C. Michael Cassidy
Mike Cassidy joined Emory University in 2018 in a new position designed to provide vision and leadership in promoting biomedical innovation at the university. As director of the Emory Biomedical Catalyst, Cassidy leads efforts to enhance innovation, entrepreneurship, and commercialization of intellectual property. Mike also serves as Executive Director of Emory Innovations, Inc., a holding company of portfolio companies and initiatives that support and enhance the broader goals of Emory University.
Previously, Mike engineered and led the emergence of the Georgia Research Alliance (GRA) as one of the nation’s premier organizations for technology-based economic development. In his 25-year tenure (18 as CEO) with GRA, Mike developed the vision and charted the strategic direction of the public-private organization, expanding its role and the potential of university research and entrepreneurship as a strategy to grow Georgia’s economy. He generated broad-based support for GRA’s mission, building and sustaining the nonprofit’s powerful relationships with companies, economic development organizations, universities, and leaders at the local, state, and national levels. In 2009, he co-founded the GRA Venture Fund, LLC, a public-private venture fund that invests in the most promising startups launched around scientific discovery at Georgia’s research universities. During his tenure at GRA, he was consistently ranked as one of the top 100 most influential people in the state by Georgia Trend Magazine and in 2019 was inducted into their Hall of Fame.
On the national level, Mike has been instrumental in strengthening the policy and practice of technology-based economic development. As a member of the SSTI board of directors, he played a defining role in launching the Innovation Advocacy Council, which advances the cause of public investment in scientific research and entrepreneurship. Mike has advised technology-based economic development organizations throughout the U.S and frequently speaks and contributes opinion pieces on the workings and issues of American innovation and entrepreneurial science. Mike is a Senior Fellow at the Council on Competitiveness and serves on the boards of the Health Care Ethics Consortium, The Primary Care Innovation Fund, and Atlanta Emerging Markets Inc. He is a Trustee Emeritus of the State Science & Technology Institute (SSTI) and past chair of their Innovation Advocacy Council. He is a Past Commodore of the Lake Lanier Sailing Club. He holds a master’s degree in Technology and Science Policy from Georgia Tech and a BBA in Marketing from Georgia State University.