Dr. Elizabeth K. Newton is the executive director of The Ohio State University’s Battelle Center for Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, which she re-launched in 2017 to focus on interdisciplinary education and research in tech-heavy industries with important public policy dimensions. She crafted the center’s unique experiential-learning program in order to help students transform from being 'students with a major' to being young professionals capable of working across disciplines and domains with an understanding of tech industries’ political, economic, social, historical, and ethical contexts.
Dr. Newton brings to the position years of experience developing and guiding strategy, business development, strategic planning and communication, stakeholder management, process design, project management, and systems-thinking. Thanks to her work in high-tech industries like aerospace, defense, genomics, and software, she is adept at navigating the distinctive cultures of the for-profit and non-profit sectors, academia, and government.
Dr. Newton is a physicist with degrees in government. She earned her bachelor’s degree in government from Cornell University as a Phi Beta Kappa, Cornell National Scholar, and Maryland Distinguished Scholar. She earned a certificate in international relations from l’lnstitut de Hautes Etudes Internationales, in Geneva, Switzerland and interned at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. Her advanced degrees include a Master’s degree in political science from the University of California Berkeley, where she was a Congressional Jacob K. Javits Fellow, and master’s and doctoral degrees in solar astrophysics from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, where she was supported by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and NASA.
2016-Present - Executive Director, Battelle Center for Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, The Ohio State University
2012-2015 - Vice President for Research Affairs, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology
2009-2012 - Director of Policy, Center for System Studies, University of Alabama, Huntsville
2005-2009 - Manager, Strategic Planning and Integration, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
2003-2005 - Manager, Strategic Services to NASA Marshall, Analytical Services, Inc.
1999-2003 - Vice President for Operations and Co-Founder, MŌbular Technologies, Inc.
1998-2000 - Senior Scientist in Solar Physics, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
1996-1998 - Technical Program Manager for U.S. National Missile Defense program, Dynetics, Inc.
1990-1992 - Space Policy Analyst for U.S. National Space Council, USAF, NASA, ANSER Inc.
1989-1990 - Soviet Space Policy Analyst, Flight Projects Office, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
1987-1988 - Policy Intern, Secretariat for United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Geneva, Switzerland
Recent/Current Synergistic Activities
- Appointed to John Glenn College of Public Affairs Science, Engineering, Public Policy (SEPP) Curriculum Committee
- Advisor: The Ohio State University Material Science Engineering External Advisory Board
- Advisor: The Ohio Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Task Force (2018- )
- Member: Ohio Aerospace and Aviation Council’s Committee on Education and Workforce Development (2018- )
- Advisor: strategic planning, College of Engineering, The Ohio State University (2018- )
- Member: Ohio State ADVANCE Board of Advisors, dedicated to impacting the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women faculty in the scientific and technical disciplines at The Ohio State University (2018- )
- Member: Strategic Planning and Budget Committee, John Glenn College of Public Affairs, The Ohio State University (2017-2019)
- Member: Board of Advisors for the Engineering Education Department, College of Engineering, The Ohio State University (2017-2020)
- Trainer: workforce development and skills training in communication, collaboration, creativity, cultural competence, character development, and systems-thinking (2017- )
- President of the Board, Girls Inc. of Huntsville, an affiliate of the national organization Girls Inc. dedicated to helping girls become healthy, educated, and independent (2012-2015); and Board Member (2009-2012).
- Strategy Consultant: for regional Economic Development projects concerning unmanned aerial systems, advanced manufacturing, national solar observatory, and for corporate clients requiring strategic analysis, planning, and communication.
- Advisor: Strategic Communications Committee for Randolph School, member of the National Association of Independent Schools (2013-2015)
- Organizer: multi-disciplinary workshops about a decadal survey for human space exploration (2010) and how to foster technology entrepreneurship (2010), as well as international scientific conferences held at HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology: ImmunoGenomics (2014, in conjunction with the American Association for the Advancement of Science) and Genomics-based Crops Improvement (2015)