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AAAS-Lemelson Invention Ambassadors Program: Working Group




Managing Partner, Decix Technologies

Mr. Richard Chan is managing partner at Decix Technologies, providing Innovation Management consultation to clients ranging from startups to government agency wherein technology and intellectual property management are integral to an organization’s success.  For more than 9 years he has worked in the United States Patent & Trademark office prosecuting patent applications, primarily in the telecommunications and computer network technologies.

With over 10 years of experience planning and managing cross-functional business operations as an entrepreneur and consultant, Mr. Chan’s extensive expertise in patent prosecution and management consulting has helped help drive crucial business strategies resulting in the development of successful technology processes and projects, such as enterprise collaboration portals, open source / proprietary integration, mobile application development, IP portfolio management, and patent and trademark consulting.

Mr. Chan holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering specializing in building and development of Autonomous Robotics Systems from Florida International University, an M.S. in Technology Management from George Mason University, and is a Federal CIO certified recipient.

Acting Deputy Director, Office of Patent Legal Administration,
United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

Elizabeth Dougherty is an Acting Deputy Director in the Office of Patent Legal Administration at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  In this capacity she is responsible for the oversight and direction of a team of senior legal advisors and legal staff who serve as the legal policy advisors for the U.S. Patent Corps.  Ms. Dougherty and her team devise and implement training for the Patent Corps and the public, draft and disseminate legal policy memorandum and guidance documents for use by the Patent Corps and the public, and assist in the development and handling of special application issues and USPTO patent initiatives.  

Previously at the USPTO, Ms. Dougherty served as the Special Assistant to the Acting Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, as the Special Assistant to the Commissioner for Patents at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, as  a Senior Legal Advisor in the Office of Patent Legal Administration in the Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy,  as a petitions attorney in the Office of Petitions, as an Executive Advisor to the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Deputy Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, and as a patent examiner.  During her tenure as a patent examiner, Ms. Dougherty was responsible for the examination of patent applications filed in the area of Class 73, Electric Devices used for Measuring or Testing. This included a wide variety of devices ranging, for example, from transducers for measuring torque, pressure, impact, and flow to meteorological devices and inventions measuring physical strength.

Ms. Dougherty is frequently called upon to lecture, often to student groups of all ages, on the USPTO, the patent process, innovation and creativity, and legal aspects of obtaining and maintaining a U.S. patent.

Ms. Dougherty received a Bachelors Degree in Physics from the Catholic University of America in 1991 and a Juris Doctorate from the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America in 1996.

She is a member of the Virginia Bar, the Giles S. Rich American Inn of Court, the American Bar Association, the Federal Circuit Bar Association, the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the Patent and Trademark Office Society, the Supervisory Patent Examiners and Classifiers Organization, Women in Science and Engineering, and the Prince George’s County Historical Society.

Ms. Dougherty enjoys history, living in an 1854 home on the Maryland Historic Register and is the owner of nearly fifty patent models. In addition, she collects other books, documents, and artifacts of USPTO history.

International Affairs Officer,
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Ms. Magdalena Navarro currently serves as Senior International Program Manager in the International and Academic Affairs Office (IAAO) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).  In that role, she is responsible for the preparation, coordination and implementation of bilateral and multilateral cooperation agreements with national metrology institutes (NMIs) or other international bodies, and provides liaison between NIST laboratories and their counterparts in governmental and non-governmental organizations in China, Japan, Spain, Israel, Brazil, and several other countries in South America. Since 1999, she has managed the U.S. technical review process of the U.S.-Israel Bi-National Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation and the U.S.-Israel-Jordan Industrial Development (TRIDE) Program.

From 1992 to 1999, she was a physical scientist working in the Optical Technology Division of the NIST Physical Measurement Laboratory (formerly Physics Laboratory) conducting research in the areas of photometry and radiometry.

Ms. Navarro joined NIST as a biologist in the Fire Measurement and Research Division of the NIST Engineering Laboratory (formerly Building and Fire Research Laboratory (BFRL). She did experimental work in the area of toxic potency of combustion products to further develop the N-Gas Model, an approach for predicting the toxicity of complex combustion mixtures.

Ms. Navarro worked from 1987 to 1990 as a biologist in the Division of Intramural Clinical and Biological Research at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) where she was part of the team on clinical research in alcohol abuse and panic disorder.

Ms. Navarro received two M.S. in Engineering Management and Information Technology System from George Washington University in 2000. She earned her B.S. in Biology and a minor in Chemistry from the University of Maryland in 1987. She has authored and co-authored numerous scientific publications. In 2011, she received the NIST Bronze Medal and was inducted as a distinguished scientist to the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society.

