An advisory board of global business and industry leaders will provide strategic direction and counsel for the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus in Alexandria, Virginia, which was announced as part of the state’s successful bid to attract Amazon’s HQ2 to the region.

“This distinguished and diverse group is united by a commitment to help us ​grow the ideas and talent required for economic growth and global leadership,” Virginia Tech President Tim Sands said. “We are grateful for their service and we expect them to challenge us to set ambitious goals and push us to achieve them.”

The Innovation Campus Advisory Board includes top executives from Qualcomm, Boeing, KPMG, Northrop Grumman, The Carlyle Group, and Hunch Analytics, along with several tech pioneers. The board will provide valuable perspectives and expertise to Sands and other senior leaders, including Vice President and Executive Director Lance R. Collins who joined Virginia Tech in August.

“Bringing academia, industry, and government together is how we will create impactful programs, tangible research, strong leaders, and the next generation of tech companies,” said Collins.

Collins comes to Virginia Tech from Cornell where he’s served as the Joseph Silbert Dean of Engineering for 10 years.

“Members of the board have already​ provided critical perspectives and I look forward to working closely with them as we build our new campus and an innovative model for education,”  he said.

Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus will anchor a 65-acre innovation district that JBG SMITH is developing in Potomac Yard, building a foundation for a stronger tech talent pipeline for the region and fostering Virginia Tech’s ability to collaborate with industry and surrounding federal agencies.

Sanju Bansal, founder and CEO of Hunch Analytics, will serve as chair of the Advisory Board.

“This is an incredible group of leaders who will help shape and lead the campus,” he said. “Virginia Tech is making exciting progress on the construction plan for its new campus and ramping up with its first class of Innovation Campus students starting this fall. We look forward to working with the leadership team to build on this momentum.”

Innovation Campus classes are online this semester because of the pandemic. Faculty offices and course instruction for the Innovation Campus students will operate out of Virginia Tech’s existing location in Falls Church while the new campus is being built in Alexandria.

Construction of the first academic building is on track to start next year and open in August 2024. Within a decade, Virginia Tech expects to have up to 750 master’s degree students enrolled at the Innovation Campus, along with hundreds more doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows.

“This is an unprecedented moment to raise the profile of the Washington, D.C., region and transform the tech ecosystem with a new generation of talent who are highly skilled and focused on human impact,” said board member Kathy Warden, chief executive officer and president of Northrop Grumman.

The Innovation Campus will support advanced technology development and will play a pivotal role in building the innovative capacity of the Washington, D.C., region and helping to attract skills and investment. The Advisory Board will provide strategic guidance on the best ways for the campus to serve as an economic catalyst for the region and elevate its work and influence for local and global impact through research, startups, and more.

“A central value of the Innovation Campus is developing human-centered research. This is a serious need as we begin to contemplate the challenges associated with advanced technologies and their impacts on society and policy,” said Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm. “I know that Virginia Tech can lead in a way that makes a national impact.”

“Virginia Tech’s growth in the region, coupled with new investments and development at National Landing, is laying the foundation for an innovation district where more entrepreneurs, innovators and businesses can develop and launch solutions to solve real-world problems faster,” said Russ Ramsey, chairman of the Greater Washington Partnership. “I am looking forward to working with President Sands, Vice President Collins and the Advisory Board on strategies that will grow and support a vibrant innovation-based economy in the region and will continue to have an impact on the national and global economy.”

U.S. Senator Mark Warner said the Advisory Board will strengthen the development of the campus.

“The Virginia Tech Innovation Campus offers a unique opportunity to help build a new graduate campus from the ground up — with a big focus on connecting industry and academia to strengthen and diversify our economy,” said Warner. “As a longtime supporter of the great work that Virginia Tech does throughout the commonwealth, I know the Innovation Campus will make Virginia a leader in preparing our diverse workforce for the jobs of the future."

The Virginia Tech Innovation Campus Advisory Board:

Sanju Bansal, Founder & CEO, Hunch Analytics; Dave Calhoun, President and CEO, Boeing; Ted Colbert, Executive Vice President, Boeing; Joe DeSimone, Professor, Stanford University & Executive Chairman and co-Founder, Carbon; Lynne Doughtie, Former Chairman and CEO, KPMG; Regina Dugan, CEO, Wellcome Leap; Steve Mollenkopf, CEO, Qualcomm; Russ Ramsey, Board Chair, Greater Washington Partnership; Kathy Warden, CEO, Northrop Grumman Corporation; Glenn Youngkin, Co-Chief Executive Officer, The Carlyle Group.