Kathy Naasz
New Hire/Promotion

Naasz Joins NJII as VP of Strategic Partnerships

NJIT’s New Jersey Innovation Institute has hired Kathy Naasz to craft strategy and forge new partnerships between the university and industry.

This new position — vice president of strategic partnerships — will focus on analyzing current and future market opportunities, developing an effective partnership strategy and cultivating strategic relationships that deliver on NJII’s mission of being a conduit between industry and NJIT’s expertise.

“NJII has shown that it can implement innovative solutions with partners, such as the recently announced Merck Digital Sciences Studio, and this position is needed now to support its next phase of growth,” NJIT President Teik C. Lim said.

Most recently, Naasz was dean of the largest academic school at County College of Morris, overseeing programs that brought together engineering, management and technology students for real-world problem solving. Prior to that, she was a professor, dean and vice president of innovation at Centenary University.

From Bell Labs engineer to global executive director at AT&T to vice president positions in academia, Naasz’s career represents an intriguing path that combines corporate and academic experiences to positively impact business, education and innovation. She has launched five businesses, led teams in over 14 countries, and speaks three languages.

Naasz holds an Ed.D. in educational leadership from Centenary University, an M.S. in engineering management from Stanford University and a B.S. in electrical engineering from Manhattan College. She is proud to have been elected by university students as “Distinguished Teacher of the Year” (2013), was named Top 50 Women in Business in 2017 (NJBIZ) and her research on the impact of innovative spaces on learning received global recognition with the Emerald HETL Outstanding Doctoral Research Award and became the topic of an impactful TEDx talk.

Lim described Naasz as a “unique candidate” who has “comprehensive leadership experience and understands the challenges and motivations of both environments to be able to shape mutually beneficial partnerships.”

Naasz, for her part, relishes the opportunity to be part of an “innovative and impactful” organization that strikes partnerships with Fortune 100 companies.

“I have held leadership positions in both industry and academia and this role allows me to bridge the two worlds,” Naasz said. “It also gives me a chance to learn more about the groundbreaking research and expertise of NJIT. As I have a technical background, I’m energized when learning and applying new technologies to solve problems, and through partnerships — together — we can bring forward new models to foster innovation in our state.”

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