National Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation

You are what you venture.

Board members

The principals in our initiative started over three years ago with a simple question—where is entrepreneurship and innovation celebrated in the United States? They want the 25 million visitors to Washington, D.C. every year to experience, front and center, the creative dynamism that is at the heart of the American character and that built the American economy.

Advisory Board

Vint Cerf Headshot

Vint Cerf is Chief Internet Evangelist and Vice President for Google. He is widely regarded as a co-founder or “Father of the Internet”. For his pioneering work, he was awarded the U.S. National Medal of Technology in 1997 by President Bill Clinton, and in 2005 was awarded America’s highest civilian honor by President George W. Bush, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He has also been honored with the Association for Computing Machinery’s Alan M. Turing Award. Vint is past Chairman of the Board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and is a Visiting Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He held both past vice president positions in Technology Strategy, and Architecture and Technology for MCI. He is also past Chairman of the Board of the Internet Society, an organization he helped start.

Carly Fiorina Headshot

Carly Fiorina currently serves as Chairman of Good360, the world’s largest product philanthropy and is a frequent advisor on issues of innovation, education, entrepreneurship, and job creation. Previously she served as Chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard. She has also served on the Defense Business Board, as the Chairman of the CIA’s External Advisory Board and on the Advisory Group for Transformational Diplomacy for the Department of State. She has been a member of the Boards of Kellogg Company, Cisco Systems, Merck and Taiwan Semiconductor. In 2010 she ran for the Senate, and has served as Victory Chair for John McCain and a co-chair for Mitt Romney. She is also engaged in national policy formulation, serving as a Senior Advisor for the Center of Strategic and International Studies where she is also a Co-Chair for US Leadership in Development. She is also the founder of the One Woman Initiative and now serves as a Global Ambassador for Opportunity International.

Dean Kamen Headshot

Dean Kamen founded Deka Research and Development Corporation in New Hampshire, and is the holder of over 440 U.S. and foreign patents. Some notable inventions developed by Deka include, the HydroflexTM surgical irrigation pump, the iBOT™ mobility device, and the Segway® Human Transporter. An advanced prosthetic arm in development should advance the quality of life for returning injured soldiers. He is also the founder of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an organization dedicated to motivating the next generation to understand, use, and enjoy science and technology. Founded in 1989, FIRST currently serves more than 300,000 young people, ages 6-18, in more than 60 countries around the world. Dean was awarded the National Medal of Technology in 2000 by President Bill Clinton, and received the Lemelson-MIT Prize in 2002.

Carl J. Schramm

Carl J. Schramm is recognized internationally as a leading authority on entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic growth. Dr. Schramm is currently University Professor at Syracuse University. He serves as a visiting scientist at MIT and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a fellow of the Bush Institute, U.C. Berkeley Haas Business School’s Institute of Business Innovation, and the Royal Society of Arts. Dr. Schramm previously served for 10 years as president of the Kauffman Foundation, turning it into the world’s premier organization dedicated to the development of high-growth firms and understanding the role they play in economic growth. Dr. Schramm has authored or coauthored several books including Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism: the Economics of Growth and Prosperity; Inside Real Innovation; The Entrepreneurial Imperative; and, most recently, Better Capitalism (coauthored with Robert Litan) published by Yale University Press in September 2012.

Governing Board

Philip Auerswald Headshot

Philip Auerswald is the founding board chair of the National Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He is the author of The Coming Prosperity: How Entrepreneurs Are Transforming the Global Economy (Oxford University Press, 2012) as well numerous other books, reports, and research papers related to entrepreneurship and innovation. He is also an adviser to the Clinton Global Initiative; the co-founder and co-editor of Innovations, a quarterly journal from MIT Press about entrepreneurial solutions to global challenges; and an associate professor at George Mason University. Previously he was assistant director of the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Donna Harris Headshot

Donna Harris is co-founder of 1776, a start-up accelerator and incubator space in Washington, DC. Prior to starting 1776, she was Managing Director of the Startup America Partnership, where she designed and led the Startup Regions Initiative. She is also a Founding Member of the K Street Capital angel network and is an active angel investor. Her previous positions include Vice Chair of Interpoint Group and founder and CEO of Kinderstreet, which sold SaaS solutions in the education, sports, and recreation markets. She was also Vice President of Strategic Planning, Marketing, and Product Management for Centromine. She has held a variety of roles at Oracle Corporation and Electronic Data Systems.

