Christy Wyskiel

Senior Advisor to the President
Johns Hopkins University
Executive Director
Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures

Candidate Biography

Christy Wyskiel is the Senior Advisor to the President of Johns Hopkins University for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. In this role, she also serves as the Executive Director of Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures, the division of the university responsible for technology transfer, industry research partnerships, and company incubation under the brand ‘FastForward.’  Since her appointment in 2013, Christy has transformed the culture of commercialization at Johns Hopkins, opening 43,000 square feet of FastForward innovation space to support startup companies, facilitating the creation of 90+ companies, and generating $333 million in university revenue from licensing and industry collaborations. Johns Hopkins University startups have raised over $2.7 billion in venture capital during her tenure. Christy is a fierce advocate for the future of Baltimore and the role that Johns Hopkins University can play in populating the city skyline with companies borne, built and grown locally.

Christy is a seasoned entrepreneur, investor, and ecosystem builder with 25 years of experience primarily focused on the life sciences and healthcare industries.  Prior to her role at Johns Hopkins, Christy co-founded two Baltimore based startups and served as a formal and informal advisor to many others.  Prior to that, Christy worked as an institutional investor where she had a long track record of successful investing in both public and private companies.

Candidate Q&A

What experience do you have working on or with a strategic Board of Directors?

I have served on several boards, both corporate and not for profit, in my career. Currently, I chair the finance committee at the Abell Foundation. In my capacity at JHU, I interface with the University Board of Trustees.

Please include a brief description of your volunteer experiences within AUTM.

I regularly work with a number of tech transfer offices and Boards of Trustees at national universities to review best practices in Tech Transfer. I have done full TT office reviews for several top 25 universities in the country.

Why do you want to join the AUTM Board of Directors?

I have a keen interest in the future of tech transfer, both from a policy and a metrics perspective. I believe people behave as they are measured, and to have the maximum impact as an industry, I believe we should be constantly evaluating whether we are gathering the proper metrics and doing so in a timely way. Data science has come a long way, and I think we can do more analytics as in industry to enhance our impact to society. One of the special things about the technology transfer community is the non-competitive nature of the TTOs. I believe that Johns Hopkins has a number of best practices to share, and I believe we can continue to learn from others, as we have done consistently through collaborative forums such as AUTM.

Have you served in a volunteer leadership role for other organizations? If so, please explain.

I have served as a volunteer on the boards of Teach for America, Upsurge Baltimore (which I co-founded), Baltimore's Next Generation Investing Event (which I co-founded), Southwest Baltimore Charter School, and the Abell Foundation.

If elected by the Membership to the Board, would you consider serving as Chair? Please explain.

Eventually, yes, but I would like to better understand AUTM and its current leadership prior to committing. I believe that running one of the largest / busiest offices in the country (80 people and ~450 reports of invention) has given me a solid perspective on the work and how TT leaders can interact effectively with investors and corporate stakeholders.

Please share personal strengths that you believe would be valuable to the AUTM Board and/or the strategic direction of the Association?

I am passionate about what tech transfer looks like over the next decade. I work well with strategic thinkers, and if given any task, no matter how complex, I will get it done if I commit to it. I ask tough questions and have high standards. I am interested in getting to the right answer and willing to be proven wrong. I have a strong orientation to "put the customer first," which I think is a critical part of the tech transfer business.

What special experience do you have in driving and implementing a strategic plan?

We created JHTV at the request of university leadership when I joined 8 years ago and have driven it to one of the highest performing tech transfer offices in the country. Our strategic plan has been used as a playbook by numerous other institutions and is a published resource on our website.

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 focus on the areas of highest impact at AUTM, areas where I can make a difference, and to those, I will give it my all.

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.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is a pillar of JHTV's FY19-FY23 five-year plan. Believing that it is both 'good business' and a moral mandate, we are committed to the cultivation of diverse talent on the JHTV team of 80 people and within the inventor community we serve. Based on my own personal experience as a female investor and then startup lead and now in academia, I am keenly aware that leadership must be intentional about creating a culture that celebrates diverse perspectives. I have personally mentored a number of women and people of color, and my organization is piloting a number of programs to celebrate female inventors and inventors of color. We have some successes to share and are always learning.

Is there anything else you would like AUTM Members to know about you before they vote?

I believe our industry can have great impact and should continue to evolve so that venture investors, companies, faculty, students, and university administrators better understand our contributions to society.