to create a more agile and efficient way of expanding research enterprise and taking breakthroughs from fundamental research and scholarship at Ohio State to benefit the communities in which we live.
This restructuring included the elimination of the Office of Strategic Management and associated positions and the reallocation of talent in Institutional Research to the Office of Research. Wang will partner with fellow university leaders, particularly Senior Vice President for Research Morley Stone, to further position Ohio State as a research and innovation powerhouse.
“I look forward to working closely with Dr. Wang to elevate and grow the already considerable research and innovation efforts underway at Ohio State,” Stone said. “This is a pivotal time for our university, and we have so many opportunities to think and move in new directions, capitalizing on our strong foundation and relationships to generate new initiatives and partnerships in the future.”
Wang has nearly 20 years of experience in research and economic development. She has most recently held dual roles as senior vice chancellor for research and economic development at the State University of New York (SUNY) System and interim president of SUNY Polytechnic Institute, which has campuses in Utica and Albany, New York.
At SUNY, Wang leads its research enterprise with about $1.7 billion in annual expenditures. She has advanced a research and economic development growth strategy, significantly expanding its research capacity in key strategic areas. She is committed to supporting faculty, staff and students, and fostering numerous research advancement activities. She was instrumental in establishing a few large-scale strategic partnerships at SUNY and advancing SUNY’s R&D capacity while fueling regional economic growth.
Prior to SUNY, Wang served as acting assistant director for engineering at the National Science Foundation (NSF). In this role, she led the Engineering Directorate at NSF, managing a funding portfolio of over $900 million dedicated to investments in frontier engineering research, supporting engineering education, and fostering innovation and technology commercialization. She previously served as NSF’s deputy assistant director for engineering, overseeing the operation of the Directorate for Engineering and helping to identify and implement research, innovation and education priorities.
Wang began her career at IBM/Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, focusing on research and development of magnetic thin film and carbon overcoat for data storage. She holds seven U.S. patents.
Wang is also a professor in the Department of Materials Design and Innovation at University at Buffalo. She has been widely recognized as an expert in driving frontier research. She has been appointed by the U.S. Department of Energy to the National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee and is currently a council member of the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR) at the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine.
Wang received a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from Northwestern University.
She will be relocating with her family to Columbus and begin her new role on Dec. 1.