USU President Elizabeth (Betsy) R. Cantwell

Elizabeth (Betsy) R. Cantwell will become Utah State University’s 17th president on Aug. 1, 2023.

Before coming to USU, she was the senior vice president for research and innovation at the University of Arizona, where she was responsible for an $825 million annual research portfolio; the 1,268-acre UA Tech Park, one of the nation’s premier university research parks; and a research and innovation enterprise that spanned 20 academic colleges with locations across Arizona, 12 university-level centers and institutes, and other major research-related affiliated organizations conducting classified and contractual work.

She also devoted time to student-athlete focused programs and projects, believing that athletics programs have power to help land-grant universities serve the public and raise awareness of the good these institutions do in communities.

Cantwell previously served as Arizona State University’s vice president for research development and CEO of the ASU Research Enterprise. She led an organization of 150 and grew the overall research enterprise at ASU from $435 million to $680 million over three years, and in her CEO role, she grew the applied research entity from no contracts to $15 million in annual awards.

Before her work in university research leadership, she served the U.S. national security mission as the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s director for economic development and director for engineering mission strategy, and earlier as the deputy associate director for global security at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where she worked with the U.S. Departments of Energy and Defense, the National Nuclear Security Administration, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and NASA.

Cantwell is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School (MBA, 2003); the University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, 1992); and the University of Chicago (BA, Human Behavior 1976).

A member of the National Academy of Sciences Engineering and Medicine’s Committee on NASA Critical Workforce, Technology & Infrastructure, Cantwell participated in its most recent Academy Strategic Planning Committee. She has served as the co-chair of the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board and as a member of several National Academies studies in space science, space systems engineering, National Laboratories operations, and advanced manufacturing. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in industrial science and technology. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the managing entity for the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory.