Skip to main content

Distinguished Speaker Series: Deborah Wince-Smith

1200 New York Ave, NW, Washington, DC

This event is a part of the 40th Anniversary Distinguished Speaker Series. Throughout the year, the Fellowships will feature prominent speakers discussing issues with implications for science and policy from national to global perspectives. Join us on Monday, December 16 for the third speaker, Deborah Wince-Smith.

An internationally renowned, leading voice on competitiveness, innovation strategy, science and technology, and international economic policy, Ms. Wince-Smith is the president & CEO of the Council on Competitiveness.  At the Council, Ms. Wince-Smith spearheaded the groundbreaking National Innovation Initiative (NII) that played a pivotal role in creating a reinvigorated U.S. competitiveness movement. The NII shaped the bipartisan America COMPETES Act, created state and regional innovation initiatives, and brought a global focus to innovation. Ms. Wince-Smith led the Council’s 2009 National Energy Summit & International Dialogue. She has led a widely acknowledged and highly successful bilateral dialogue between the United States and Brazil on competitiveness and innovation strategy, including leading the 2007 and 2010 US-Brazil Innovation Summits.

More recently, Ms. Wince-Smith created a coalition of over 60 CEOs, University Presidents, Labor Union Leaders and National Laboratory Directors to ignite an American Manufacturing Movement to modernize American’s manufacturing base, create high-skilled, living-wage, American jobs; and, keep America competitive in the global marketplace.

She has more than 20 years of experience as a senior U.S. government official, most notably; she served as the nation’s first Senate confirmed Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Technology Policy in the administration of President George H.W. Bush, overseeing federal technology transfer policy, implementation of the Bayh-Dole Act, and the White House National Technology Initiative. She has served on several federal Government advisory committees and currently serves on the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy.

Ms. Wince-Smith serves as a director of several publicly and privately held companies, leading national and international organizations, as well as U.S. government advisory committees. As a former member of the Board of NASDAQ OMX, she served on the Audit, Compensation and Finance Committees. Ms. Wince-Smith also served as a Senate-confirmed member of the Oversight Board of the Internal Revenue Service, and was responsible for administering the nation’s tax laws. Ms. Wince-Smith currently serves as a Board Member of start-up technology companies specializing in hi-definition displays, consumer electronics and medical devices. She also serves as the Vice Chairman of Women Corporate Directors and on the board of the American Telemedicine Association, as well as the Lincoln Center Institute’s Imagination Conversation. Ms. Wince-Smith serves on the Board of Trustees for Lehigh University and is actively involved and serves on the non-profit, charitable boards of the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation and the Smithsonian National Board.

Ms. Wince-Smith, a valedictorian from Old Trail School in Akron, Ohio, graduated magna cum laude from Vassar College with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She was one of the first female students to enter King’s College at the University of Cambridge, where she read for a Master’s degree in Classical Archaeology. In 2006, she received an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities from Michigan State University.

Future Directions for the U.S. Research and Innovation Enterprise

Tectonic shifts in technology and the global economy have reshaped the competitive landscape, and driven a deep transition in the world order of production. These shifts are creating an urgent need to rethink U.S. approaches to research and innovation in support of the American economy and continued U.S. global leadership in the 21st century. Ms. Wince-Smith will highlight some of these technological and competitive game-changers, and the opportunities and challenges they present. She will offer key insights gathered from her engagements with the Nation’s technology and business leaders on how our research and innovation enterprise must change for this new economic age. This includes critical areas ranging from R&D investment, research management and entrepreneurship, to training American scientists and engineers, technology transfer and commercialization.