Skip to main content

Shangraw appointed CEO, president of ASU Foundation

October 10, 2011

R. F. “Rick” Shangraw, Jr., senior vice president for Knowledge Enterprise Development at Arizona State University, has been named CEO and president of the ASU Foundation for a New American University, announced Bill Post, foundation board chairman, and ASU President Michael M. Crow. The appointment takes effect Nov. 1.

As senior vice president, Shangraw built ASU’s growing annual research portfolio to nearly $350 million, which ranks ASU as one of the top 20 research institutions in the country without a medical school. During FY 2011 the record $343.6 million in research-related expenditures represented an increase of almost 180 percent from $123 million in FY 2002.

In FY2011, ASU sought more than $1.3 billion in research proposals and received more than $294 million in external awards.

Shangraw succeeds Johnnie Ray, who resigned to accept a position in Tennessee that allows him to move closer to his family.

“This is a significant step forward for the foundation," Post said. "Rick has an impressive track record of growing investment in the university’s vision while overseeing multiple complex initiatives. He has the connections and relationships inside and outside ASU that will benefit the foundation as it forges partnerships that lead to increased philanthropic support for the university at this critical time in its history.”

“Rick had an outstanding career in the private sector prior to coming to ASU and has surpassed our lofty expectations of him in every assignment he has undertaken for the university,” Crow said. “As ASU emerges leaner but stronger from a series of state appropriation cuts and looks to implement the next phase of the New American University, this is the ideal time to move Rick into the position of chief university fund-raiser.”

“I’m grateful for the confidence of President Crow, Foundation chair Bill Post and the entire board of directors in my ability to serve in this capacity,” Shangraw said. “Working with ASU’s outstanding faculty, staff and students has helped prepare me for this new role.”

During Shangraw’s tenure in Knowledge Enterprise Development he was able to establish the systems needed to facilitate ASU’s many research and economic development accomplishments including:

• ASU has the fastest growing research enterprise during the last five years among U.S. universities with research portfolios exceeding $100M in research expenditures.

• For the first time, ASU ranked in the top 20 U.S. universities for non-science and engineering research expenditures.

• ASU continues to be ranked in the top 20 U.S. universities without a medical school for total research expenditures.

• ASU was noted by the Chronicle of Higher Education as having the second-largest increase in ranking – a 30-position increase – among the top 100 U.S. universities ranked by federally funded research expenditures.

• ASU ranks in the top 10 in licenses and options, startups and invention disclosures per $10M of research funding.

• ASU SkySong has become a global portal to the innovation economy, with 50 companies on site, 19 more with virtual affiliations, representing 14 countries and generating more than 700 jobs in South Scottsdale.

• Launched new initiatives including LightWorks and the Security and Defense Systems Initiative (SDSI) and helped recruit top researchers including Nobel laureate Lee Hartwell to co-direct the Center for Sustainable Health at ASU’s Biodesign Institute and Anna Barker, former deputy director of the National Cancer Institute, to lead ASU’s Transformative Healthcare Networks.

ASU’s major interdisciplinary research institutes and initiatives also reported to Shangraw, including the Biodesign Institute, Flexible Display Center, LightWorks, Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative and Decision Theater. And he served as director of the Global Institute of Sustainability, where he co-managed the institute’s research, education, and problem-solving initiatives.

Prior to joining ASU, Shangraw was the founder and CEO of Project Performance Corporation (PPC), a research and technology consulting firm specializing in environmental, energy and information management issues.  During his tenure, PPC received the "Inc. 500 Award" for being one of the fastest growing, privately held companies in the United States.

Before starting PPC, Shangraw held a tenure-track appointment in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and an affiliated appointment with the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University. He currently holds Professor of Practice appointments with ASU's School of Public Affairs within the College of Public Programs and with the School of Sustainability. He actively publishes, teaches and mentors students.

While at ASU, Shangraw previously served as vice president for Research & Economic Affairs, ASU's associate vice president for Strategic Research, and as the founding executive director of ASU's Decision Theater, a state-of-the-art center using visualization, simulation and modeling, and collaboration tools to address complex public policy issues.    
In addition, Shangraw has served on a number of boards and committees, including: Arizona State University Research Park Board of Directors; Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE) Board of Directors; Arizona's Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee; Flinn Foundation; Biosphere 2 Board of Advisors; the Flexible Display Center Governing Board; and the Translational Genomic Research Institute (TGen) Board of Governors.

He has a bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, in political science, and a certificate in environmental studies from Dickinson College; a master's degree in public administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University; and he earned his doctorate from the Maxwell School with a specialization in technology and information policy and organization design.

One of Arizona’s oldest nonprofit organizations, the ASU Foundation for A New American University raises, invests and manages private funds to benefit Arizona State University. The foundation was incorporated in 1955 and currently manages assets exceeding $781 million. Learn more about the foundation at