Improving lives through invention

The Lemelson Foundation Expands Expertise in Science and Technology Leadership and Developing Country Entrepreneurship

New Program Officer and Advisory Committee Member Enhance Bench of Experts in Education, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Emerging Markets, Global Health and Social Enterprise

The Lemelson Foundation, the world’s leading funder of invention in service of social and economic change, today announced the addition of Thomas Kalil to its Advisory Committee and Maggie Flanagan to its staff as a Program Officer leading its Developing Country Entrepreneurship Initiative.

Kalil, currently a philanthropic advisor to former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and most recently a science and technology adviser in the Obama and Clinton Administrations, will provide strategic counsel for the Foundation’s program development and implementation. Flanagan, who most recently led partnerships and strategy from the Kenya office of the social enterprise Village Industrial Power, will lead the Foundation’s entrepreneurship work in developing countries.

“We’re delighted to welcome Tom Kalil and Maggie Flanagan to The Lemelson Foundation,” said Executive Director Carol Dahl. “Mr. Kalil’s extensive science and technology experience in government, academia and the private sector offers a comprehensive strategic perspective to the Foundation’s work. Ms. Flanagan brings on-the-ground experience cultivating entrepreneurs, and will bolster the Foundation’s efforts to support invention and entrepreneurship in developing countries.”

About Thomas Kalil

Thomas Kalil is a global leader in science and technology issues spanning across government, the private sector and academia. He currently serves as Chief Innovation Officer to Schmidt Futures.

Kalil previously served in the Obama Administration as Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation  for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, as well as Senior Advisor for Science, Technology and Innovation for the White House National Economic Council. During the Clinton Administration, he was Deputy Assistant to President Clinton for Technology and Economic Policy and the Deputy Director of the National Economic Council.

In academia, Kalil served as Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Science and Technology at the University of California, Berkeley, where he developed new multi-disciplinary research and education initiatives spanning information technology, nanotechnology, microsystems and biology. He also launched the “Big Ideas @ Berkeley” program to support multidisciplinary teams of Berkeley students interested in addressing economic, environmental and societal challenges. Kalil earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and international economics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and completed graduate work at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

For more information about The Lemelson Foundation Advisory Committee, visit

About Maggie Flanagan

Maggie Flanagan is an experienced entrepreneur and adviser to startups focused on supporting market-based solutions to environmental and social problems.

Flanagan most recently served as a Vice President for Business Development in the Kenya office of Village Industrial Power, a social enterprise startup dedicated to providing clean and cost-effective energy sources for farmers in developing countries. She previously served as Director of Entrepreneur Programs at Rocky Mountain Innosphere in Fort Collins, Colorado, where she provided assistance to emerging companies and managed external partnerships with universities, government offices and corporations.

Maggie began her career as a Peace Corps volunteer, working as a Community Health and Development Volunteer in Madagascar. She received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a major in Journalism and Mass Communications and a minor in Political Science, and an MBA in Global and Sustainable Enterprise from Colorado State University.

About The Lemelson Foundation

Based in Portland, The Lemelson Foundation uses the power of invention to improve lives. Inspired by the belief that invention can solve many of the biggest economic and social challenges of our time, the Foundation helps the next generation of inventors and invention-based businesses to flourish. The Lemelson Foundation was established in the early 1990s by prolific inventor Jerome Lemelson and his wife Dorothy. To date the Foundation has made grants totaling more than $225 million in support of its mission. For more information, visit

Related Stories