Senior Leadership

Andres Gil , Vice President for Research and Economic Development and Dean of the University Graduate School

Andrés Gil earned his B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology from FIU, a M.S.W. from Barry University, and a Ph.D. in Medical Sociology from the University of Miami. Dr. Gil joined FIU in 1996. He was appointed Vice President for Research in November 2009. He also serves as President of the FIU Research Foundation and is a Professor in the Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work. Prior to joining FIU, Dr. Gil was a faculty member and researcher at the University of Miami (Department of Sociology), the University of California, Berkeley (the Western Consortium of Public Health and the School of Public Health), and the University of Connecticut (the School of Family Studies). At FIU, he has been Associate Vice President for Research, Director of Research Development in the College of Health and Urban Affairs, and Associate Director of the Community-Based Intervention Research Group.

Dr. Gil’s research focuses on the etiology, epidemiology, and treatment of adolescent substance abuse and mental health. He has authored numerous articles that examine the role of culture, race, and ethnicity in adolescent substance use and mental health. His research has been published in the American Journal of Public Health, Archives of General Psychiatry, Epidemiology, Addiction, and American Journal of Epidemiology, among others. Dr. Gil has conducted numerous longitudinal epidemiological studies in California and Florida, as well as clinical trials testing interventions to reduce substance abuse among adolescents. His research has been funded by several NIH Institutes and various Foundations. He also has served on numerous review and advisory panels for the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the California Tobacco Related Disease Program. He is on the editorial board of numerous scientific journals in his field of research. He is currently a member of the Advisory Council for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), a member of the APLU‘s Council on Research Policy and Graduate Education, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Southeastern Universities Research (SURA).

William T. (Bill) Anderson, Associate Vice President for Research

Bill will initially focus on an initiative to expand our efforts in research development for faculty, doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars. Future areas of leadership will include research labs, core facilities, research integrity, and laboratory safety, among others. He joined FIU in 2000 as Assistant Professor, and has risen to the rank of Professor. Administratively, he has served as Chair of the Department of Earth & Environment and Associate Dean of Faculty in the College of Arts, Sciences & Education where he last served as Vice Dean. He received a doctorate of Natural Sciences from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH-Zentrum), a M.S. in Geology from Syracuse University and a B.A. in Geology from the University of Kansas. A stable isotope biogeochemist, Bill’s research focuses on biogeochemical cycling of carbon and nitrogen in marine systems, as well as the oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen isotopic signatures in organic material. His research has been published in top tier journals; he has presented in national and international conferences, and has received funding from the NSF, the American Chemical Society, and the U.S. Department of the Interior, among others.

Tonja Moore, Associate Vice President of Research Strategic Planning and Operations

Ms. Moore provides leadership in the development and management of strategic research investments, support systems and sustainable infrastructure critical to FIU’s continued research growth and very high research Carnegie classification. Tonja has over 24 years of experience at the University of Virginia and at FIU in academic administration and research operations. In her previous roles she has provided leadership for and managed strategic planning, performance based resource allocations, academic personnel, faculty affairs, research administration, streamlining operational efficiencies and policy development. She also has experience specifically within academic health administration and clinical practice operations. She serves our research faculty by providing enhanced post award services to colleges and major research centers, as well as more systematic management of research administrative operations among the academic units. She holds a bachelor of science degree in accounting and a bachelor of science degree in computer management from West Virginia University Institute of Technology.

Luis Salas, Associate Vice President for Research

Professor Salas is a graduate of North Carolina State University and received his Juris Doctor from Wake Forest University in 1971. He joined Florida International University in 1975 and is a professor in the School of International and Public Affairs. As Associate Vice President for Research, Dr. Salas fosters and promotes sponsored research, as well as coordinates and plans research and technological development for centers reporting to the Office of the Vice President for Research. These centers consist of the International Hurricane Research Center (IHRC), which includes the Wall of Wind, and the Applied Research Center (ARC). Additionally, he works directly with the Vice President to develop the FIU Research Foundation, and other matters pertaining to research development and the Office of Research and Economic Development. He has served as the director of the Center for the Administration of Justice (CAJ) since 1984. CAJ is widely recognized as one of this country’s premier justice reform institutions working in developing countries.

David Driesbach, Assistant Vice President for Research

Mr. Driesbach serves as Assistant Vice President for Research within the Office of Research and Economic Development. In this role, he oversees Research Information Systems,  a team that provides consultative support to the Office of Research and Economic Development and University Graduate School in matters related to technology and business process optimization. Mr. Driesbach brings to FIU private industry experience leveraging technology to enhance business operations within leading companies such as Accenture, IBM, and FedEx Express. He has also presented on multiple occasions at the PeopleSoft Higher Education User Group (HEUG) conferences on topics ranging from PeopleSoft Grants implementation strategies to techniques for reporting within a financial system. Mr. Driesbach has a Bachelor’s in Finance and MIS from University of Delaware and a Master’s of International Business from FIU. He has served as a member of Oracle’s Product Advisory Group for Grants, Contracts, and Billing functionalities and is currently the University’s technical representative for the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP). In 2013, Mr. Driesbach became a Campus Champion with XSEDE (Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment).

C. Emily Gresham, Assistant Vice President of Research

Emily Gresham serves as the Assistant Vice President for Research overseeing the Innovation and Economic Development unit in the Office of Research and Economic Development. She is responsible for leading and coordinating the commercialization, technology transfer and entrepreneurial activities for the University, including identifying and expanding opportunities to grow investment in FIU research and startup activities. Ms. Gresham will also oversee the implementation of some major research initiatives emanating from the FIUBeyondPossible2020 Strategic Plan, including research communications. Ms. Gresham joined FIU in 2012 to oversee development efforts for seven colleges and museums and went on to help facilitate and develop the FIUBeyondPossible2020 Strategic Plan. Prior to joining FIU, she served as the Vice President for Development at The Miami Foundation (2010-2012) and the University of Miami (2002-2010) where she played a leadership role in the Momentum Capital Campaign that raised $1.4 billion. She received a BA from Hunter College in New York City and earned an MBA from the University of Miami.

Robert Gutierrez, Assistant Vice President for Research

Mr. Gutierrez serves as Assistant Vice President for Research within the Office of Research and Economic Development. In this role, he has overall responsibility for the management and operation of the Pre-Award section which is responsible for assistance with proposal development, proposal review, award negotiations and various other administrative functions related to contract and grants management. Mr. Gutierrez has been with the university since 1996, and the Office of Research and Economic Development since 2002. Mr. Gutierrez has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Florida International University and a Master of Science degree in Higher Education Administration. Mr. Gutierrez was previously employed at the departmental level at the university’s Department of Physics and has experience from the legal profession as an insurance defense litigation specialist. Mr. Gutierrez is an active member of the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) and is the university’s functional representative for the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP).

Mirtha Alberto, Director, Budget & Cost Analysis

Mirtha E. Alberto serves as the Director of the Budget & Cost Analysis section of the Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED). Ms. Alberto joined our team in 2005, but was no stranger to FIU. Mirtha graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Management Information Systems from FIU’s College of Business Administration in 1991. In this capacity, she manages the budget for the internal operations of the Office of Research and Economic Development, and all of its university-wide research commitments as well as those of the FIU Research Foundation. Her group coordinates the resolutions of exceptions, processes month-end and year-end transactions, distributes F&A overhead returns to the colleges, monitors operations spending and research spending on allocated stimulus and carry forward funds, enters data for research proposals, awards, agreements, subcontracts, tracks expenses and reconciles C&G department ids, and coordinates time & effort certifications. Mirtha serves as a liaison on university-wide system implementation of projects. She also coordinates professional employee development activities and team building events for the ORED.

Christopher Grayson, Director, Research Integrity

Christopher Grayson joined the Office of Research and Economic Development in 2004. He serves as the Director for the Office of Research Integrity, and is responsible for overseeing the regulatory requirements of several research compliance areas. These areas include the Institutional Review Board (IRB), the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, the Institutional Biosafety Committee, Responsible Conduct of Research, and Research Misconduct. Prior to working at FIU, he administered research compliance at the University of Central Florida. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems from the University of Central Florida and later earned his Master of Business Administration from Florida International University. He has also earned a Certification as an IRB Manager (CIM) from the National Association of IRB Managers and a Certification as an IRB Professional (CIP) from the Council for Certification of IRB Professionals. Mr. Grayson has been a recipient of the FIU Opportunity Award, a recognition awarded by the President of FIU. He is a member of several professional organizations, including the Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research.

