New leader chosen for USD Discovery District

Jan. 6, 2020

A leader at Colorado State University has been named president of the USD Discovery District.

Mark Brown will begin his role Jan. 22 to guide the corporate and academic research park under development in Sioux Falls. The USD Discovery District’s mission is to foster innovation-focused development throughout the state.

Brown replaces Rich Naser, who moved into another role with USD.

“I am very excited that Mark will be leading the USD Discovery District as we enter its next phase of growth and expansion,” USD president Sheila Gestring said in a news release. “With his robust experience in research, development and leadership, I am confident Mark will make a tremendous impact across the region through continuous, innovation-focused economic development.”

Brown, who holds a doctorate in molecular genetics and microbiology from the University of Texas, has built his career in research and leadership at Colorado State University, where he has held various roles. Starting as a molecular oncologist in the department of clinical sciences and the director of the Office for Undergraduate Research, Brown went on to chair a graduate program where he oversaw the faculty, administration and curriculum of a six-university consortium with Clemson University, Colorado State University, George Washington University, Indiana University, University of California and the University of Vermont.

In 2014, Brown transitioned into the role of director in the Institute for Learning and Teaching where he led the Office for Undergraduate Research, the Office for Service Learning, the Office for Scholarship and Fellowship Advising, and Student Engagement. He also continued to serve as a faculty member in clinical sciences. In addition to those roles, he became the executive lead of Global Health and Health Disparities in 2016 and the vice president for research and development at CBR International Corp. in 2018. He has more than a decade of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and is certified in Good Manufacturing Practices, Good Clinical Practices and Good Laboratory Practices.

“This is a very exciting time for the USD Discovery District, and I am humbled for the opportunity to lead the research park forward,” Brown said. “With the exceptional Discovery District team, the industry-shaping tenants and business partners, and steadfast community support, I am certain USD will continue to impact not only the region but the entire state.”

New leader chosen for USD Discovery District

A leader at Colorado State University has been named president of the USD Discovery District.

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