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Carol Dahl

Executive Director, The Lemelson Foundation


Carol Dahl is the Executive Director of the Lemelson Foundation and leads the Foundation’s work to use the power of invention to improve lives. The Foundation inspires and enables the next generation of inventors and invention-based enterprises to promote economic growth and address critical challenges in the U.S., and to help solve social and economic problems for the poorest populations in developing countries. The Foundation focuses on supporting Impact Inventing, targeting social impact, environmental responsibility and creation of products and businesses that are financially self-sustaining.

Prior to joining the Foundation in July 2011, Carol worked for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in various roles, including founding Director of the Global Health Discovery Program. During her tenure at the Gates Foundation, Carol built the platform discovery innovation programs Grand Challenges in Global Health and Grand Challenges Explorations.

Previously, Carol worked at a start-up diagnostics company leading partnerships and at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) in several capacities, including Director of the Office of Technology and Industry Relations at the National Cancer Institute and Program Director at the National Center for Human Genome Research.

Dahl received a bachelor's degree from the University of Iowa, masters and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and served on the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh.

Carol currently serves on the Advisory Group for the USAID Global Development Lab, the Engineering for Global Development Committee of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and the Executive Committee of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, as well as in the role of Chair of the Life Science Discovery Fund Board of the State of Washington.