Gayathri is the Managing Executive Director in the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Emory University. She is a scientist, a biochemist, by training with her PhD from the Ohio State University and her Post-doc at MIT.
Fun fact about Gayathri, she was part of the team that discovered the 22nd amino acid, Pyrrolysine.
Her role at Emory is to provide a “front door” for industry and foundations to connect with the right resources within Emory to further their objectives and support Emory’s research, education, and healthcare mission. Prior to joining Emory, Gayathri was at T1D Exchange building strategic alliances for the startup. Before joining T1D Exchange, she was at UMass Medical School doing technology licensing, sponsored research and core facilities service agreement. She was also the Executive Board Member for M2D2, the UMass Incubator/accelerator. She forayed into tech transfer world at MIT's licensing office where she learned from Lita Nelsen herself the best practices to be successful in this profession.
What experience do you have working on or with a strategic Board of Directors?
2 yrs -Executive Board Member M2D2. I also was at a nonprofit startup, T1D Exchange, where I was intimately involved with board governance and operation for 2 years.
Please include a brief description of your volunteer experiences within AUTM.
I have been part of the programming committee for the past 2 years
Why do you want to join the AUTM Board of Directors?
I have always enjoyed being part of AUTM and with my background I feel I can contribute to AUTM members
Have you served in a volunteer leadership role for other organizations? If so, please explain.
2010-2012 M2D2 as Executive Board Member and at MIT Enterprise Forum Atlanta Chapter as Co Chair from 2020-2021
If elected by the Membership to the Board, would you consider serving as Chair? Please explain.
Not the first year. I need to understand the board roles better before I can serve as Chair
Please share personal strengths that you believe would be valuable to the AUTM Board and/or the strategic direction of the Association.
Resource connector and collaborator
What special experience do you have in driving and implementing a strategic plan?
At Emory I lead the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations. As part of the leadership of this office and its success, I developed, drove and implemented a strategic plan. The first was as the leader for Office of Corporate Relations and then most recently as leader of Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations.
How do terms of the position (both responsibilities and time commitment) fit with your other responsibilities? Will you have any conflicts of commitment between your full-time position and your volunteer time on the AUTM Board?
I will be able to manage the time commitment
AUTM is committed to addressing issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion both on the Board and on behalf of our Members. Briefly describe how your experiences can contribute to the Association’s growth in this area.
Being an immigrant and woman of color, I strongly strive for a diverse and empowered teams. This is the case in my current team both in terms of gender and race. This has allowed for creative and smart approaches to our work. My experience working with a diverse group of people in my organization allows me to understand the value and importance of a diverse viewpoint. I will always focus on soliciting varied viewpoints and thereby contribute to a stronger AUTM. I will also always push towards a more diverse AUTM membership and Board composition.
Advocacy for the innovation ecosystem is something AUTM has promoted recently. How do you think AUTM should continue to be involved?
AUTM should continue to be a voice for innovation and how that has impacted the economic development of a region and the world. The work AUTM has done to support innovation through its membership and advocacy is crucial to help translate scientific breakthrough to the market and influence workforce development through innovation.
Is there anything else you would like AUTM Members to know about you before they vote?