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Cassandra Lucas

Speaker 11 - Cassandra Lucas
BA 1995 - History & Sociology
National President
Mortar Board
Phoenix, AZ

Cassandra Lucas is National President for Mortar Board, a national honor society recognizing college seniors for their exemplary scholarship, leadership, service, and equity.

Cassandra is a mission-driven leader with over twenty-five years of research administration, operations, program development, and strategic planning experience. She has developed performance-based, team-focused operational approaches through the creation of customer service-oriented environments.

Most recently, Cassandra has served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. She was responsible for the administration of the Institute including the operations of sponsored programs, research integrity and compliance, sponsored research finance, clinical trials, communications, research development, scientific research services, research biorepository, research IT and informatics, and innovation program; fiscal management of the research institute; and the operation of assignment of research facilities.

She orchestrated the logistics of Manne Research Institute’s move from Lincoln Park to Streeterville's Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center in 2019, and quickly pivoted to management of a rapidly shifting response under COVID-19 to generate the protocols and facilitate remote functionality that allowed continued research operations.

Cassandra contributed to the recruitment of more than 40 new faculty and administrative leaders, successfully negotiated new indirect rates, and ensured reaccreditation by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs. Prior to joining the Manne Research Institute, Cassandra was the Vice President for Research Administration and Operations Management at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) where she led the Institute’s research administration and operation functions, including the Office of Sponsored Research, Office of Research Compliance and Quality Management, Clinical Research Coordination, Scientific Affairs, and Project Management, and ensured effective services and operational efficiencies were provided to the researchers and the Institute.

Additional positions include: Executive Administrator for the Department of Microbiology at the University of Chicago from 2004-2007, Financial Administrator, Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology at the University of Chicago from 2001 2004, and Administrative Coordinator, Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota from 1996-2001. Cassandra received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and her B.A. from Purdue University. She also holds a Certificate from the Chicago Graduate School of Business Management Institute and is a Certified Research Administrator. In 2020, Crain’s Chicago Business honored her as one of its Notable Women in STEM.