Carnegie Mellon University
January 19, 2023

Announcing CMU’s New Vice President for Research

Dear Members of the Carnegie Mellon University Community,

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Theresa Mayer as the new Vice President for Research (VPR), effective February 1, 2023, following a comprehensive, global search.

The VPR is a critical and collaborative leadership position that provides executive oversight and strategic guidance to our global research, creative and entrepreneurial efforts. Theresa’s extensive experience across industry, government and academia, her professional accomplishments, and her impressive track record of fostering public-private partnerships position her to elevate and expand CMU’s world class discovery and innovation ecosystem.

Theresa joins CMU’s executive management team from Purdue University, where she served as executive vice president for research and partnerships and chief science officer, and held a faculty appointment as professor of electrical and computer engineering. Theresa oversaw a $780 million research enterprise at Purdue and supported holistic engagements with federal, industry and global strategic partners. Under her leadership, the university achieved record growth in external funding for basic and use-inspired research and realized a significant diversification of its portfolio of major sponsors.

Prior to Purdue, Theresa served as vice president for research and innovation at Virginia Tech and previously as associate dean for research and innovation at Penn State University, where she was also a member of the faculty in their College of Engineering for more than two decades.

As a researcher, Theresa is widely recognized for her work in advanced manufacturing of nanoscale electronic, optical and biomedical devices, which has been supported by the NSF, DOD, DOE, NIH and industry. She is co-author of over 350 technical publications, invited presentations and tutorials, and she holds 12 patents in these areas. She served on the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. She has also testified on science, technology and policy issues before Congress and is a national thought leader through her service on boards such as the National Defense Industry Association, Engineering Research Visioning Alliance, among others.

Upon joining Carnegie Mellon, Theresa will hold joint faculty appointments in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in the College of Engineering.

In her role as VPR, Theresa will serve as a key member of the CMU senior leadership team. She will guide the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) in partnership with academic leadership, institute and center directors, and faculty to foster a campus-wide entrepreneurial climate and advance cutting-edge ideas and research initiatives. Working with our faculty and academic leadership, Theresa will be a lead ambassador for the university in forming new alliances and stewarding already deep relationships with federal agencies and industry and foundation partners. She will ensure the smooth operation of the OVPR and the units that report to it, including the Center for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation, the Office of Sponsored Programs, the Office of Research Systems and Operations, the Office of Research Integrity and Compliance, Government Relations, Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, the Center for Business Engagement and the Software Engineering Institute — all of which are vitally important to Carnegie Mellon’s research and creative ecosystem.

I wish to express my profound gratitude to Daryl Weinert, who has served as the interim VPR since 2021. Daryl will continue to serve CMU in his primary role as Vice President for Operations. I would also like to acknowledge and thank J. Michael McQuade, who served as VPR from 2019-2021 and has been serving in an advisory capacity during this interim period.

I would also like to thank the entire search advisory committee, especially co-chairs Bill Sanders, the Dr. William D. and Nancy W. Strecker Dean of the College of Engineering, and Mary Jo Dively, Vice President and General Counsel and Secretary of the Corporation, for their diligence and service to the university.

I look forward to working with Daryl and Theresa in the coming months on a successful transition. In the meantime, I hope you will join me in welcoming Professor Theresa Mayer to our Carnegie Mellon community!


Farnam Jahanian
Henry L. Hillman’s President’s Chair