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John Swartley, MBA, PhD

Chief Innovation Officer

John Swartley headshot


John S. Swartley, MBA, PhD is the Chief Innovation Officer at the University of Pennsylvania responsible for implementing and leading a University-wide Innovation agenda in partnership with stakeholders across the institution. In this capacity, he works closely with Penn’s leadership and Deans, as well as key external partners, to help ensure that Penn continues to maintain its world-class status as an innovative leader in the field of technology development, translation, and commercialization. Dr. Swartley previously served for nearly a decade as Associate Vice Provost for Research and the Managing Director of the Penn Center for Innovation (PCI) at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) where he led a multi-faceted team that focuses on new product development, corporate partnerships, technology licensing and new venture creation based on faculty expertise and discoveries made at Penn.

Prior to joining Penn in 2007, Dr. Swartley served as Senior Vice President and General Partner of BCM Technologies (BCMT), the venture capital investment subsidiary of Baylor College of Medicine.  Dr. Swartley joined BCMT in 2003 from the Yale University Office of Cooperative Research where he was Associate Director of the Medical Campus Office. Over the course of his career, Dr. Swartley has facilitated thousands of commercialization and research partnership agreements that have collectively generated close to five billion dollars in licensing income and sponsored research funding, as well as participating in the formation and oversight of hundreds of university spin-out companies representing multiple billions of dollars of capital creation. He holds a B.S. in Biology from Bates College, an MBA from the Goizueta School of Business at Emory University, and a PhD in Microbial & Molecular Genetics from Emory University.