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Lynne Parker is stepping down as interim dean of UT’s Tickle College of Engineering to serve as assistant director for artificial intelligence for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Lynne Parker
Lynne Parker

Mark Dean, the John Fisher Distinguished Professor in the Min H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, will serve as interim dean of the college, Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor David Manderscheid has announced.

Parker’s final day as interim dean is Wednesday. Dean will take over on Thursday.

“I want to thank Lynne for her outstanding service as interim dean and congratulate her on this tremendous opportunity to work in the Office of Science and Technology Policy,” Manderscheid said. “I’m pleased that Mark agreed to step in and assume the reins as interim dean. After a history-making career in the private sector, Mark brought his pioneering knowledge of computing back to his alma mater. His research and teaching have been—and will continue to be—of great benefit to the Tickle College of Engineering.”

Mark Dean
Mark Dean

A pioneering computer scientist who holds three of the nine patents in the earliest development of the personal computer, Dean received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from UT in 1979, then completed a master’s degree from Florida Atlantic University and a doctorate from Stanford University, both also in electrical engineering.

Prior to coming to work at UT in 2013, Dean served in Dubai as chief technology officer for IBM Middle East and Africa. Before that, he was vice president at IBM’s Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California.

“It is an honor to be asked to serve as interim dean of the Tickle College of Engineering,” Dean said. “My primary goal in returning to the college was to do whatever was needed to support the growth and success of the college. I will do all I can to continue the progress and momentum established by Interim Chancellor Davis and Interim Dean Parker, and to support the TCE students, faculty, and staff in achieving their goals.”

Dean is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Inventors, and the National Inventors Hall of Fame. He was named an IBM Fellow, the company’s highest technical honor, and he holds 14 IBM Invention Achievement Awards and six Corporate Awards. The National Society of Black Engineers, in which he is a Distinguished Engineer, has twice selected him Black Engineer of the Year. His honors also include the US Department of Commerce Ronald H. Brown American Innovator Award and the National Institute of Science Outstanding Scientist Award.

Parker, a widely recognized leader in the field of distributed multirobot systems, will begin her new role with the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on August 20. She will oversee interagency science and technology policy coordination efforts in artificial intelligence and provide advice to the Executive Office of the President on AI-related matters. She will encourage the development of national approaches that ensure a robust AI research ecosystem, a well-prepared workforce, and the creation of unique research partnerships across academia, industry, and the federal government.

“I have been honored to serve as interim dean of the Tickle College of Engineering and have had a terrific experience,” Parker said, “yet I am extremely excited about this new opportunity at OSTP. AI is a topic of intense national and international attention, and the world is looking to the United States to provide leadership. The opportunity to help lead the nation in an area that has such national and international importance, and which has been the focus of my career, is a once-in-a-lifetime privilege. I am honored to be asked to serve the nation in this manner.”

This appointment marks the second time Parker has worked in a federal research leadership role; she served in 2015–2016 as division director of information and intelligent systems in the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate of the National Science Foundation.

During her time at OSTP, Parker will remain affiliated with UT through the Intergovernmental Personnel Act, which allows the temporary assignment of personnel to the federal government from institutions such as universities. Parker will make occasional visits to UT to continue research with her graduate students and discuss strategic research opportunities. Her appointment will be for one year, with the option to renew for up to four years.

CONTACT:

David Goddard (865-974-0683, david.goddard@utk.edu)