Fiona Murray is the Associate Dean of Innovation and Inclusion at the MIT School of Management and the William Porter (1967) Professor of Entrepreneurship. She is the codirector of MIT’s Innovation Initiative and Faculty Director of the MIT Legatum Center for Entrepreneurship and Development. Fiona is an associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. She received her BA ’89 and MA ‘90 from the University of Oxford in chemistry. She subsequently moved to the United States and earned an AM ’92 and PhD ’96 from Harvard University in applied sciences.
Fiona serves on the British Prime Minister’s Council on Science and Technology and was awarded a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) for her services to innovation and entrepreneurship in the United Kingdom. She is also a member of the Ministry of Defence Innovation Advisory Panel and the European Innovation Council Joint Expert Group. She also sits on a number of Boards including Prime Coalition (a not-for-profit creating new venture fund with catalytic capital to support start-ups focused on climate impact) and MassChallenge (one of the first large-scale accelerators in New England supporting entrepreneurs solving significant global issues).
Murray is an international policy expert on the transformation of investments in science and technology into deep-tech start-up ventures that solve significant global challenges and create national advantage – from defence and security to health, food and water security. Her work includes understanding new funding approaches for innovations that arise from scientific research, and educating the next generation of technical leaders to build effective ventures. She has focused on the particular issues faced by ventures who have dual-use (commercial and government) solutions and work in contexts characterized by complex global power competition. She also works with large public and private sector organizations to effectively drive their strategic goals by linking to external innovation ecosystems especially universities, start-ups, and risk capital.
Through her leadership role in the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program, Murray has engaged across many global regions in designing and evaluating the policies and programs that shape vibrant innovation ecosystems: including across the UK, Europe, and the Middle East. She is particularly focused on how regions can build more inclusive innovation ecosystems that allow for diverse innovators to focus on their most significant challenges and to build on their most substantial advantages. Her work on leading innovation from the perspective of public and private sector leaders is published in the Sloan Management Review and Harvard Business Review as well as in a series of case studies.
In her recent scholarship, Murray has emphasized the ways in which women and under-represented minorities are engaged in or excluded from innovation using large-scale data analysis, building metrics and indices of inclusion and using experimental approach. Her research has explored the ways in which different approaches to evaluating early-stage ideas can overcome the unconscious bias that she has documented in entrepreneurial funding. She has also done extensive economic evaluation of the impact of different policies (national and organizational) on scientific competitiveness and scientific communities. Her work is widely published in Science, Nature, New England Journal of Medicine, Nature Biotechnology, American Journal of Sociology, Research Policy, Organization Science, and the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.
Fiona brings her deep appreciation of science and technology to an understanding of global innovation economy and to the ways in which the next generation of global innovators and the policymakers who support them can be effectively educated. She teaches IDEA Week (Innovation-driven Entrepreneurial Advantage) to the MIT Executive MBAs, a series of Executive Education programs in corporate innovation, and has taught public sector executives (especially those in frontline settings such as security, defence and health) to effectively lead innovation in their organizations. Most recently, Fiona developed a new course joint with the MIT School of Engineering to educate the next generation of scientists and engineer to become chief technology officers taking ideas from inception to impact.