BIO5’s Lisa Romero Named New Assistant VP in UArizona’s Office of Research, Innovation and Impact

Lisa Romero, a proven brand builder and native Tucsonan, brings three decades of experience developing and leading teams across academia, scientific, corporate and non-profit organizations to her new role as assistant VP of marketing and communications in the University of Arizona’s Office of Research, Innovation and Impact.

Reporting directly to Betsy Cantwell, senior VP of RII, Romero will work broadly within RII and across the entire university to develop and manage an integrated marketing and communications strategy that will expand awareness of UArizona’s research impact and thought leadership.

Romero is recognized for her expertise in collaborating across large and diverse enterprises and is highly connected both on campus and among key RII stakeholders. 

“As we envision the path for the University of Arizona to achieve $1B in annual research revenues and continued innovation that benefits our community, state and world, I have been keenly aware of the need to redesign, optimize and accelerate our marketing and 

communications efforts, said Cantwell. “I could not think of anyone more qualified than Lisa to build on the work she has helmed at the BIO5 Institute over the past 10+ years and assume leadership of efforts to elevate the entire UArizona research and innovation brand to national prominence.” 

Hired in March 2012, Romero built a team at BIO5 focused on advancing brand impact for an interdisciplinary, translational research institute with almost 400 members spanning 75 departments, centers, and institutes across UArizona. She served as one third of the enterprise wide BIO5 leadership team, and created sustainable, meaningful connections and partnerships across the university, community, and state.

“While I will greatly miss Lisa’s extraordinary leadership at BIO5, I can think of no one better suited for this new and important position for the university,” said Jennifer Barton, director of the BIO5 Institute. “I am glad to have her remain in the UArizona research family, and I am confident that Lisa will be a passionate steward and diligent advocate for the entire research, innovation and impact ecosystem.

Prior to BIO5, Romero led communications, marketing, and strategic outreach at organizations both here in Tucson and in Tempe, AZ, including: the Critical Path Institute; the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; RE/MAX All Executives; Tucson Association of REALTORS; Realty Executives of Tucson; Coldwell Banker Success Realty; and Eagle Management Company. She has also served as a consultant to many other organizations and leaders throughout her career.

Romero has a wide and effective network of contacts and colleagues and has built strong relationships with diverse stakeholders including the media, community and government leaders, business and industry partners, advisory board members, donors and alumni, faculty, students, staff colleagues, administration and university leadership. 

She understands higher education, research, science, business, the translation to improving life and advancing opportunity, and the role of the university in supporting the many communities it serves.

“I am honored to have been chosen as the inaugural leader for this role and can’t wait to get to work telling the story of one of the world’s top research institutions and the impact that it has on people in Arizona and the world,” said Romero. “I also feel fortunate every day to be able to support the work of impressive UArizona faculty, staff, and students through our efforts to connect their work to public good.”

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