Learn more about our Executive & Senior Leaders
- Vice Chancellor for Research:Prasant Mohapatra
- Executive Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Administration: Cindy Kiel
- Associate Vice Chancellor for Interdisciplinary Research and Strategic Initiatives: Paul Dodd
- Associate Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Technology Commercialization: Dushyant Pathak
Dr. Prasant Mohapatra is serving as the Vice Chancellor for Research at University of California, Davis. He is also a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and served as the Dean and Vice-Provost of Graduate Studies during 2016-18. He served as Associate Chancellor during 2014-16, and the Interim Vice-Provost and CIO of UC Davis during 2013-14. He was the Department Chair of Computer Science during 2007-13. In the past, Dr. Mohapatra has also held Visiting Scientist positions at Intel Corporation, Panasonic Technologies, Institute of Infocomm Research (I2R), Singapore, and National ICT Australia (NICTA). He has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Padova, Italy and Yonsei University, and KAIST, South Korea.
Dr. Mohapatra received his doctoral degree from Penn State University in 1993, and received an Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award in 2008. He is also the recipient of Distinguished Alumnus Award from the National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, India. Dr. Mohapatra received an Outstanding Research Faculty Award from the College of Engineering at the University of California, Davis. He received the HP Labs Innovation awards in 2011, 2012, and 2013. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and a Fellow of AAAS.
Dr. Mohapatra’s research interests are in the areas of wireless networks, mobile communications, cybersecurity, and Internet protocols. He has published more than 350 papers in reputed conferences and journals on these topics. Dr. Mohapatra’s research has been funded through grants from the National Science Foundation, US Department of Defense, US Army Research Labs, Intel Corporation, Siemens, Panasonic Technologies, Hewlett Packard, Raytheon, and EMC Corporation.
As Executive Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Administration at UC Davis, Cindy Kiel provides leadership over research administration and compliance areas for the university. Cindy holds a Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Utah College of Law and a B.A. in Political Science with an emphasis in international relations. She most recently served as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research Services at The Washington University in St. Louis with oversight for grants and contracts, interdisciplinary research development and export controls. Preceding her work at The Washington University, she was Executive Director for Sponsored Projects at the University of Nevada. Prior to her engagement in academia, she practiced law at Utah Legal Services and the law firm of McMurray, McMurray, Dale and Parkinson in the fields of consumer protection, government records access, education law, false claims act litigation, corporate transactional work, employment law, contract breach litigation, immigration, and intellectual property infringement. Cindy is an active member in the Council on Government Relations and speaks nationally on a number of topics including: global research, research compliance, proposal development, federal contracting, subcontracts, budgeting and cost-share, negotiation tactics, export trade controls, technology transfer, and research infrastructure. She has served as a proposal reviewer for the National Institute of Health and the Department of Defense.
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Paul Dodd is Associate Vice Chancellor for Interdisciplinary Research and Strategic Initiatives. Paul has a background in nanoscale material science and applied physics and has worked at the interface between industry, academia and government for over 20 years. Paul is responsible for development of interdisciplinary research activities for the Davis campus and for initiating, supporting and coordinating the development of new strategic research partnerships, domestic and international. Paul administers the ten Organized Research Units on campus as well as Special Research Programs and Central Facilities. Prior to UC Davis Paul was Director of the Industry Collaborative Programs at Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) where he was responsible for large-scale collaborative research centers and clusters in Information and Communication Technologies, Life Sciences and Renewable Energy. In 2009-10, Paul worked in Silicon Valley, California with the Irish Government’s enterprise development agency. His role was to develop research links between industry in the United States and academic research groups and centers in Ireland. Paul holds bachelor and master’s degrees in materials science from Trinity College Dublin and was awarded a Ph.D. from Queen’s University Belfast for research on nanoscale magnetic materials and devices with applications in magnetic recording head technologies.
Dr. Dushyant Pathak is Associate Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Technology Commercialization in the Office of Research at UC Davis with responsibility for InnovationAccess, which manages patents, licenses and IP as well as Venture Catalyst, a new unit with responsibility for facilitating the creation of new ventures and technology startups based on university IP and faculty research. Dushyant has more than 15 years of management experience including with Fortune-500, publicly traded, entrepreneurial and start-up companies in roles through which he has led business development and intellectual property teams, commercial planning and clinical project operations activities and been in senior leadership responsible for a successful NASDAQ IPO. Dushyant has led entrepreneurial teams at the start-up and early stage, including raising capital from investors in the role of CEO. He has worked in venture capital with Connecticut Innovations and as the first EIR at QB3/Mission Bay Capital. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of San Francisco’s School of Management and received his M.B.A. from the Haas School of Business, his Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology & Cell Biology from Northwestern University and his B.A in Natural Science & Mathematics from Bennington College. He was a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Fund Post-doctoral Fellow and a member of the Research Faculty at Yale University in the molecular biophysics and biochemistry department.
