JDG Associates Assists the University of Tennessee – Oak Ridge Innovation Institute in Finding New Leader

April 16, 2024 – Rockville, MD-based executive search firm JDG Associates has assisted in the recruitment of David Sholl as the new executive director of the University of Tennessee – Oak Ridge Innovation Institute (UT-ORII) and vice provost of University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His selection comes after an extensive national search and selection process that involved leadership across the UT System and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. “David’s extensive background — working in academia and the national lab system as well as delivering tremendous scientific results throughout his career — makes him an excellent choice to lead UT-ORII,” ORNL director Stephen Streiffer said. “I look forward to working with David as we expand UT-ORII’s impact.”

“David is a proven leader and has the vision we need for UT-ORII,” said UT System president Randy Boyd. “He has done a remarkable job as interim director, and I look forward to seeing all UT-ORII will accomplish under his leadership.”

Mr. Sholl said serving as UT-ORII’s interim director gave him the chance to see firsthand the tremendous potential UT and ORNL have to solve some of our nation’s toughest scientific challenges, by joining forces.

“UT and ORNL have partnered in various ways for 80 years, but there has never been an organization like the UT-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute that’s solely focused on leveraging the strengths of the two institutions to accelerate collaborative discovery, innovation and graduate education; while at the same time, making UT, ORNL, Tennessee and the world better as a result of our combined successes,” said Mr. Sholl. “UT-ORII has achieved a lot in the last year and there are many exciting things to look forward to in the future.”

Proven Leader

Mr. Sholl joined ORNL three years ago to lead the laboratory’s transformational decarbonization initiative to bring together the lab’s science capabilities and expertise to advance development and deployment of decarbonization solutions for the nation’s energy system. Last year, he was also chosen to lead DOE’s new Energy Earthshot Research Center at ORNL, aimed at reducing industrial emissions through more sustainable chemical processes. Mr. Sholl also served 15 years as a professor in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, including eight years as that program’s school chair, and 10 years on the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University.

Related: JDG Associates Seeking CEO for The National Board for Certification and Occupational Therapy

The University of Tennessee – Oak Ridge Innovation Institute was officially launched in 2021 with support from the DOE and the State of Tennessee to accelerate innovation on complex and pressing challenges that require convergent research, and to develop a next generation of scientists and engineers who thrive in dynamic, team-based settings. Through strategically aligning the assets across UT and ORNL, UT-ORII aims to become a national coveted home for convergent research and talent development. UT-ORII has a plan to hire 100 joint faculty and over 500 graduate students over the next 10 years.

JDG Associates Recruits New Leader for American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists Foundation
JDG Associates has placed Diane Swecker as the new executive director of the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists Foundation (AARST). “Everyone on the committee is pleased that Ms. Swecker has accepted the offer and is going to help lead the association into the future,” said Peter Hendrick, former CEO and chair of the search committee. “We believe that her natural leadership qualities, plus her experience in working in technical organizations committed to excellence and high professional standards are going to be assets for AARST achieving its long-term goals.” Ms. Swecker has proven successes in association and certification work as well as facilities engineering project management. She has spent her career specializing in civil engineering and infrastructure support, most recently holding the position as director of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute (UESI).

JDG Associates has been providing executive recruitment services to Fortune 1000 corporations, associations and non-profits, federal, state, and local governments, research and consulting firms, and defense contractors since 1973. The firm’s research-intensive process and personal approach have resulted in more than 4,000 senior-level searches across a broad spectrum of industries and disciplines in the Washington, D.C. region and nationally.

Darren DeGioia serves as president of JDG. He conducts senior-level search assignments for research and consulting organizations as well as the public sector. His areas of expertise include information technology, accounting and finance, the quantitative sciences, operations / general management, marketing, and communications. Prior to joining JDG, Mr. DeGioia spent four years in the hospitality industry with the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Sheraton Hotels.

Related: JDG Associates Recruits Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer for the American Veterinary Medical Association

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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