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About Dorothy Air & Jim Woodell

Dorothy Air

During her years as the University of Cincinnati Associate Vice President for Entrepreneurial Affairs and Technology Commercialization, Dorothy H. Air, PhD is credited with having proposed and developed an Office of Entrepreneurial Affairs for the University at a time when visibility for the Innovation Agenda was in its infancy. Ultimately, this Office grew into the Technology Accelerator for Commercialization, for which she has brought in more than $6.5 million in grant funding to support faculty commercialization initiatives. She was also instrumental as a senior investigator in bringing in more than $37 million in additional grant funding related to the development and commercialization of technologies and to support regional initiatives.

Her track record includes initiating the formation of the Ohio Valley Affiliates for Life Sciences, which has grown over the last 15 years into a three-state, six university affiliation dedicated to creating visibility for the technology opportunities of our region. She launched and served as the Fund Manager for the Southern Ohio Creates Companies Pre-Seed investment fund, led by the University of Cincinnati. She currently serves on the Steering Committee for I-Corps@Ohio, and Board for Confluence Regional Water Cluster Partnership. Her regional leadership is also reflected in her past Board appointments, including Hamilton County Development Center (and Executive Committee); Edison Material Technology Center; Greater Cincinnati Venture Association; BioStart, Kentucky Science and Engineering Foundation and Commercialization Advisory Board for the Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center of Cleveland Clinic. She has been a champion of CincyTech where, as a loaned executive from UC, she was able to help in establishing the early groundwork for the dynamic force CincyTech has become. 

Dorothy is a recognized thought-leader in developing new models for technology commercialization and has served in many capacities for APLU’s Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness and Economic Prosperity, including the Working Group tasked with “Defining the New Engagement for Universities,” Secretary of the Executive Committee, and member of the working groups for developing university strategic communications, assessment tools and metrics.

Her work has resulted in several recognitions, including 2007 Leading Woman of Greater Cincinnati in Entrepreneurship, 2006 One of Cincinnati’s Top 10 Women in Technology by Cincinnati Women’s Business, and Top 20 people in Technology in Cincinnati and Featured in BizWoman Annual Regional Program, 2015. She is also known for her skills in facilitating strategic planning processes.


Jim Woodell 

Dr. James K. (Jim) Woodell helps to realize the economic and societal impact of higher education. He provides professional services to institutions of higher education, and to their current and prospective partners in the private, civic, and government sectors.

Dr. Woodell assists with: 1) partnership—to maximize the mutual benefit of collaboration and alliances; 2) structures—to align organizational assets, leaders, and processes for maximum achievement of impact goals; 3) measures—to develop performance indicators, metrics, and benchmarks, and strategies for using data and information for program design, implementation, and improvement; and 4) narratives—to guide development of strategic communications, advocacy messages, and stakeholder engagement approaches.

Spanning multiple areas of impact, Dr. Woodell’s expertise includes: community development and improved quality of life in regions through higher education engagement, outreach, and public service; education, training, and workforce development, including strategies for design and delivery of programs; and R&D and innovation, including technological advancement, entrepreneurship, and regional technology-based economic development.

Dr. Woodell recently served as Vice President for Economic Development and Community Engagement at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), where he worked closely with member institutions to develop tools and resources to enhance their regional engagement and economic development efforts. He served as the staff director for APLU’s Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness and Economic Prosperity (CICEP), and also the organization’s Council on Engagement and Outreach (CEO), advancing APLU’s economic and community engagement agenda. Dr. Woodell maintained APLU’s strong presence in national issues related to the economic and social impacts of public research universities.

At APLU, Dr. Woodell worked with member university leaders to create the Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) Universities designation and awards program. The program has had a tremendous impact on institutional transformation—over 60 universities earned the designation in the program’s first five years, and participating institutions all report a significant effect of the application process on alignment of organizational plans and resources toward economic and societal outcomes. Woodell also led the development and publication of a series of tools for university economic engagement—the CICEP Economic Engagement Framework—which are central to the IEP Universities program application process. The flagship publication in this series is Higher Education Engagement in Economic Development: Foundations for Strategy and Practice.

Central to his work at APLU was convening leadership of APLU member universities, including presidents and chancellors, senior research officers, provosts, and associate and assistant vice presidents with responsibility for innovation, entrepreneurship, talent development, and community engagement. A skilled and dynamic facilitator, Dr. Woodell has led the planning and implementation of nearly 20 national meetings of public research university leaders.

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Next Tuesday, 10/27: Find out how to use data on your institution's research activities as part of your government relations efforts. Webinar from @UMich's @IRIS_UMETRICS featuring Kristina Ko, @UMichResearch government relations.

Tomorrow, 10/21, 1PM EDT: Don't miss the opportunity to hear from Jay Walsh of @UofILSystem and Jason Owen-Smith (@Jdos_WoT) of @UMich's @IRIS_UMETRICS on the impact of #COVID on U.S. research.

We at @UEDAorg are grateful for the support of @LemelsonFdn for our Ecosystems Design Network! We are applying the principles of design thinking to build stronger and more equitable #econdev ecosystems. Learn more here

Super excited for @UEDAorg #UEDASummit #EcosystemDay! We've got 23 #econdev ecosystems across 15 U.S. states working on stronger connections and equity. I even shed my quarantine wardrobe and got dressed up for the event! 👔 💼 😁

I’m excited to be facilitating a session for the upcoming @UEDAorg Digital Summit—Accelerating Ecosystems for Recovery. We’re going to explore how design thinking can help us create stronger, more equitable economic development ecosystems. Join us!

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