Chief Executive Officer, ASU Research Enterprise
Elizabeth R. “Betsy” Cantwell is responsible for leading the creation, management and capture of largescale, externally funded programs and projects that advance the Arizona State University’s research enterprise. She works with her board and ASU leadership on a portfolio of institutional-level initiatives, and pursues new partnerships and resources to advance those initiatives, including support for applied faculty research within the defense and intelligence industries.
She is a professor of practice in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, and an affiliate in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and the School for the Future of Innovation in Society. Her technical area of focus is human space exploration systems.
Cantwell came to ASU from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), where she was director for economic development. She spearheaded a progressive strategy for LLNL to accelerate innovation and enhance national economic competitiveness. Cantwell returned to LLNL in 2010 after serving as deputy associate director for global security at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). In her role there, she provided strategic leadership to develop business with the Department of Energy, the National Nuclear Security Administration, the Department of Defense, the Defense Threat Reduction
Agency, the Center for Radiation Detection and others.
Prior to joining ORNL, Cantwell served as director for the Threat Reduction Directorate Office of Strategy at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. She spent a decade at the LANL, where she helped activate the Department of Homeland Security after 9/11. She spent several years at NASA as a program manager for the life and microgravity sciences.
Cantwell earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in human behavior from the University of Chicago; a Master of Business Administration from the iniversity of Pennsylvania, Wharton School; and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. She is co-chair of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board.