Vice President for Research & Innovation

Theresa A. Maldonado, Ph.D., P.E.

Theresa Maldonado headshot

Theresa A. Maldonado is the systemwide Vice President for Research & Innovation (R&I) at the University of California Office of the President (UCOP). In this role she leads large-scale efforts that utilize the expertise and assets of the UC system’s 10 campuses, three UC-managed DOE national labs, UC Agriculture & Natural Resources (ANR), and UC Health. Recent achievements include leading the $100M California Climate Action Initiative, steering California’s $1.2B DOE Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES), and facilitating the UC and statewide response to the CHIPS Act opportunities. In addition, she is working to revitalize UC’s innovation transfer ecosystem. R&I also provides oversight of multi-campus research centers and institutes. As the UC system’s chief research officer, VP Maldonado has championed team science; engaged key stakeholders; welcomed collaborators historically excluded from participation; and harnessed the power of UC to produce transformative solutions via research, research translation, innovation, and policy.

In addition to her 33-year academic experience, Dr. Maldonado has extensive experience at the federal level, having served two terms at the National Science Foundation for a total of six years, including four years as Division Director in the Engineering Directorate. At NSF she was engaged in advancing engineering research centers, education, and commercialization initiatives. She co-chaired the NSF-wide CAREER Coordinating Committee. She also served on the committee that established the ADVANCE program and on the NSF-wide National Nanotechnology Initiative committee. When at Texas A&M, Maldonado served on the NSF Math and Physical Sciences Advisory Committee as well as chaired the Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE), a congressionally mandated advisory committee to NSF. As a junior faculty, she was recognized with a NSF Presidential Young Investigator award.

Before entering academia, Dr. Maldonado was a member of technical staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories. She earned the BEE with Highest Honors, MSEE, and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research background is in nonlinear optical devices and materials, electromagnetics, and optical fiber technologies. Dr. Maldonado is a registered Professional Engineer in Texas.