Jay Schrankler has returned to industry, becoming CEO of avionics systems provider Perceptive Avionics, with Samir Mayekar taking over at the Polsky Center.

Headshot of Samir Mayekar

Jay Schrankler has left the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center after leading the innovation hub for four and a half years, becoming chief executive of avionics systems provider Perceptive Avionics.

Schrankler joined the Beyond the Breakthrough podcast in 2021 to discuss his career and work at the University of Chicago. The episode is available here.

Samir Mayekar (pictured above) has been appointed Schrankler’s successor and will become managing director of the Polsky Center on November 6. Mayekar was deputy mayor of Chicago from May 2019 to May 2023 and has been a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago since July this year.

During his time as deputy mayor, Mayekar focused on economic and neighbourhood development. Earlier in his career, Mayekar served in the Obama administration as part of the White House’s national security team and the US International Development Finance Corporation executive staff.

He is also a co-founder and former chief executive of NanoGraf, which manufactures materials for the lithium-ion battery industry, NanoGraf is a spinout of Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory.

Madhav Rajan, dean of the Booth School of Business, said: “Samir has demonstrated throughout his career that he is a leader and a builder of organizations and initiatives in which ideas can grow and flourish.

“We look forward to working with him to further promote innovation and collaboration and advance the Polsky Center’s ambitious goals.”

Thierry Heles

Thierry Heles is the editor of Global University Venturing, host of the Beyond the Breakthrough interview podcast and responsible for the monthly GUV Gazette (sign up here for free).