Vice President for Research & Innovation
Theresa A. Maldonado was appointed vice president for research and innovation in March 2020. Before coming to the University of California, she served as dean and Riter Professor of Engineering at the University of Texas at El Paso in July 2017. She also holds a tenured appointment as professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Maldonado’s academic career spans 29 years, including at four other universities: the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley, Texas A&M University, Texas A&M Health Science Center, and the University of Texas at Arlington, with nearly 20 years in various research strategic and administrative roles. She also served as associate vice chancellor for research at the Texas A&M University System and as founding director of the Texas A&M Energy Institute.
Maldonado has extensive experience at the federal level in advancing engineering research, education, and commercialization initiatives. From 2011 to 2014, she served as a division director in the Engineering Directorate at the National Science Foundation (NSF). She was responsible for a $135 million budget in support of interdisciplinary research centers, research translation, innovations in engineering education, special initiatives in support of military veterans, broadening participation in engineering, and workforce development programs. Her initial appointment at NSF was in 1999 to 2001, when she served as a program director in the Engineering Research Centers program and represented the Engineering Directorate on several NSF-wide committees.
Before entering academia, Maldonado was a member of technical staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories for more than five years, working on optical fiber components and systems. She earned the Ph.D., M.S.E.E., and B.E.E. with highest honors degrees in electrical engineering, all from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Maldonado is a registered professional engineer in Texas.