New USTAR Executive Director Named

Pete CodellaBusiness

Following a nation-wide search with more than 140 applicants, the USTAR Governing Authority and Governor Gary R. Herbert have named Ivy V. Estabrooke, PhD. to be the new executive director for the Utah Science and Technology Research initiative (USTAR). She replaces former executive director Ted McAleer, who stepped down in January.  Estabrooke’s appointment was confirmed by the Senate today and it is expected she will begin her transition into the position in June.

Estabrooke has been serving as the program officer (GS-15) for basic research in the Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare & Combating Terrorism Department at the Office of Naval Research (ONR). While at the ONR, she managed a high risk/high payoff research portfolio including innovative neuroscience programs and cutting edge social and computational science programs. She has also developed and implemented a strategy for examining emerging technology areas. Additionally, Estabrooke led the department’s efforts in support of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics Education efforts (STEM), and managed a multi-million dollar yearly investment in the Sciences Addressing Asymmetric Explosive Threats basic research efforts for the ONR.

“We are pleased to welcome Ivy to this position and to Utah,” said Greg Bell, chairman of the USTAR Governing Authority. “Her extensive experience in science and technology research will enable her to further implement USTAR’s core mission of promoting world class research which can be commercially developed by Utah entrepreneurs and Utah workers.”

Estabrooke was interviewed by Governor Herbert as well the Governing Authority of USTAR. Although, the decision to hire Estabrooke was made before the May 13th effective date of Senate Bill 62 (SB 62), the USTAR board felt it was important to closely follow the spirit of the legislation. SB62 requires that the executive director of USTAR be appointed by the Governor, in consultation with the Governing Authority and confirmation of the Senate.

“We look forward to ushering in a new era of collaboration between USTAR and the State Legislature, and are confident that Ivy is the best person to foster and nurture this important relationship,” said Bell.

Estabrooke is a cognitive neuroscientist by training, with technical expertise in psycholinguistics, pharmacological interventions, and statistical modeling.  She earned her PhD. in neuroscience from Georgetown University, an MS in National Security Strategy and Resource Management from the Eisenhower School of the National Defense University (formerly ICAF) and a BA in Biological Sciences from Smith College.