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Katie Bowler Young selected to lead University Collaborations at RTI International

The senior director brings more than 20 years of higher education experience to the position

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Nonprofit research institute RTI International has selected Katie Bowler Young to lead the University Collaboration Office (UCO) as the senior director. In her new role, she will serve as the strategic lead focused on partnerships and linkages with leading academic institutions in North Carolina, across the U.S. and around the world.  

“Collaboration with universities has been essential to our work since we were founded 65 years ago,” said RTI President and CEO Tim J. Gabel. “Katie’s proven experience in higher education coupled with her strong strategic and operational leadership skills make her uniquely qualified to take our program to the next level.”

In 2020 RTI's Board of Governors established a governance committee to encourage and foster research collaboration between RTI and NC-based universities. “As the chair of the University Research Collaboration Committee, I look forward to continuing to work closely with Katie in her new role,” said Christy Shaffer, Ph.D., RTI Board of Governors member. “She is an exemplary leader who has a proven track record of facilitating and fostering positive working relationships among diverse groups. The University Collaboration Office is vital to our work across multiple institutions to improve the human condition.”

Bowler Young joined RTI in 2022 as the operations director for UCO and most recently served as the interim leader for the office. Previously, she led global relations, partnerships and programs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. There she facilitated a complex web of international strategic partnerships, developed consortia, oversaw the development and renewal of articulation agreements, and helped to attract more than $21.5 million to support global education and research. She also served as head of global communications and events for UNC Global before lending her communications, marketing and business development expertise to Duke University.

In 2021, Bowler Young was awarded a North Carolina Governor’s Award for Excellence for Outstanding Government Service for her work to secure global education at UNC-Chapel Hill during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. She was awarded a Fulbright-Nehru International Educator Administrator award to deepen partnerships with academic institutions in India. She is the author of three books, including a biography, Enrique Alférez: Sculptor, and two books of poetry: Through Water with Ease and State Street. Bowler Young has been a reviewer for the Carolina Quarterly and frequently speaks on topics including international education, arts, and community relations and virtual education. She is also a visiting scholar at the UNC Institute for the Study of the Americas.

RTI’s University Collaboration Office was established in 2014 to promote awareness of the institute’s services and capabilities on university campuses and to facilitate connections and relationships that improve the human condition. Today, its focus is on leveraging university collaborations to advance RTI's growth in impact, scientific stature, innovation and financial strength, while enhancing RTI’s visibility through the UCO’s role to convene universities. Other responsibilities include administering bilateral and multilateral partnerships, such as the $5M+ Forethought Research Collaboration Challenge.

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