Greg Pass '97, former chief technology officer for Twitter and a leading tech entrepreneur, has been named the founding entrepreneurial officer for CornellNYC Tech, the new tech campus being developed on Roosevelt Island in New York City.
As the entrepreneurial officer, Pass will lead efforts to establish the entrepreneurial culture of the new campus and to collaborate with the tech industry, working closely with the dean, faculty and administration to reflect an industry perspective in CornellNYC Tech's academic programs.
"The tech campus is all about bringing together academic research and industry know-how, and no one has more relevant industry experience than Greg Pass," said Dan Huttenlocher, founding dean of CornellNYC Tech. "Greg advised Cornell throughout the proposal process, and now, by making the entrepreneurial officer one of the campus's first hires, CornellNYC Tech is ensuring that the tech industry is a part of what we do from the start."
Pass will be one of the key public faces of the new tech campus, responsible for engaging with all aspects of the tech sector and helping to inform academic programs and curricula that emphasize applied innovation and entrepreneurial skills. Pass will work with students, faculty and administrators to develop collaborations between leading tech companies, student curriculum and projects, and faculty research, and also direct out-of-classroom student activities such as hackathons and workshops.
"In the tech industry I've experienced firsthand how talented and entrepreneurial engineers are at the heart of productive change," said Pass, who graduated from Cornell with a computer science degree. "Now, I am honored to be joining the Cornell Tech team as we build a new kind of applied science education -- one that will better cultivate young engineers for technological innovation and entrepreneurship, and create new value in collaboration with the startups and creative companies that are making New York City a world tech leader."
"Greg Pass' work as an engineering leader at AOL and Twitter exposed him to some of the most challenging software engineering problems of the Internet era. It also exposed him to the challenges of building a team of high-quality software engineers and the need for many more talented software engineers," said Fred Wilson, managing partner at Union Square Ventures. "And finally, Greg is deeply connected to the startup and tech/Internet community which will be a boon for Cornell's campus in NYC. He's a great choice to be the school's entrepreneurial officer and leader."
"It is exciting to see such an esteemed institution as Cornell put a focus on technology and entrepreneurism with their new school in NYC," said Evan Williams, co-founder of Obvious, Twitter and Blogger. "They couldn't have made a better choice than Greg Pass to help establish the DNA of innovation from the beginning."
Though classes do not begin until the fall, CornellNYC Tech has already made enormous progress since being chosen as the winner of the city's Applied Sciences competition in December. Leadership of the new campus has been named, including Huttenlocher, Vice President Cathy Dove and Craig Gotsman, director of the Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute. Earlier this month, Cornell chose Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne to design the first academic building on the Roosevelt Island campus. A town hall forum was held on Roosevelt Island in April, just one of many opportunities for residents to get to know more about how the campus will benefit the entire Island. And earlier this week, it was announced that the tech campus would launch in temporary space this fall in Google's building in Manhattan.