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Deborah Crawford will join the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, as vice chancellor for research beginning August 1, Chancellor Donde Plowman announced today.

Crawford currently serves as vice president of research, innovation and economic impact at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Over the past four years, she has led George Mason’s research enterprise, including the creation of three multidisciplinary research institutes and four university research centers.

Deborah Crawford
Deborah Crawford

“The value and importance of innovation have never been clearer than in recent weeks and months, and I’m pleased to have such an accomplished scientist and leader joining our team,” Plowman said. “Dr. Crawford brings a unique combination of experience and expertise that will help elevate the impact of our research.”

In her new role, Crawford will lead UT Knoxville’s research as a member of the chancellor’s cabinet, with responsibility for developing and implementing research plans, building innovative partnerships, and raising the university’s national and international reputation. She will also work closely with the provost and partners at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to oversee the proposed Oak Ridge Institute.

“Tennessee’s higher education institutions illuminate our path to a shared and prosperous future,” said Crawford. “I am just delighted to join UT Knoxville and to work with our great faculty, staff, students, and our partners to ensure the future we shape together is informed by world-class research and scholarship, and the innovations we enable improve the health, wealth, and prosperity of Tennesseans and individuals the world over.”

Before joining George Mason, Crawford spent two years as the president and executive director of the International Computer Science Institute, a not-for-profit research institution in Berkeley, California, and four years as the senior vice provost for research at Drexel University in Philadelphia. She spent 17 years in various roles at the National Science Foundation.

Crawford holds a bachelor’s degree in electronic and electrical engineering from the University of Glasgow and a doctorate in information systems engineering from the University of Bradford, both in the United Kingdom.