New president takes helm at Griffiss Institute following national search to lead Rome tech organization

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Heather Hage has been
selected as the new president and CEO of the Griffiss Institute following a national search, announced the Griffiss park-based organization.

Hage will seek to expand the technical and economic impact of the institute and Rome Lab, and the surrounding region, in “the advancement of ongoing research, technical innovation, and entrepreneurial ventures locally, nationally, and globally,” the announcement said.

Hage succeeds William Wolf, the institute’s first-ever president and CEO, who announced his retirement last fall.

She brings 17 years of experience in technology commercialization, entrepreneurship and nonprofit management from SUNY Research Foundation, where she most recently served as vice president of industry and external affairs.

A Hamilton College graduate, Hage received her juris doctor degree from Albany Law School of Union University.

“Ms. Hage brings extensive expertise in innovation and entrepreneurship as drivers of economic growth and domestic competitiveness to lead the Griffiss Institute forward,” said Patricia Baskinger, the institute board chair. “As the Griffiss Institute and Innovare Advancement Center undertake new opportunities in artificial intelligence/machine learning, cybersecurity, and quantum computing, it is imperative that the new president and CEO be equipped to leverage these initiatives to expand the high-tech ecosystem of the region.”

Hage said her core focus will be to support Rome Lab, formally called the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Information Directorate, and its partners to “grow Innovare Advancement Center into a globally recognized hub for talent and technology development.” Innovare is an open innovation campus designed to attract domestic and international reserachers to conduct unclassified research. The institute said AFRL has made a multi-year commitment of nearly $100 million to support the institute and Innovare mission.

Among comments praising Hage’s appointment:

• Rome Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo said Hage “brings a wealth of experience after years of developing relationships in STEM-related industries at SUNY Research Foundation, and her knowledge of bringing patented technologies to the commercial workspace will position the (institute) to strengthen the Mohawk Valley’s growth of a new generation of entrepreneurs.”

• Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. said he is confident Hage has the “experience and the entrepreneurial mindset necessary to partner with the AFRL, leveraging our investment in Innovare and Skydome, to bring more jobs, research and investment to our county.”

• Col. Timothy Lawrence, director of Rome Lab, said he has “full confidence” that Hage will make Innovare “one of the best new starts to hit the Mohawk Valley in quite some time.”

• Mohawk Valley EDGE President Steven J. DiMeo said Hage’s experience at SUNY Research Foundation “provides a unique opportunity to develop strategic academic-industry partnerships with AFRL in areas of quantum and neuromorphic computing, nanoelectronics, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and machine learning” at Innovare.

• U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-NY, said Hage is “the perfect choice to lead this critical initiative” involving Innovare. “Its location next door to Rome Lab will spur AFRL, academia and industry to come together for game-changing research and development in quantum computing.”

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