Program Officer, The Lemelson Foundation

Dr. Alexander Nicholas is a Program Officer at the Lemelson Foundation and manages a portion of the Foundation’s education and technology dissemination grants.  Alexander’s work supports the development of a pipeline of inventors and invention-based enterprises in the US and seeds technology development that could improve the lives of the poor in developing countries.

Prior to joining the Foundation in early 2012, Alexander served as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the US Department of Commerce. His portfolio included managing the work of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship subcommittee on Collaboration, which advises the White House and Secretary of Commerce on innovation policy and co-managing the i6 Green technology commercialization program. Alexander also completed an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Policy Fellowship at the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Commerce.  As a AAAS fellow, Alexander worked on graduate education, industrial partnerships and national innovation policies.  Prior to his fellowship, Alexander received a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Florida State University and then performed postdoctoral research at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Medical Center.  Alexander served on the Harvard Postdoctoral Association Governing Board and was a member of Harvard Biotechnology Club.

Multidisciplinary Uber-Nerd

G. Nagesh Rao is a practicing technologist and commercialization strategist working at the intersection of applied science, law, business, and public policy from both domestic and international perspectives. Currently he is serving as an Entrepreneur in Residence & Policy Advisor with the US Small Business Administration's Office of Investment & Innovation.

With over 10+ years of successful experience he has been afforded the privilege to work with top-tier cutting edge organizations such as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Office of Technology Commercialization, The National Academies (NAS, NAE, IOM & NRC), US Department of Commerce (USPTO, EDA, & OIE), LAUNCH, CleanTech Los Angeles, Global Access in Action, NCET2, Innovation Endeavors, Planet Labs, Atavist, Ecovative Design, Publicbeat, and most recently Stiefel Family Foundation. Some of his recently accoladed projects include i6 Green, FLoW, and Patents for Humanity.

Furthermore he has served on the following White House commissioned Federal Interagency working groups: Startup America, Impact Investing, Federal Technology Transfer, Lab to Market Commercialization, and Fueling Small Business Innovation. Currently he is engaged on projects, in Washington DC, San Francisco, and New York, that will hopefully change the world for the better through the democratization of groundbreaking technological innovations via the creation of "win-win" scenarios.

As well Nagesh composes and presents intellectual musings which have been featured via WAMC-NPR, TechCrunch, The Scientist, Triple Pundit, MIT XPrize Lab, UC Berkeley, RPI, Stanford, Cleantech Open, Xerox-parc, NCET2, BPIA and PwC's CleanTech Revolution at the LA Autoshow. His credentials include a MBA (Global Strategy and Entrepreneurship) from the University of Maryland-College Park, a MSc in Legal Studies-Intellectual Property Law from Albany Law School, a BSc dual-major in Materials Engineering and Philosophy from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and his Patent Bar License from the USPTO (Registration Number: 69006).

Associate Program Director, Research Competitiveness Program,
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

     Dr. Yajima is a project director with the AAAS Research Competitiveness Program (RCP). She recruits and directs panels of senior research and policy professionals    providing universities and state governments technical assistance for improved research, development, and innovation strategies. Rieko has co-authored technical reports covering topics including improving institutional research capacity and development, integrating 2 and 4 year colleges into statewide research consortia and collaboration, and strategic planning for academic departments. In addition, she has managed the competitive, peer-reviewed funding for state-supported research and economic development including the Washington Life Sciences Discovery Fund and the South Carolina Centers of Economic Excellence.

Since moving to Washington, D.C., Rieko has served on professional development panels for early-career scientists and has been engaged in various science policy activities. In 2008, in collaboration with the Iraqi Embassy and the National Academy of Science, she co-organized and co-authored a conference and subsequent report on engaging Iraqi-American academics and professionals to strengthening the Iraqi higher education system. She has held a Christine Mirzayan Fellowship in science policy at The National Academies and attended the Food and Health Entrepreneurship Academy at University of California - Davis School of Management.

Rieko received awards for her Ph.D. research on RNA catalysts and has published over a dozen research and review articles on the molecular structure and function of protein and RNA enzymes. She earned a Ph.D. in chemical biology from The Pennsylvania State University and an Honours B.Sc. from the University of Waterloo.



Technology Supervisory, Miles & Stockbridge          

Sabira Mohamed is the Technology Supervisor for Miles & Stockbridge P.C.  Prior to this, she was the Senior Program Associate for the Directorate for Education and Human Resources Programs (EHR) and the Centerfor Advancing Science & Engineering Capacity at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Sabira was centric in the Capacity Center's primary aim to develop, manage and support programs that increase participation and diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers. Those endeavors included the AAAS-Lemelson Invention Ambassadors Program, a 3-year pilot celebrating invention and inventors for which she is now a member of the Working Group, and the revamp and continuation of the Center for Careers in Science & Technology, as well as the Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology.