Top Chief Innovation Officers

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Top Researchers in Corporate Innovation

Research located 9 highly prominent corporate innovation researchers from top universities. Their names, degrees, awards, and specific research relating to the field of corporate innovation is below.


Dr. Henry Chesbrough
  • Dr. Chesbrough is an adjunct professor at the Garwood Center for corporate innovation at the University of California at Berkeley.
  • He has the following degrees: a PhD in business administration and public policy from UC Berkeley, an MBA from Stanford University, and a bachelor's in economics from Yale University.
  • The awards he has received include, but are not limited to: Scientific American's top 50 business and technology leaders award, Strategy and Business Magazine's 2003 best business book on innovation award, and Businessweek Magazine's 2006 top ten books on innovation award.
  • Concerning his research on corporate innovation, much of it is over technology management and innovation strategy. He's published two books on the subject. Most of his work focuses on the "open innovation" mentality of encouraging a free flow of ideas and information.
  • Dr. Chesbrough's email address is
Dr. Dennis A. Yao
  • Dr. Yao is professor of business administration at Harvard Business School.
  • After receiving a bachelor's in civil engineering from Princeton, he received an MBA from Berkeley and a PhD in business administration from Stanford.
  • The first Bush administration appointed him to the Federal Trade Commission in 1991. He has also received the Wyss award for his work at Harvard.
  • His research focuses on how split-award procurement and government funding influences corporate innovation. He's also written papers over patent policy and its effect on discouraging or encouraging innovation.
  • Dr. Yao's email address is
Dr. Jing Zhou
  • Dr. Zhou is professor of management and psychology and organizational behavior at Rice University.
  • Her highest degree is a PhD in business management from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Elite scholarly publications such as the Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Management, and Personnel Psychology have published her work. Her paper "Innovation and Creativity in Organizations" won the best paper award from the Journal of Management. In addition, she's received research excellence awards from both Rice University and Mays Business School.
  • The areas her research has explored include how personal factors, cross-cultural differences, and creativity influence corporate innovation. Much of her research aims to understand how businesses can leverage the creative resources of their employees to increase innovation. She's also written on the application of cognitive theories in understanding what influences corporate innovation.
  • Her email address is
Dr. Robert Wolcott
  • Dr. Wolcott is adjunct professor of executive education at Northwestern University.
  • At Northwestern, he received a bachelor's in European and Chinese history and a master's and PhD in industrial engineering and management sciences.
  • In the past, Dr. Walcott has served on the advisory boards for the Nordic Council and CureBlindness. His work has appeared in the MIT Sloan Management Review, the Harvard Business Review, the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and the New York Times.
  • Much of his published work has explored how government, marketing, interpersonal relationships, and logistics affect innovation in specific environments. He's written textbooks on entrepreneurship and innovation and frequently consults for companies and strategic firms worldwide.
  • His email address is
Dr. Raghu Garud
  • Dr. Garud is professor of management and organization as well as the Farrell Chair in innovation and entrepreneurship at Pennsylvania State University.
  • His highest degree is a PhD in strategic management and organization at the University of Minnesota.
  • The Strategic Management Journal, the Academy of Management Review, the Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Organization Studies, the Journal of Management Studies, and Research Policy have all published Dr. Garud's work. He was also the keynote speaker at the 2014 International Conference on Sustainability Transitions.
  • The most recent of Dr. Garud's published research concerns the emergence of novel ideas, technologies, and strategies in businesses worldwide. How those ideas emerge, are valued, and become profitable are his specific areas of interest. He's also written extensively on "path creation, economies of substitution, technology entrepreneurship, bricolage as a collective process and the socio-cognitive bases for technology emergence" in the past.
  • His email address is
Dr. Daniel Bennett
  • Dr. Bennett is a research professor in the entrepreneurship & corporate innovation department at Baylor University.
  • After receiving a bachelor's in finance and a master's in Applied Economics from the University of Ohio at Athens, he earned a PhD in economics from Florida State University.
  • Dr. Bennett has won the young scholars award (Mont Pelerin Society), an Adam Smith fellowship (Mercatus Center at George Mason University), the Irvin and Peggy Sobel award (Florida State University), and the James H. Gapinski award (Florida State University) for his research on corporate innovation.
  • Much of his recent research explores the role of economic freedom and economic growth on influencing corporate innovation. In the past, his work has focused on the ways in which health epidemics, national institutions, and structural inequality affect creativity and innovation in economies.
  • His email address is
Sean Ammirati
  • Mr. Ammirati is adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University.
  • After receiving a bachelor's in computer information systems from Grove City College, he completed a research fellowship in computer science and organizational behavior at Carnegie Mellon University.
  • Prior to his work at Carnegie Mellon, Mr. Ammirati founded mSpoke, which was acquired by Linkedin, and Peak Strategy, which was acquired by Morgan Stanley. He was also COO ReadWriteWeb, a software and media company. His first book, The Science of Growth, was translated into Korean and Mandarin.
  • He founded the corporate startup lab at Carnegie Mellon, which researches and develops tools for companies who want to make their own innovations more compatible and profitable within the marketplace. His work focuses on finding ways to organize innovation portfolios while continuing to encourage further advancements and innovations.
  • His email is
Dr. Fiona E. Murray
  • Dr. Murray is professor of entrepreneurship and associate dean for innovation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • With a bachelor's and master's in chemistry from Merton College University of Oxford, she earned a PhD in applied sciences from Harvard University.
  • For her research into the potential of hard science to facilitate further corporate innovations, she won the best paper award from the 2008 Davis Conference. She was named Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her "contributions to innovation and entrepreneurship" in 2015.
  • Her research shows an interest in how emerging scientific technologies can be used to foster business innovations that strengthen the economy. Specifically, she's explored how new technology can be commercialized and the economics of corporate innovation.
  • Her email address is
Dr. Phil Budden
  • Dr. Budden is a senior lecturer in technological innovation, entrepreneurship, and strategic management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • He holds a bachelor's and master's in history from Lincoln College as well as a master's in history and government from Cornell University. His highest degree is a PhD in history and international political economy from the University of Oxford.
  • From 2007 to 2012, he served as the British Consul General to New England. He spent 11 years as British diplomat for the British Foreign Office overseeing both Britian's UN membership and the country's US relations.
  • Most of Dr. Budden's research focuses on the application of MIT's stakeholder framework in promoting, facilitating, and accelerating business innovation. He has also worked on developing systems to assess innovation-focused businesses within the framework of the greater economic ecosystem.
  • His email address is
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Top Chief Innovation Officers

The following chief innovative officers have shown outstanding initiative and leadership in their fields and have been recognized by their organizations and peers as being leaders in their fields.

Jeff Wong, Global Chief Onnovation Officer at Ernest & Young (EY)

  • Jeff Wong can be contacted through his EY company profile page or on his LinkedIn profile.
  • Mr. Wong studied at Stanford University where he received his AB in economics, master's degrees in industrial engineering and engineering management and an MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
  • Mr. Wong uses his knowledge of strategy and investing and experience in building new ventures globally to work across the entire EY organization identifying and facilitating the best ideas.
  • Mr. Wong has published articles on the EY website on 1) How to harness AI's power and energize the human enterprise; 2) How CEOs can prepare for the unpredictable; 3) How innovation can change the future of food; 4) How to embrace AI responsibly and make it inclusive; and 5) What the world could look like in 10 years.

Brian Barnes, CIO at BrightSpring Health Services + PharMerica

  • Brian Barnes can be contacted through his LinkedIn profile.
  • Mr. Barnes holds a doctorate in electrical and computer engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.
  • Barnes was named a Louisville Tech Power Player by Lead Tribune Group and ComSpark Magazine as a leading technology executive and thought leader championing technology.
  • Barnes moved to BrightSpring Health Services from Tenet Health Systems in 2018, bringing with him over 20 years of health care leadership experience.
  • As CIO at BrightSpring, Barnes is responsible for strategic direction and leadership in driving technology strategies.

