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ASU Interplanetary Initiative welcomes deputy director

New thought leader will serve the growing needs of the initiative’s programs and organizational development

portrait of ASU Interplanetary Initiative new Deputy Director Jessica Rousset

Jessica Rousset, deputy director at ASU's Interplanetary Initiative

February 24, 2021

The ASU Interplanetary Initiative has announced the addition of Jessica Rousset as the organization’s first deputy director. Rousset is a deeply skilled and experienced senior leader who will partner with Vice President Lindy Elkins-Tanton and the staff to advance the initiative’s work in human space futures. Her key areas of focus will be engaging with government, private sector and academic partners to raise Interplanetary Initiative's research and education efforts to new levels.  

“What resonates most for me about ASU’s Interplanetary Initiative, is its goal of creating a better future for humanity here on Earth, through the lens of life beyond our precious planet,” said Rousset. “The Interplanetary Initiative is expansive and has profound transformational potential at scale. As a renowned leader in academic innovation, I cannot think of a better place than ASU to lead such an ambitious project.”

Rousset is an operational business development and commercialization leader with more than 20 years' experience growing early-stage technology companies as well as creating innovation engines in large organizations. She is an expert in bridging academic, government and corporate interests toward the common goal of improving people’s lives. 

Above all, she believes in a mindful approach to leadership, focused on creating an honest and safe culture that values divergent thinking and embraces meaningful conflict. 

Before launching her own consulting practice, she was the chief operations officer at CURE Pharmaceutical, a publicly traded drug delivery company where she oversaw operations, defined strategy and drove growth. Prior to that, she served as the head of innovation at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where over a 10-year period, she founded its Center for Innovation, helped launch medtech and biotech companies improving children’s lives and launched an FDA-funded national pediatric technology accelerator. She has also held positions at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, and GlaxoSmithkline Biologicals, in Brussels, Belgium.

She trained as a biochemical engineer at the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées in Lyon, France, and is a graduate of University of Southern California’s Healthcare Leadership Academy. 

Jessica joins ASU from Los Angeles, accompanied by her husband, Gabriel, two children, Mateo and Siana, and their feline friend, Felix.

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