Phil Ventimiglia, Chief Innovation Officer, Georgia State University
As the first Chief Innovation Officer for Georgia State University, I have received an incredibly warm welcome from the Georgia State community, which I appreciate very much. I also have received quite a few questions, such as “What is a Chief Innovation Officer?” and “How do you pronounce your last name?” I would like to answer some of these questions.
How do you pronounce your last name?
My last name, Ventimiglia, is pronounced Venti-meel-ya (with a silent “g”). It means “20 miles” in Italian. Ventimiglia is a town on the Italian Riviera, 20 miles from the French border. I was lucky to have the chance to visit once. It is beautiful and everyone there looked like they might be long lost relatives.
What does a Chief Innovation Officer do?
My new role of Chief Innovation Officer was created by President Becker in recognition that technology is disrupting higher education. As such, technology is critical to the success of Georgia State University. Therefore, there is a need for a cabinet-level role to help the university navigate the waters of the new global digital economy.
What is your goal as Chief Innovation Officer?
My definition of education is a transfer of knowledge between knowledge holders (professors) to knowledge seekers (students). Research is the creation of knowledge. My goal is to enhance the transfer of knowledge and creation of knowledge through technology, people and process. While this goal sounds simple, how we accomplish it will be hard work, albeit a lot of fun.
Why leave the private sector?
My DNA is as a “builder.” I have built many great new products, businesses and organizations throughout my career. However, the opportunity to build the next paradigm for higher education and research is truly great. Better yet, is the chance to do this in the city of Atlanta at Georgia State University.
What interests you about Georgia State University?
Georgia State has demonstrated an incredible ability to innovate and grow, as evidenced by the phenomenal increase in graduation rates over the last 10 years. Moreover, Georgia State is fundamentally intertwined with downtown Atlanta, allowing for a unique opportunity to redefine an urban university and revitalize the downtown of an iconic southern city.
Questions for You
My last questions are for you:
- Are you willing to come with me on this journey?
- Will you provide input for enhancing the university through technology?
- Will you help build something truly great?
I hope your answer is ‘yes.’ I look forward to working with you to create solutions to support the next wave of world-class innovation and research at this university.