Jacqueline M. Olich, PhD, is an administrator, educator, author, speaker and entrepreneur with experience building partnerships and developing innovative research collaborations. She joined RTI in 2014, and as Vice President, University Collaborations, Dr. Olich shapes and implements institute-wide strategy that leverages mutually beneficial university collaborations to advance RTI’s growth in impact, stature, and financial strength. She leads RTI's University Collaboration Office (UCO), which promotes awareness of RTI’s services and capabilities on university campuses and facilitates connections that lead to relationships and research that improve the human condition.
As head of the UCO, Dr. Olich facilitates bilateral and multilateral university collaborations and oversees the RTI University Scholars Program and the RTI Internship Program. In partnership with the University Research Collaboration Committee (URCC), Dr. Olich led RTI’s novel Forethought Research Collaboration Challenge, a multi-million dollar investment in the Rapidly Emerging Antiviral Drug Development Initiative (READDI) team accelerating the production of antiviral drugs through a collaboration between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State University, and RTI. Additionally, Dr. Olich also led RTI’s participation in the Duke University-RTI Funds Launching Alliances for Research Exploration (FLARE), the NC State University Game-Changing Research Incentive Program (GRIP), and the RTI-UNC Gillings Initiative to Maximize Partnerships and Catalyze Teamwork (IMPACT). She represents RTI in the North Carolina Research Alliance.
Dr. Olich and her team facilitate key partnerships for RTI, including the RTI-UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health Preferred Partnership, the NCCU-RTI Strategic Partnership, as well as collaborations with Duke University, North Carolina State University, and institutions in the UNC System.
Prior to joining RTI, Dr. Olich was a member of the Graduate Faculty, Director of Graduate Studies in Russian and East European Studies and Associate Director of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies. Dr. Olich implemented and oversaw programs for a Duke-UNC Title VI U.S. Department of Education National Resource Center and administered more than $1.5 million in student fellowships.
Previously, she co-founded Diba Industries, Durham, NC, and Danbury, CT, helping to grow annual revenues to $12M (FY 2003), launching two locations and successfully selling the company in 2004 to the multinational Halma Technology Group.
Dr. Olich has presented at more than 60 conference sessions or workshops and published in academic publications, including the Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, the Journal of Multimedia History and the Encyclopedia of Russian History. Dr. Olich has served as a reviewer for The University of North Carolina Press, Environmental History, The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, and Canadian Slavonic Papers/Revue canadienne des slavistes. She co-authored “North Carolina State University and RTI International Game-Changing Research Incentive Program (GRIP),” in Good Practice Series 2017: Case Studies on University-Industry Engagement.
She is a member of the 2016-2017 class of Leadership North Carolina (LNC), which provides cutting-edge programming to current and emerging leaders from across the state. Dr. Olich is an adjunct associate professor in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health’s Public Health Leadership Program. A historian by training, she served on the Duke University NEH Next Generation PhD Advisory Committee. She received the Triangle Business Journal 2017 Women in Business Award in recognition of her commitment to mentoring. In 2021 she received the RTI President’s Award for her leadership of Forethought: The RTI $5M Research Collaboration Challenge. She is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors.
Dr. Olich is a champion for the advancement of women at all stages of their career. At RTI, Dr. Olich is co-executive sponsor for WALS, the Women’s Advancement, Leadership, and Success Employee Resource Group at RTI. She is also an affiliate of RTI’s Global Gender Center. Outside of RTI, she is a member of xElle Ventures, which discovers and makes loans to promising women business leaders and mentors them as they create successful companies while building a thriving women founder-investor ecosystem. Dr. Olich is a graduate and former member of the Advisory Board member of the BRIDGES Academic Leadership for Women Program and the Durham County Women’s Commission. She is a founding member of Chief, a network designed for women in the C-Suite, senior executives, and accomplished VPs to strengthen their leadership, magnify their influence, and pave the way to bring others with them. She serves on the board of the NC State Women in Technical Leadership Program.