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Griffiss Institute announces new president and CEO

By Eric Reinhardt (


Heather Hage (Photo credit: Mary Khoury Photography provided by Griffiss Institute)

ROME, N.Y. — The Griffiss Institute in Rome has selected Heather Hage as its next president and CEO.

She succeeds William Wolf, the organization’s first-ever president and CEO, who announced his retirement back in September.

Hage “will expand the technical and economic impact of the Griffiss Institute and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Information Directorate, and the surrounding region, in the advancement of ongoing research, technical innovation, and entrepreneurial ventures locally, nationally, and globally,” Griffiss Institute said in a news release.

Hage brings 17 years of experience in technology commercialization, entrepreneurship, and nonprofit management from SUNY Research Foundation, where she most recently served as VP of industry and external affairs.

“Ms. Hage brings extensive expertise in innovation and entrepreneurship as drivers of economic growth and domestic competitiveness to lead the Griffiss Institute forward,” Patricia Baskinger, chair of the Griffiss Institute board of directors, said. “As the Griffiss Institute and Innovare Advancement Center undertake new opportunities in artificial intelligence/machine learning, cybersecurity, and quantum computing, it is imperative that the new president and CEO be equipped to leverage these initiatives to expand the high-tech ecosystem of the region. Ms. Hage is a natural fit for the position because of her proven leadership ability through her tenure in the SUNY system, and strong roots in our region.”

Hage is a graduate of Hamilton College, and earned her law degree from Albany Law School of Union University. She has served on various nonprofit boards; is an adjunct faculty member for the “Innovation Intensive” programs at SUNY Polytechnic Institute and Albany Law School; and was the recipient of SUNY Research Foundation’s 2015 Woman of Excellence award, which recognizes “outstanding service, exemplary support of women in leadership, and a distinguished career,” Griffiss Institute said.

The Griffiss Institute — in partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory, Oneida County, and the State of New York — has recently developed and built the new $14 million Innovare Advancement Center. The center is co-located with the Griffiss drone test site and Skydome, one of only seven FAA designated test sites for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones.

Established in 2002, the Griffiss Institute is an independent nonprofit. By partnering with the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate and connecting its technologies with private industry and academia, the Griffiss Institute says it “facilitates and grows the technology base” of the upstate New York region.

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