Gina Smutz
Compliance Manager, Office of Technology Management/Tech Transfer
Washington University in St. Louis

AUTM Member since 2018
What is your favorite food and why? 
Breakfast foods – always get the day off to a good start.
What’s the best advice you ever received?
“No” is an easy response. Are you able to communicate a negative response in a positive way?
Do you have any hobbies?
I am a novice quilter, mostly I make gifts for family  weddings, babies, etc. I enjoy spending time thinking about the recipient, wishing them well and even sneaking in a prayer for their journey as I create a new piece.

How did you get involved in technology transfer? 
After a move to a university community, in 2010 I found myself in a university technology transfer office with a very talented director. Under her leadership, I was able to witness the various roles of technology transfer, from protection of intellectual property to various commercialization and operational activities. After moving to Washington University, I was embraced by another great leadership team and have been encouraged to get involved with AUTM, connect with colleagues from around the country and learn with some of the best compliance professionals. 

What’s something you’re working on right now that really excites you? 
The AUTM University Operations and Compliance course in October 2023. Bringing together compliance professionals to share ideas and continue to network with one another is exciting. I enjoy working with the federal compliance individuals as we seek to implement the compliance activities at our institutions and assist our researchers as they navigate the compliance obligations.

What do you like most about working with inventors and other tech transfer professionals?
I enjoy working with our researchers and other university offices to make sure that the compliance obligations are met. Technology transfer brings together so many disciplines and makes a difference. 
What’s something you wish more people knew about compliance? 
Compliance is a team sport and requires good relationships and communication with researchers, business development, finance and operations as well as government and foundation professionals. When we all work together the system(s) work!

You’ve been an active volunteer with AUTM, on the Compliance Committee as well as the Job Task Analysis Team. What aspect of volunteering has been most rewarding for you?
Meeting and engaging with other uniquely qualified individuals from around the country. I’ve learned so much and hope to continue to give back to others in the future. 
Last month you received a University Operations Award for your contributions to Washington University. How has your involvement with AUTM helped to enhance those contributions? 
I work with a talented group of people at Washington University, and this award would not be possible without them. Having a leadership team that is open to new ideas has provided me with opportunities to bring things back from AUTM that will continue to benefit the Washington University Office of Technology Management for many years.

What does winning this award mean to you?
It is wonderful to be recognized for my contributions. However, this award is only possible because of the dedicated colleagues I have the pleasure of working with.