Tomás Díaz de la Rubia
Vice President for Research and Partnerships
Tomás Díaz de la Rubia is a science and technology leader, strategist and administrator with extensive experience in government, academia and the private sector. At present, Tomas is the Vice President for Research and Partnerships at the University of Oklahoma. In this capacity, he leads OU’s efforts to enhance the scale and scope of the university’s research enterprise, and to develop a new strategic framework for research to propel the university forward, particularly in the areas of national security, energy and sustainability, and the life sciences.
Prior to this assignment, Tomas was the Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at Purdue University. In that capacity, he helped the university pursue major new research initiatives and contracts, and led Discovery Park, a transdisciplinary complex of centers, institutes and facilities focused on turning new ideas and discoveries into disruptive innovations with global impact on society. During Tomas’ tenure at Purdue from September 2015 to September 2019, Discovery Park focused strategically on the development of real world solutions to major global challenges in health and the life sciences; sustainability and the nexus of energy, food, water, climate and the environment; and national security and defense. Over the same period, Discovery Park saw growth in research funding from industry, government, foreign institutions and philanthropic organizations of over 120%. Tomas was also responsible for the success of the Burton Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship and the Purdue Foundry, a hub to nurture and launch new start-up companies based on faculty and student intellectual property (IP) into the market. Over 100 new companies have been created over the last four years.
Prior to Purdue, Tomas worked for Deloitte Consulting, LLP where he was the innovation leader and a Director in the energy and resources industry practice. Based in Washington, D.C, he advised C-Suite executives at major multinational oil and gas companies and electrical utilities on ways to identify and capitalize on new technologies such as Internet of Things, additive manufacturing, robotics, augmented reality and wearable technologies, and predictive analytics.
Prior to joining Deloitte, Tomas was the Deputy Director for Science and Technology (DDST) at the U.S. Department of Energy Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California, where he served as the Laboratory’s Chief Research Officer (CRO) and oversaw a $250M program of basic and applied research in support of the Laboratory’s missions in science and technology, nuclear security, defense, counterterrorism, energy and technology commercialization.
In addition to these leadership roles, Tomas is a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Intelligence Community Studies Board, which was tasked in 2016 by the U.S. Director of National Intelligence and discusses science and technology issues of importance to the nation's intelligence community. He is a board member of the National Defense Industry Association and of CRDF Global. Among his hobbies, he is a member of the Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, a worldwide group dedicated to promoting the virtues of the wines and foods of Burgundy.