Kevin Leslie has been appointed Old Dominion University’s first associate vice-president for innovation and commercialisation.

Headshot of Kevin Leslie

Kevin Leslie has been hired as Old Dominion University (ODU)’s first associate vice-president for innovation and commercialisation to transform the institution’s technology transfer operations.

Leslie joins from the Hampton Roads Biomedical Research Consortium, a state-sponsored partnership involving Old Dominion University as well as Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk State University and Sentara Healthcare. He had been inaugural executive director.

At ODU, he will work closely with another recent recruit, Sarah Jane Kirkland, who became associate vice-president for corporate partnerships last month.

He will be tasked with improving ODU’s operations around identifying, developing and marketing intellectual property and startups from faculty, staff and students. He will also be asked to seek federal and other grants for ecosystem building, and will represent ODU on a regional, state and national level for innovation and tech transfer matters.

Leslie’s earlier career stops included VCU Ventures, the commercialisation arm of Virginia Commonwealth University, where he worked for more than eight years.

He said: “Building the Hampton Roads Biomedical Research Consortium helped me gain a deep understanding of the region and its institutions. As ODU’s role in Hampton Roads and the commonwealth continues to grow, I look forward to building on that knowledge to accelerate the translation of ideas from its labs and classrooms out into the world.

“Joining ODU in this new role allows me to continue fostering innovations that will strengthen the University’s research enterprise, contribute to a more resilient regional economy and address important societal challenges.”

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).