Wesley Blakeslee, CLP
Blakeslee LLC, Consulting and Legal
Principal of Blakeslee, LLC, which provides legal and consulting services to universities, government entities, corporations, inventors and entrepreneurs. Founder and General Counsel of a startup company developing a cancer diagnostic. General Counsel of two other startups. Helped revise the intellectual property policies of the Qatar Foundation and many major universities. Former NASA Engineer, attorney and Associate General Counsel at Johns Hopkins. Executive Director of Johns Hopkins Technology Transfer, 2006 - 2014. Chair of the Industrial and Professional Advisory Council of the Penn State School of Engineering. 2013 Engineering Alumnus of the Year from the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics. Frequent conference speaker with more than 40 publications and presentations concerning technology development and licensing, including the chapter on Entrepreneurship and Conflicts of Interest in the BNA book Intellectual Property Technology Transfer.
What experience do you have working on or with a strategic board of directors?
I have been on the board of a national bank, as well as several startup companies, and local public service entities.
Please include a brief description of your volunteer experiences within AUTM.
Many years serving on the Eastern Region Planning Committee, as well as on the Small Office Committee. I have also presented at numerous AUTM Annual Meetings.
What motivates you to join the AUTM Board of Directors?
I very much appreciate the importance of AUTM to the tech transfer community. I have a broad base of experience, not only leading the TTO of a very large and prominent university, but as well as serving more recently as the acting head of a much smaller office while helping that office find and recruit its permanent Head. My consulting has provided insight on operations of TTOs of various levels. In addition, my legal experience from both sides, and my experience not only as a founder of a startup developing university IP, but roles in other startups that have in-licensed university IP provides understanding of both sides. I believe this depth of experience could be of benefit to AUTM.
Have you served in a volunteer leadership role for other organizations? If so, please explain.
I was the youngest head of the litigation section of the Maryland State Bar Association. I am current Chair of the Industry and Professional Advisory Committee of the Penn State School of Engineering. I am active in LES, and served as Marketing Director of the CLP program. I have held similar roles in local public interest organizations, including as Head of the Building Committee that built the first YMCA in my home county.
AUTM has recently changed how the Chair is appointed each year, with the Chair now selected from amongst the sitting Board members each year. If elected by the Membership to the Board, would you further consider serving as Chair of the Board. Why or why not?
Yes, I have always been willing to assume a leadership role in whatever endeavor I take on.
Please list specific personal strengths that you believe are valuable to the AUTM Board of Directors and/or the strategic direction of the Association?
Management leadership, hard work and dedication to the task, and very broad experience over more than 40 years in this industry.
What special experience do you have in driving and implementing a strategic plan in other organizations?
As a board member of a national bank, I helped grow the bank from $100 million to $300 million and eventual successful acquisition. Developed the plan, helped find the funding and built the building for the Westminster YMCA. Developed the technology acquisition plan for the University of Maryland Law School, served on the acquisition committee, acquired the system and saw to its installation; at the time it was the largest networked system of servers and personal computers at any law school in the country.
How does the three-year term for the position (both responsibilities and time commitment) fit in with your other responsibilities? Will you have any conflicts of commitment between your full-time position and your volunteer time on the AUTM Board?
Yes, I manage my own schedule. No conflicts.
AUTM is committed to addressing issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion both amongst the Board and on behalf of our Members. Briefly describe how your experiences can contribute to the Association’s growth in this area
As the leader of a major university office we promoted diversity and opportunity in our organization, and all of our staff, professional and non-professional, reflected that value. Four of our five team managers were women, one a minority, and our staff reflected diversity across the board. (E.g. our Head of Sales and Marketing was a Hispanic woman, and a number of our group leaders were Black women.) My current law partner is a woman.
Is there anything else you would like AUTM members to know about you before they vote?
I love this place.