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Cantwell joins ASU to advance research enterprise

Elizabeth "Betsy" Cantwell
January 29, 2015

Elizabeth (Betsy) Cantwell has been appointed deputy vice president in the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development (OKED) at Arizona State University. With more than two decades of experience in leading large research projects and business development, Cantwell will help accelerate ongoing efforts to advance the university’s research enterprise.

Cantwell joins ASU from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California, where she most recently served as director of the Office of Economic Development. In this role she led a variety of activities that enhanced programmatic growth and strengthened partnerships with industry and academia.

Prior to that she was director for Mission Development where she was responsible for overseeing strategic plans, innovative technology development approaches and large research project development aspects of the Engineering Directorate.

Cantwell spearheaded many large and diverse research projects while at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, including the High Performance Computing Innovation Center, California Energy Systems in the 21st Century and the California Network for Manufacturing Innovation.

“We are excited to have a person of Dr. Cantwell’s talent joining our leadership team in OKED,” says Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, senior vice president for Knowledge Enterprise Development. “Dr. Cantwell’s expertise, experience and leadership will be critical as we are embarking on a rapid research growth trajectory to achieve our 2020 goals.”

At ASU, Cantwell will work closely with faculty, academic leaders, institute and initiative leaders and center directors to help strategize large project conceptualization, pursuit, acquisition and execution of strategic projects. She will also be responsible for developing and enhancing strong relationships with various funding agencies.

“I am truly energized and inspired by ASU's vision of inclusion combined with scientific and research excellence. I see OKED as a significant engine in making this possible,” says Cantwell. “The notion of the ‘knowledge enterprise’ really creates an environment for building challenging and innovative research portfolios for faculty and staff that allows ASU to lead.”

As part of advancing the university’s research portfolio, Cantwell will also work closely with Entrepreneurship & Innovation activities at ASU, the ASU Foundation, corporate relationship initiatives, Arizona Technology Enterprises and the ASURE Applied Research Laboratory.

“The addition of this new role and focus within OKED is in line with the university’s charter and mission to establish ASU as a global center for interdisciplinary research, discovery and development,” says Panchanathan. “It is important that we are able to provide the highest level of support structure to our tremendous faculty so that their diverse expertise can be effectively channeled towards pursuing and winning large and impactful projects.”

Before joining the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Cantwell served as deputy associate laboratory director of Global Security Directorate at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. There, she led multi-sector business development efforts, finding holistic or “system” solutions, pursuing the grand challenges worthy of a national lab and optimizing the development of the next generation of science.

Cantwell also spent three years at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where she served as director of the Office of Strategy, Threat Reduction Directorate and division leader in the International, Space & Response Division, among other roles.

“Dr. Cantwell is someone who understands not only how to strategically create, manage and capture large-scale, externally funded projects and programs, but more importantly, how to enhance our impact as a comprehensive knowledge enterprise,” says Panchanathan.

“I have spent the larger part of my career anticipating the future national security needs of the country and trying to ensure that we have the programs, technologies and policies that we will need when we get there,” says Cantwell. “It is a thrill for me to bring my accumulated experience to ASU, to help us focus on growing our research enterprise to support the goal of becoming a leading global center for interdisciplinary scholarship discovery and development."

Written by Allie Nicodemo, Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development