Andrea Belz serves as the Vice Dean of Transformative Initiatives at the University of Southern California (USC) Viterbi School of Engineering, where she is also Director of Translational Strategy for the ME Commons California Defense-Ready Electronics and Microdevices Superhub (California DREAMS), Director of the Center for Research in Space Technologies (CREST), Research Director at the Information Sciences Institute, and Professor of Practice in Industrial and Systems Engineering.
Previously she served as Division Director at the National Science Foundation (NSF), where she oversaw the translational research portfolio with $350+ M in annual appropriations while she served on the leadership team launching the new Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships (TIP) Directorate. Earlier, she was the inaugural Vice Dean of Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the USC Viterbi and the founding Director of Innovation Node-Los Angeles, launched as an NSF I-Corps center of excellence. She has been a Visiting Professor of Engineering at Caltech and spent ten years consulting as a systems engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where she led roadmapping activities in fields such as Technologies for Extreme Environments; Guidance, Navigation and Control Systems; and Life Detection.
Dr. Belz has consulted extensively on strategic planning and technology commercialization for many venture capital firms and world-class organizations, including Avery Dennison, BP, Caltech, Children’s Hospital-Los Angeles, National Academy of Engineering, Occidental Petroleum, Raytheon, and UCLA. A seasoned startup investor, she was the first woman to represent the Pasadena Angels on a portfolio company board, serving as a Board Director of Caltech spinoff laser manufacturer Ondax until its acquisition by Coherent.
She is currently the President-Elect of the IEEE Technology and Engineering Management Society. Dr. Belz has a BS in physics from the University of Maryland at College Park, a PhD in physics from Caltech, and an MBA in finance from the Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business.