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
Karen Golmer is an innovative industry leader who facilitates collaboration to advance new technologies, identify technical challenges and find solutions to mitigate business risks. Karen is a Chemist with an MBA and 35 years of corporate experience from lab professional to global program director...
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Steering Committee

  • Vladimir Bulovic

    Vladimir Bulović is the Fariborz Maseeh Professor of Emerging Technology at MIT.
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  • 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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  • Karen Gleason

    Dr. Karen K. Gleason is Associate Provost and Professor of Chemical Engineering.
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  • Mark P. Gorenberg

    A venture investor, Mr. Gorenberg is also a member of the MIT Corporation.
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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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