University News

Dedric Carter named vice chancellor for innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development and chief innovation officer

Carter is a seasoned leader who joins Carolina from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, where he led a robust portfolio of strategic operations and innovation functions.

Dedric Carter, vice chancellor for innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development at Carolina. Carter’s broad expertise will continue shaping #UNC’s innovation and economic development work.
(Photo by Washington University in St. Louis)

Dear Carolina Community,

I am delighted to share that Dedric Carter has been appointed vice chancellor for innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development and chief innovation officer. Carter is a seasoned leader who joins Carolina from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, where he serves as vice chancellor and chief commercialization officer and professor of practice in the McKelvey School of Engineering and Olin School of Business. He begins Oct. 30.

During his 10-year tenure at WashU, Dedric has led a robust portfolio of strategic operations and innovation functions. In that period, he oversaw tremendous growth for innovation, including leading two university-wide reviews of the policies and procedures on intellectual property, the launch of the “Quick-start” license for faculty startups and developed a plan to renovate and build nearly 200,000 square feet devoted to innovation and commercialization. He recently helped launch a data-intensive, real-world evidence-based company in the health care space (CuriMeta) and served as the inaugural investor director. In addition, Carter co-initiated a commission on women and minority access to venture capital and launched the Needleman Program for Innovation and Commercialization, which is focused on commercializing promising pharmaceutical technologies within the university fence line. These efforts were part of an established five-year strategic plan to focus significant new funding for innovation and commercialization.

Dedric is currently chairman of the Missouri Technology Corporation, where he has overseen the growth of resources for promising ventures and infrastructure in the State of Missouri to over $125 million. Nationally, he serves as a board member for the Center for American Entrepreneurship and member of the International Advisory Board for the Lemelson Foundation in addition to his local leadership as an executive committee member of Junior Achievement of St. Louis, and board member of the Cortex Innovation District, BioSTL and Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. He is a founding board member and treasurer of the DelMar Divine project developing a non-profit social innovation ecosystem in the west end of St. Louis. Dedric was recently named principal investigator on a $1 million NSF Engines Development Award for neuroscience/neurotechnology commercialization and increasing cognitive wellness with total PI or Co-PI funding of $6 million in his career.

At Carolina, we have reimagined this key leadership position to intersect and span several divisions to bring cohesion and strategy to our innovation and economic development work. We are fortunate to have Dedric’s broad expertise to continue shaping these vital pan-University efforts. In addition to directing Innovate Carolina, he will work closely with a wide range of programs, including Carolina Research Ventures, the Carolina Angel Network, Innovation Hubs (including student entrepreneurship and social innovation), the Eshelman Institute for Innovation, the Institute for Convergent Science and the Collaboratory. Dedric joins us at a perfect time with the Innovate Carolina Junction now open on Franklin Street, and we look to make other investments in the innovation space.

To help continue our momentum, Carter will develop additional partnerships between Carolina and private and non-profit public sector entities that enhance our ability to move research to market. He will also work to bolster policies and procedures that incentivize faculty and staff to translate and commercialize ideas from the University and externally sponsored research. Dedric will represent the University on the North Carolina Innovation Fund and the Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina Board of Directors.

Carter earned an undergraduate and graduate degree in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT, an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management and a doctorate in information systems from Nova Southeastern University. Before he came to WashU, he served as a senior adviser to the director for strategic initiatives at the U.S. National Science Foundation and executive secretary to the U.S. National Science Board. He was assistant dean of engineering at MIT and a former senior principal in strategy and consulting.

Please join me in thanking Jackie Quay, director of licensing and innovation support in the Office of Technology Commercialization, who has provided interim leadership following Michelle Bolas’ departure, and in congratulating Dedric on this new role. We look forward to welcoming him to our campus this fall.


Kevin M. Guskiewicz