Leadership and Staff

Leon Sandler

Executive Director
Drawing on expertise acquired in corporate, academic and entrepreneurial settings, Leon Sandler is responsible for guiding the Deshpande Center’s strategic direction and the execution of its mission.  He also oversees daily operations and manages the center’s key relationships. 
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Tim Swager

Faculty Director
With the Executive Director, Professor Swager defines the Deshpande Center’s strategy and plays a central role in the grant selection process. He interfaces with the MIT academic community and senior leadership.
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Karen Golmer

Innovation Manager
As Innovation Manager, Karen manages the Deshpande Center Grant  and Catalyst programs and corporate relationships. She directs the grant selection process and guides project teams on their path to commercialization.    
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Amy E. Davis

Events & Communications Manager
To convey the great work of the Deshpande grantees and the Center, Amy orchestrates all the Deshpande events and communications to the innovation ecosystem.  Amy is an experienced events and communications professional with extensive background in higher education. She joined the Deshpande Center...
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Cory Harris

Administrative Assistant
Cory is the first line of communication for the Center with a focus on customer service. He greets visitors, plans and schedules meetings, maintains our database and documents on the MIT server, helps with events and insures the Center runs smoothly.
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Steering Committee

  • Charles Cooney

    Charles Cooney is the Robert T. Haslam Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT.  
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  • Hemang Dave

    Hemang Dave is an entrepeneur and investor.
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  • Desh Deshpande

    Desh Deshpande, a member of the MIT Corporation, is an entrepreneur-philanthropist. 
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  • Mark P. Gorenberg

    A venture investor, Mr. Gorenberg is also a member of the MIT Corporation.
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  • Lesley Millar-Nicholson

    Lesley Millar-Nicholson is the Director of MIT Technology Licensing Office (TLO). 
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  • Paul Jansen

    Paul Jansen is a medical device executive. 
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  • Robert S. Langer

    The most cited engineer in history, Professor Langer, has helped start 25 companies.
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  • Michael Cima

    Dr. Michael J. Cima is a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT.
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