Board of Advisors Member, Chair
Cathy Swain is an Associate with Rainforest Strategies LLC (RFS), and Trustee of Barton Village, Vermont. RFS is an innovation science consultancy, working globally with corporations, large organizations and government entities to address organizational challenges in the domains of innovation culture, strategy, and leadership. We help business, community, and government leaders develop the conditions and culture that inspire innovation, which empowers entrepreneurs and drives sustainability, capacity, and velocity of economic and corporate development.
She was previously President/CEO of The Hub of Human Innovation and director of the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) Paso del Norte Clean Energy Incubator Program, and still serves on The Hub Board.
Swain joined The University of Texas System in 2005 to fill a new role as Director of Investment Oversight, helping the Board of Regents fulfill its fiduciary duty to manage more than $20 billion of UT System endowment and operating assets that the University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO) manages day-to- day. In September 2007, Ms. Swain assumed another new position as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Commercial Development in the UT System Office of Research and Technology Transfer. As the key contact person for UT commercialization activities System-wide, she launched and managed the Texas Ignition Fund ["Proof-of Concept"] that resulted in 23 startups in less than two years.
Swain is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) with broad experience through many market cycles and career achievements that bridge financial, academic, and economic development institutions, with a broad network and understanding of the university/community ecosystem for innovation through research commercialization. With experience that spans from startup ventures and "Main Street" rural community development to a major university endowment and Wall Street investment bank, she has served and coached many companies and non-profits regarding strategic and operational financial management and fiduciary practices. She is a respected teacher/coach, author, speaker/lecturer, and contributor to boards, investment committees, and industry associations.
Ms. Swain's extensive career as a senior executive includes roles in investment management emphasizing equity real estate, private equities, and venture capital startups. She has served on investment committees and boards; filled senior management roles in portfolio management, valuation, research, and consulting; performed due diligence and investment manager search; served as SVP/CFO - head of corporate operations for a regional economic development company and CEO of a regional property management company; lectured and taught professional workshops and college courses (online and classroom); authored published articles; and contributed in finance industry associations.