The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania has announced the appointment of Nathan Urban, Ph.D., Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Lehigh University, to its board of directors. Ben Franklin Northeast has had a decades long and mutually beneficial partnership with Lehigh, and Urban will continue the good work of now-retired board member and Lehigh Provost Alan J. Snyder, Ph.D.
As Lehigh’s provost since July 2020, Dr. Urban serves as the university’s chief academic officer and oversees all academic matters, while working collaboratively with the president and other university leaders. Additionally, he is leading the formulation and development of a new strategic plan that will guide the university’s growth into the next decade.
Prior to joining Lehigh, Dr. Urban held roles at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. At Carnegie Mellon, he was the Frederick Schwertz Distinguished Professor of Life Sciences and served as interim Provost. At Pitt, he was Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Strategic Initiatives and a faculty member in the Department of Neurobiology.
Dr. Urban graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1991 with a BS in Neuroscience and Mathematics and Philosophy. Following graduation, he attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar before returning to the University of Pittsburgh to earn his Ph.D. in Neuroscience.
After a postdoctoral fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg, Germany, Dr. Urban joined Carnegie Mellon’s Department of Biological Sciences. His scientific work focuses on experimental and computational analysis of sensory processing by brain circuits. Dr. Urban’s work has been funded by NIH, NSF, DARPA, AFOSR, the Simons Foundation, the Commonwealth of PA, and the Human Frontiers Science Program.
“For 40 years, Ben Franklin has been a highly-accomplished leader and catalyst in supporting northeastern Pennsylvania’s many important technology sectors,” said Dr. Urban. “Lehigh’s students, faculty, and staff have benefited greatly from Ben Franklin’s presence on our campus at the TechVentures technology business incubator. And Ben Franklin client companies have utilized Lehigh’s expertise, equipment, and centers of excellence to their substantial competitive advantage.”
“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Nathan Urban to our board,” said Angelo J. Valletta, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania. “Nathan’s extensive scientific expertise, outstanding leadership capabilities, and drive to enhance the region and world are huge assets to both Ben Franklin and Lehigh University.”