Georgian College has selected Dr. Mira Ray as the new Executive Director, Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (RIE) role. Dr. Ray has been serving in this role in an interim capacity since August and will officially start the role on Feb. 20.
Dr. Ray will oversee three units within her portfolio – Research and Innovation (R&I), the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre (HBEC), and Social Innovation. As the key strategic and operational leader of the college’s innovation strategy, her main responsibilities will include developing and implementing an integrated mission, vision and strategic plan for RIE, collaborating with others to strengthen research, social innovation and intrapreneurship/entrepreneurship capabilities and practices throughout the college, and establishing positive relationships across the region with governments, researchers, entrepreneurs and community and industry leaders.
“I’m very excited to build on the strong foundations of R&I, HBEC and Social Innovation and find their synergies to serve our regional business and community partners,” said Dr. Ray. “I’m so excited by the opportunity to support our region from both an economic and a social perspective, which is a more holistic approach. This includes supporting our faculty and staff with their innovative ideas and interests, and providing students with exceptional learning experiences and supports.”
Dr. Ray first joined Georgian in 2014 to assist with key strategic initiatives, including a strategy to increase degree delivery in Simcoe County and surrounding regions. In 2016 she became Director of Research and Innovation, where she was responsible for strategic and operational oversight of research and innovation at the college, with a focus on industry and community-led applied research and development.
Among her many accomplishments, she built Georgian’s Competitive Smart Manufacturing program, secured more than $8 million in funding from federal and provincial grant agencies and from industry, pivoted immediately during the early days of the pandemic to re-align research and innovation resources and expertise to help partners manufacture critical personal protection equipment, and helped earn Georgian College a spot on the list of top 50 Canadian research colleges in 2021.
“Mira is a strategic leader and has been a strong advocate for applied research in the college sector,” said Kevin Weaver, President and CEO, Georgian College. “With a proven track record of bringing multiple groups together to problem solve and identify opportunities for research and innovation, I’m looking forward to the synergy she brings with research, entrepreneurship and social innovation for the benefit of our students and communities.”
Prior to joining Georgian, Dr. Ray worked as a consultant with McKinsey and Company, a top-tier management consulting firm, providing clients with guidance on major strategic decisions, from planning through to implementation. She served clients across a wide range of sectors (manufacturing, finance, insurance, retail, oil and energy, health care) on projects related to the redesign of systems and processes, change management and capability building.
Dr. Ray’s Ph.D. (University of British Columbia) and Post-Doctoral fellowship (Western University) specialized in molecular mechanisms of advanced prostate and breast cancer. She holds a Master of Business Administration from The Richard Ivey School of Business (Western University) and Master of Science (McGill University).