Michael Todasco, Senior Director of Innovation at PayPal

  • Michael Todasco can be contacted through his LinkedIn profile.
  • Todasco holds an MBA from the Walter A. Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley.
  • In addition to serving as senior director of innovation at PayPal, Todasco is a part-time lecturer at San Jose State University.
  • Todasco uses innovative methods to draw analysts at PayPal to come up with unusual ideas, like "bribing" them with virtual reality (VR) headsets the analysts can keep only if they come up with at least one idea.
  • Other positions Todasco has held at PayPal include roles in product management, product marketing, product launch and product analytics.
  • Prior to becoming senior director of Innovation at PayPal, Todasco spent over four years as director of strategy at NewPage.
  • In addition, Todasco has filed over 100 patents covering various areas

Prentice Tom, MD, Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Vice President of Medical Affairs at Vituity

  • Dr. Tom can be contacted at or through his LinkedIn profile.
  • Dr. Tom earned his doctor of medicine from Harvard Medical School and was a Kaiser Fellow in Health Policy and Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • As chief medical officer before becoming CIO, Dr. Tom developed risk management and CMS programs and led two of Vituity's breakthrough initiatives -- Rapid Medical Evaluation and emergency psychiatry.
  • Medical organizations Dr. Tom has participated in include Emergency International, as project coordinator for the China Project, and the International Medical Corps (Bosnia).
  • Dr. Tom wrote an article that appears in LinkedIn about his use of the term Signature Competency that describes an innovation that is unique to the market and allows an organization to capture market share by addressing a previously unconsidered customer need.

John Brownstein, Ph.D., CIO at Boston Children’s Hospital

  • Mr. Brownstein can be contacted at and through his LinkedIn profile.
  • Brownstein also serves as a professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, director of the computational epidemiology group at Children's Hospital Boston, a research scientist at Partners Healthcare, an adjunct professor at McGill University, and as vice president of the International Society for Disease Surveillance.
  • Having authored over 100 articles in the area of disease surveillance, Brownstein has also advised the World Health Organization, Institute of Medicine, the US Departments of Health and Human Services and Home Security, and the White House on public health surveillance data in real-time.
  • Brownstein was trained as an epidemiologist at Yale University and has interests in the development of methods and data sources in public health informatics.
  • His article, Voice Technology Taking Center Stage at HLTH 2019, investigates the development and use of voice technology in healthcare on the same scale as Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri.

Stefano Foresti, Director of Innovation, at the University of California Merced

  • Mr. Foresti can be contacted at or through his LinkedIn profile.
  • As director of innovation at University of California Merced, School of Engineering, Mr. Foresti coordinates research and academic programs in innovation.
  • Foresti holds a doctorate in mathematics from the Universita' di Pavia Italy.
  • At UC Merced School of Engineering, Foresti's goal is to make human knowledge more accessible and digitally retrievable.
  • Innovate to Grow is one of the innovative events Foresti coordinated to foster to involve students and faculty to collaborate on project and research.

Chris Coburn, CIO for Partners HealthCare System

  • Mr. Coburn can be contacted through his LinkedIn profile and through the contact form at Partners Healthcare, Innovation.
  • Coburn holds a master's at the George Washington University.
  • Partners consists of Harvard University affiliates Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, and McLean Hospital.
  • Coburn is a member on the following boards of trustees: WGBH, Museum of Science, and NEHI (Network for Excellence in Health Innovation).
  • Before joining Partners, Coburn was the founding director and executive leader for 13 years of Cleveland Clinic Innovations
  • Coburn's team of 125 is charged with the worldwide commercial application of Partner's 74,000 employees' unique capabilities and discoveries.

Research Strategy

In seeking top CIOs, we searched for individuals who were 1) champions at innovation, 2) built and grew innovative capabilities and 3) drove new growth opportunities for their organizations. We uncovered rich ground for CIOs displaying the three characteristics in the healthcare industry and in the Chief Innovation Officer Summit.

From Part 02