Office of the Vice President

The Office of the Vice President leads and facilitates institutional research initiatives and supports research programs and infrastructure development. 

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senior leadership

Sylvia Wilson Thomas

Sylvia Wilson Thomas, PhD
Vice President for Research & Innovation, University of South Florida
President & CEO, USF Research Foundation, Inc.

Sylvia Wilson Thomas, PhD, is Vice President for Research & Innovation at the University of South Florida and President & CEO of the USF Research Foundation, Inc. As a member of USF’s presidential and provostial cabinets, Dr. Thomas directs, manages, and provides vision for USF’s $690M+ research and innovation enterprise. Through USF’s AAU (Association of American Universities) membership, Dr. Thomas serves as the AAU Senior Research Officer (SRO) for USF.   

She has contributed to USF’s efforts for research and innovation, executive leadership, strategic planning and renewal, faculty success, consolidation, cultural transformation and underserved community engagement, institutional partnerships (national and international), and student recruitment, workforce development, and research/high impact practice experiences. She has also fostered and been engaged in collaborations and engineering education efforts in Italy, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Portugal, South Korea, Mexico, Panama, and South Africa.

Read more about Vice President Sylvia Wilson Thomas

“As the USF research and innovation enterprise forges a path forward for growth, at the forefront will be my commitment to strengthen community engagement, excellence, and strategic priorities.”

Dr. Sylvia Wilson Thomas

Dr. Thomas is an Electrical Engineering full Professor, a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), and Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).  She leads the USF Advanced Membrane and Materials Bio and Integration Research (AMBIR) laboratory for biomedical, biological, and nano electronic device integration using advanced material systems for membrane technology. 

Having over 30 years of global experience with academia, non-profits, and industry, Dr. Thomas has authored numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, proceedings, presentations, and six book chapters, and her creative, current affairs-driven projects have been supported by a wide-range of funders, from USF seed grants to the National Science Foundation for over $4.8M. As an advocate for innovation and collaborative engagement, she has produced 12 patents/patent disclosures, and assisted in the success of such companies as Bell Labs, Agere Systems, Lucent, Kimberly Clark Corporation, IBM, and Procter & Gamble. 

Dr. Thomas serves as the president of the IEEE’s Engineering in Medicine and Biology Florida West Coast Section; Secretary/Treasurer of the Florida Education Fund; former advisor for the Society of Women Engineers, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and National Society of Black Engineers; and an inaugural member of the Board of Directors for Black Girls Code.  She is the recipient of the 2023 Top 50 Women Leaders In Education, the 2022 Florida Trend’s 500 Most Influential Business Leaders, and the 2020 Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) STEM Educational Leadership Award from US Black Engineer. 

Dr. Thomas holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Vanderbilt University, where she was a Patricia Roberts Harris Fellow, and earned her Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Howard University, as an NSF Materials Research Center of Excellence Fellow.

“As the USF research and innovation enterprise forges a path forward for growth, at the forefront will be my commitment to strengthen community engagement, excellence, and strategic priorities,”  Dr. Sylvia Wilson Thomas

Eddie Aikins - Executive Administrative Specialist


Keith Anderson

Keith Anderson, MS, CRA
Associate Vice President for Research, University of South Florida

Keith Anderson is Associate Vice President for Research at the University of South Florida, where he oversees the Sponsored Research, Research Integrity & Compliance, and Institutional Research Effectiveness and Assessment areas. He has served as a USF research administrator for more than 17 years, including as interim Vice President for Research, Innovation & Knowledge Enterprise during 2021.

He is an active member of the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA), the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR), and the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP), a cooperative initiative among 10 federal agencies and 217 research institutions. He holds a CRA certification from the Research Administrators Certification Council. He holds a master’s degree from Florida State University and a bachelor of arts from the University of Central Florida.

Lisa Giffen - Executive Administrative Specialist