Laurel A. Miner has joined Virginia Tech’s Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation as its chief of staff.

Miner joins Virginia Tech after serving since 2012 as a senior analyst in the Office of the Under Secretary for Standards and Technology at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the U.S. Department of Commerce. Prior to that position, Miner served as a science advisor in the Office of the Under Secretary for Science at the U.S. Department of Energy.

Miner will support Theresa Mayer, vice president for research and innovation, in developing, communicating, and implementing a plan to enhance the infrastructure for the next doubling of the university’s research portfolio and impact. In this role, she will interface with senior leaders across Virginia Tech to support the university’s strategic planning process. Miner will also lead initiatives that have promise to expand, diversify, or strengthen the university’s research enterprise.

Since coming to Virginia Tech in July, Miner has taken on several key initiatives for the office. She currently coordinates the development of the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative blueprint, which will outline a plan for a $25 million investment by the commonwealth to support research, innovation, and commercialization of cybersecurity technologies and development of the cyber workforce. Nearly 50 organizations, including business and industry, government and nonprofits, and higher education institutions are participating in the project.

The blueprint will be submitted to the Virginia Research Investment Committee by Dec. 1. A retreat of the CCI’s advisory council is scheduled for Sept. 21 to review preliminary recommendations.

“Engaging diverse groups to reach consensus around important ideas is critical to rapid growth and progress in research,” Miner said. “I’m drawn to the opportunity of working at an institution like Virginia Tech where the breadth and depth of expertise is matched only by the dedication and enthusiasm of its faculty, staff, and students.”

While at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Miner led a process to develop a 10-year strategic vision for the institute. She was responsible for all aspects of the plan’s development, including facilitating discussion among senior leadership to agree on priorities including engineering biology, the internet of things, quantum science, and data analytics. She further led efforts that sought feedback from staff and advisory boards and developed a process for the plan’s implementation and oversight.

“Laurel has demonstrated leadership abilities that Virginia Tech needs to introduce a comprehensive strategic plan for research and innovation, which will allow us to align and coordinate our resources for maximum impact,” said Mayer. “She will play a critical role in ensuring that our many stakeholders are working together to develop and achieve our shared goals in research and innovation.”

Miner graduated from the College of William & Mary with a bachelor’s degree in physics. She earned her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.

Her appointment represents one of several important appointments within the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation to the office, including Lisa Lee to direct the new Division of Scholarly Integrity and Research Compliance and Brandy Salmon as associate vice president for innovation and partnerships.

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