By Tina Hilding, Voiland College of Engineering & Architecture
PULLMAN, Wash. – Kim Zentz, former chief executive officer of the Innovate Washington Foundation, has been named director of Washington State University’s engineering and technology management (ETM) program.
A WSU alumna, she has held a number of leadership positions in the utilities, alternative energy technology, economic development and transportation sectors. She was chief executive officer of two public agencies and co-founder, president and chief operating office of a technology startup enterprise.
WSU’s ETM program offers master’s degrees in engineering and technology management and graduate certificates for engineering and business professionals. Established in 1982, the program lets professional engineers learn skills in managing projects, people and technology in the workplace. It was named by US News & World Report among the best online graduate engineering programs for the past two years.
“Kim has been a longtime and enthusiastic supporter of our WSU programs,” said Candis Claiborn, dean of the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture. “She has a keen understanding of this program’s importance in growing and strengthening Washington state’s technology sector. With her leadership, I look forward to watching the program continue to grow and flourish.”
At Innovate Washington, Zentz led efforts to reduce fragmentation and to increase focus on sector-based results for the state’s technology-based economic development efforts. The agency is a statewide public-private partnership that has attracted millions of dollars of nonstate capital to leverage state investment in the innovation-based economy.
Zentz led the Spokane Intercollegiate Research & Technology Institute, a Washington economic development agency, and held senior leadership positions at the Spokane Transit Authority, Avista Laboratories and Avista Corporation.
She has served on a number of boards and commissions, including the Governor’s Clean Energy Leadership Council, United Way of Spokane County, Greater Spokane Incorporated, Mobius Science Center and Washington Technology Center. She has served on the advisory boards for area engineering programs, including WSU’s Voiland College, University of Idaho and Gonzaga University.
She has been recognized with several awards, including Catalyst Innovator of the Year from the University District Development Association in Spokane, Woman of Achievement in Science from the YWCA, and Pivotal Leader from the Clean Energy Business Network.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from University of Idaho and a master’s degree in engineering management from WSU.
Zentz replaces longtime director John Ringo, who recently retired after 42 years with the college.