Pedro “Peter” Hernandez, Director, Technology Management and Commercialization

Peter Hernandez serves as the Director of Technology Management and Commercialization, and provides overall leadership and direction for patents and licensing. He plans, develops, directs, and assesses the University’s Intellectual Property portfolio, including generation of licensing revenues. Mr. Hernandez also coordinates cooperative ventures with businesses and industries to promote FIU technology, facilitate industry-university collaboration and technology transfer, and advance the commercial use of FIU intellectual property. Peter earned a BSEE from the University of Miami, an MBA from Florida International University, and a JD from the University of Miami. He is a member of the Texas, Florida and District of Columbia bar associations, and is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Mr. Hernandez has over 20 years of experience in industry, engineering and intellectual property management, including transactional matters, business negotiations, patents, trademarks, trade secrets, and copyrights. He has negotiated agreements, licensing and technology transfers with universities, as well as provided numerous training sessions and presentations on all aspects of intellectual property. Prior to joining FIU, Peter worked as Senior Counsel for companies such as Eastman Kodak, Goodrich Corporation, Texas Instruments, EndoSonics Corporation, and Motorola.

Regnier A. Jurado, Director, Research Management Solutions

An FIU alumnus with over 15 years of experience in research and financial administration, Mr. Regnier Jurado is the Director of Research Management Solutions. In this role, he serves emerging research units, research centers and faculty in strategic research areas with functions such as finance, purchasing, travel, human resources, facilities and overall post award project administration. His unit assists FIU researchers who are responsible for large research operations by directly assisting in the execution of grants and contracts in areas pertaining to human resources, purchasing, travel and other grant-related activities that require interaction and support from other FIU service units. Regnier rejoined FIU in September 2016 after serving the University of California, San Francisco for 6.5 years, where he held the position of Associate Director of Research Management Services.  At FIU from 2005 to 2010, he held positions of Assistant Director of Research in the College of Arts, Sciences and Education, and Associate Director of Pre-Award in the Office of Research and Economic Development.

Donna Kiley, Director, Post-Award

Donna Kiley joined the Office of Research and Economic Development in 2017, and currently serves as the Director of the Post-Award section within the Office of Research and Economic Development. In this capacity, she has overall responsibility for the management and operation of the Post-Award section, which is responsible for the financial administration of contracts and grants awarded to the University. Prior to joining FIU, Ms. Kiley served as the Associate Director of Grants & Contracts Administration for the Research Foundation for the State University of New York.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY. Ms. Kiley is also a Certified Research Administrator (CRA) and a Certified Financial Research Administrator (CFRA). She is an active member of the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) and serves as a member of the Financial Management Committee.

Maureen Pelham, Director, Research Development, Director, Postdoctoral Scholar Services

Maureen Pelham joined the Office of Research and Economic Development in 2010 as the Director of Clinical Trials. As an administrator, she has extensive experience in grantwriting, grants management, fundraising, strategic planning, and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive. Prior to joining FIU, Ms. Pelham spent 14 years in private industry, leading the health care division of a nationally known fundraising company. Her academic administrative experience was gained at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine, where she worked for more than a decade as administrator for three research centers of excellence. Ms. Pelham earned advanced degrees at Vanderbilt University (Master of Science) and the University of Pittsburgh (Master of Healthcare Administration).

Susan Webster, Assistant Vice President for Research, Assistant Dean of the University Graduate School

Dr. Webster develops external funding proposals, collaborates with external partners in obtaining grants that support graduate and postgraduate funding, and manages the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders Initiative. She also provides oversight of the graduate student success and professional development activities, as well as Teaching Assistants’ credentialing. Dr. Webster earned a B.A. in Psychology from FIU, a Master’s and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Virginia. She joined FIU in 2003 as Associate Director in the Office of research and Economic Development, and later became Executive Director. In the latter role, she established for the first time at FIU an Office of Intellectual Property Management, and managed the Office for 7 years. She has been actively involved in a variety of regional technology transfer and innovation initiatives. Dr. Webster has a background in research administration and compliance oversight for academic and healthcare institutions, and a background in behavioral health research.