James Turner Headshot

James Turner is Senior Counsel for the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU). James joined APLU in January 2009 after a 30 year career on Capitol Hill where he had served as Chief Counsel to the Committee on Science and Technology and the Committee’s Technology Staff Director. He previously served on the Obama Presidential Transition Team in 2008 and the Clinton Presidential Transition Team in 1992.

Entrepreneurship Council

Nancy Conrad Headshot

Nancy Conrad created the Conrad Foundation in 2008 to energize and engage students in science and technology through unique entrepreneurial opportunities. The organization's flagship program, the Spirit of Innovation Challenge, is a global competition challenging students to combine education, innovation and entrepreneurship to create products that address real-world challenges and global sustainability. By enabling young minds to connect education, innovation and entrepreneurship, the Foundation helps provide a bold platform for enriching the innovative workforce of the future.

Ms. Conrad has been a featured speaker at national and international conferences. Her presentations include TED Long Beach, the Legatum Institute at MIT, and, at the invitation of HM King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz, she spoke at the Global Competitiveness Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She also presented at the Global Diversity Leadership Conference at Harvard University and the National Modeling and Simulation Coalition conference. As a leader in transformative education, she has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology detailing how the Conrad Foundation exemplifies the use of partnership and mentorship to improve STEM education.

Christopher Gergen Headshot

Christopher Gergen is CEO of Forward Impact whose mission is to unleash the impact potential of next generation entrepreneurial leaders. This complements his role as adjunct professor and fellow at the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

Christopher is co-author of Life Entrepreneurs: Ordinary People Creating Extraordinary Lives (Warren Bennis Leadership Series; Jossey-Bass, 2008). He also co-founded SMARTHINKING, the leading online tutoring provider in the United States, and helped launch the “Entrepreneur Corps”—a national service initiative sponsored by AmeriCorps VISTA.

Mary Lindenstein Walshok Headshot

Mary Lindenstein Walshok is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Programs and Dean of Extension at the University of California San Diego. Her work centers on aligning workforce development with regional economic growth. She is the author of Blue Collar Women (Doubleday, 1981), Knowledge Without Boundaries (Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1995), Closing America’s Job Gap (W Business Books, 2011), and the forthcoming Invention and Reinvention: The Evolution of San Diego’s Entrepreneurial Economy (Stanford University Press). As an industrial sociologist, she has researched various American regions for the U.S. Department of Labor, National Science Foundation, and Lilly Foundation.

Christina Gabriel Headshot

Christina Gabriel Christina Gabriel is president of the University Energy Partnership, an energy technology research and innovation partnership among Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, Penn State University, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia University. Previously she directed Innovation Economy grant making at The Heinz Endowments in Pittsburgh, PA, and prior to that she was vice provost and chief technology officer at Carnegie Mellon University.

During the 1990's Dr. Gabriel served at the National Science Foundation, first to direct Engineering Research Centers and other industry-university collaborative centers programs and later as deputy head of the agency's $350 million engineering directorate. She spent the 1994 legislative cycle on detail as one of three majority professional staff members for the $90 billion VA, HUD and Independent Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate. In 1990 she was the visiting associate professor holding the NTT Telecommunications Endowed Chair at the University of Tokyo in Japan.

Dr. Gabriel began her professional career as principal investigator in Research at AT&T Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, NJ, focusing on lasers, optical fibers and thin-film waveguide devices for telecommunications, switching and computing applications. She is a member of the MIT Corporation Visiting Committee on Sponsored Research and serves on the steering committee for the National Research Council review of federal small business innovation research (SBIR and STTR) programs. Dr. Gabriel received her doctoral degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2010 Dr. Gabriel was appointed by then-Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke to serve as a member of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Sarah Ingersoll

Sarah Ingersoll (M.ED) is a social entrepreneur. Over the past 3 years Sarah directed Text4baby, enrolling 650,000 women and making the new service the largest mobile health initiative in the United States. Prior to Text4baby, Sarah produced the CoolClimate Art Contest, Paley Center Forum on Hollywood and Immigration, the first Facebook prosocial campaign with Rock the Vote, and campaigns for independent films and nonprofits. She also served as an investment advisor for Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and the Democracy Alliance donor network. Sarah started her career at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, then became Chief of Staff at the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention within the U.S. Department of Justice. After DOJ, Sarah was Executive Director of a national youth violence prevention campaign initiated by President Clinton. Sarah has a Masters in Education from Harvard University.