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University of South Dakota Names Mark Brown as President of the USD Discovery District

Mark Brown, USD Discovery District President Mark Brown, Ph.D., has been named the president of the USD Discovery District.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota announced the appointment of Mark Brown as the new president of the USD Discovery District today, Jan. 6.

“I am very excited that Mark will be leading the USD Discovery District as we enter its next phase of growth and expansion,” said USD President Sheila K. Gestring. “With his robust experience in research, development and leadership, I am confident Mark will make a tremendous impact across the region through continuous, innovation-focused economic development.”

Brown, who holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology from the University of Texas, has built his career in research and leadership at Colorado State University, where he has held various roles. Starting as a molecular oncologist in the Department of Clinical Sciences and the Director of the Office for Undergraduate Research, Brown went on to chair a graduate program where oversaw the faculty, administration and curriculum of a six-university consortium, including: Clemson University, Colorado State University, George Washington University, Indiana University, University of California and the University of Vermont. 

In 2014, Brown transitioned into the role of director in the Institute for Learning and Teaching where he led the Office for Undergraduate Research, the Office for Service Learning, the Office for Scholarship and Fellowship Advising, and Student Engagement while continuing to serve on faculty in clinical sciences. In addition to those roles, he became the executive lead of Global Health and Health Disparities in 2016 and the vice president for Research and Development at CBR International Corp (Biopharmaceutical Industry) in 2018. He has over 12 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and is certified in Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP), Good Clinical Practices (GCP) and Good Laboratory Practices (GLP), and he has many published works.

“This is a very exciting time for the USD Discovery District, and I am humbled for the opportunity to lead the research park forward,” said Brown. “With the exceptional Discovery District team, the industry-shaping tenants and business partners, and steadfast community support, I am certain USD will continue to impact not only the region but the entire state.”

Brown will begin his role as president Jan. 22. The USD Discovery District is a corporate and academic research park under development in Sioux Falls. Its mission is to foster innovation-focused development throughout the state.

ABOUT USD

Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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