AUI Vice Chair, Director of Innovation Advisory Partners
William (Bill) Harris is a Director of Innovation Advisory Partners after serving as the founding Director General of Science Foundation Ireland (2001-2006) and, then Science Foundation Arizona (2006-2020). Prior to Ireland, he was Vice President of Research and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of South Carolina.
Dr. Harris served as Assistant Director of the Columbia University Earth Institute and President of the Biosphere 2 Center, which became a western campus of Columbia. He was selected by NSF Director Walter Massey to be Assistant Director of the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate (1991-1996) after establishing the first 25 NSF Science and Technology Centers. While MPS AD, his responsibilities included helping to start GEMINI Telescope, ALMA, establishing a new Magnetic Lab at Florida State, and resolving significant organization issues that ultimately led to LIGO’s success.
Early in his career, Dr. Harris was named a Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar, received the Wiley Lifetime Achievement Award from California Polytechnic State University, AAAS Fellow and is an elected member of the Royal Irish Academy (RIA).