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- Sponsored Programs Executive Director, Research Administration: Ahmad Hakim-Elahi
- Interdisciplinary Research Support Director: Sheryl Soucy-Lubell
- Marketing and Communications
- Research Compliance & Integrity Director: Craig Allison
- Business & Finance Director: Delanda Buchanan
- Human Resources Manager: Marlene Denham
Executive Director, Research Administration: Ahmad Hakim-Elahi
Ahmad Hakim-Elahi is Executive Director, Research Administration, and Director of Sponsored Programs. Sponsored Programs assists the campus research community in its efforts to secure extramural funding while promoting proper stewardship of those funds. Ahmad received his B.S. degree in Mechanical and Agricultural Engineering, received his M.S. degree in Agronomy in 1977 and his Ph.D. in Genetics in 1981, both at the University of California, Davis. He received his J.D. degree from Santa Clara University in 1990. He is a member of the State of California Bar, the U.S. District Court, Northern California, and the U.S. Patent Bar, allowing him to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Following the completion of his Doctoral and Post-doctoral training at UC Davis, he joined a San Francisco Bay Area plant biotechnology corporation as a research scientist, practicing plant breeding and biotechnology. During the 12 years of his association with the company, he served in various positions of successively higher responsibilities, including the group leader of the company’s plant breeding team, the research administrator overseeing all company research, and then as the in-house legal counsel. He was a member of a team that moved the company from being a privately-owned entity into a publicly-traded corporation in 1986. From 1994 to 1996, Ahmad was the senior manager of the technology and licensing office at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, where he established the first campus-based office of sponsored programs and licensing and technology transfer. In 1996, he joined Sponsored Programs at UC Davis as a contracts and grants officer, and since 1998 he has been serving the campus as the Director of Sponsored Programs.
Director: Sheryl Soucy-Lubell
Sheryl Soucy-Lubell is the Director of Interdisciplinary Research Support in the UC Davis Office of Research. The Interdisciplinary Research Support team coordinates the preparation of major grant proposals for large-scale, interdisciplinary research programs. As director of this unit, Sheryl identifies and develops collaborative efforts in pursuit of extramural funding opportunities; advises campus administrators in prioritizing research efforts by determining UC Davis research capacity in specific areas and forecasting opportunities for success prior to committing resources; and conducts campus-wide research development activities such as workshops, trainings, program officer visits, funding opportunity searches and dissemination, and research team building. Sheryl also oversees the administration of the Limited Submissions program, which is a service of the Office of Research that assists faculty in identifying Limited Submission opportunities and coordinates the campus review and nomination of applications for those opportunities. The program identifies and advertises nearly 200 such opportunities each year, about two-thirds of which require review and nomination. She received a B.A. in Biology and Environmental Studies at Dartmouth College, a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and conducted post-doctoral research in the Department of Biological Sciences at Florida State University.
Marketing and Communications
As Director of Marketing and Communications for the Office of Research, AJ Cheline is responsible for developing strategies and implementing tactics to increase global awareness of research and technology development at UC Davis. AJ returned to UC Davis after 15 years of working in various marketing roles within the medical device and healthcare industries. He earned a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from UC Davis and a bachelor’s degree in physiology from the University of Arizona. AJ’s experience in research, technology development and commercialization helps him connect with campus researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs. He holds multiple U.S. patents and has published his research in several journals.
Director: Craig Allison
Craig Allison is the Director of Research Compliance and Integrity. His unit monitors federal and state regulatory developments and changes to university policy to ensure the campus operates in compliance with applicable regulations and assesses research compliance risks and opportunities. Craig is as a UC Davis-wide resource, serving on multiple campus compliance committees, and developing research compliance policies and procedures in response to the rapidly evolving state and federal laws and regulations. He is a senior leader with over twenty years of experience in internal investigations, and interpreting/applying complex federal and state statutes and regulations including the federal sentencing guidelines. He also has substantial experience in developing regulatory compliance programs for private companies. Prior to joining UC Davis, Craig worked in the private sector handling complex civil and criminal litigation, and compliance matters in the areas of environmental, health care, tax, securities, antitrust, and immigration. Craig also has a solid science background, having obtained an undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences (Entomology) and a Masters of Public Health from UC Berkeley. He obtained his Juris Doctor from King Hall here at UC Davis.
Executive Director: Derrick B. Coffin
Derrick B. Coffin is the Executive Director for Strategic Research Initiatives within the Office of Research. In this role, Derrick works to elevate UCD’s research presence and visibility within the DOD and DOE marketplace. Derrick has 18+ years of professional experience related to the pursuit, capture and execution of externally funded awards with a focus on DOD. He spent 15 years with Lockheed Martin in roles spanning technology development, program management, strategic planning and business development. While at Lockheed Martin, Derrick presided over the maturation of key technology pursuits in partnership and coordination with external stakeholders driving maturation from concept through test and demonstration. Derrick is a recipient of Lockheed Martin’s “Excellent Communicator Award”, a coveted award directly voted on by employees. Derrick holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University.
Director: Delanda Buchanan
Business & Finance works in partnership with the UC Davis community including administrators, faculty, staff, research unit directors and managers to deliver financially sound and cost-effective business processes.
Manager: Marlene Denham
Marlene Denham is the Human Resources Manager in the Office of Research. She has a degree in Business Administration and over 20 years of experience working in a professional office setting, including eight years as an office manager/supervisor working with staff, students, directors, tellers, supervisors, faculty, customers, deans, etc. As the Human Resources Manager, Marlene is responsible for managing the OR HR team which provides strategic and analytical support and advice for academic federation and staff personnel functions throughout the Office of Research. The OR HR unit handles human resource issues such as policy interpretations; recruitments; academic federation appointments; retention; classification; compensation; merits and promotions; employee and labor relations issues; general benefits; and training and development. The OR HR unit builds a culture of organizational excellence, acceptance and a support system for a diverse community of talented employees and ensures they feel valued and vested in the organization.