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Chris Norris, Executive Director of the Community of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Chris Norris, Executive Director of the Community of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

LSB Welcomes New Executive Director for CIE

Christopher Norris has been named the Executive Director of Santa Clara University's Community of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Santa Clara University is elevating an ambitious commitment to advancing a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship through a University-wide initiative for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. 

What better place than in the epicenter of innovation, the Silicon Valley?

We are pleased to announce that Christopher Norris will assume the role as the Executive Director, Community of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Santa Clara University.

Chris is a CEO, entrepreneur and consultant with a proven track record of building companies and leading organizations.  His expertise is built around years of direct, hands-on experience innovating, delivering products to the market, and building diverse, high performing teams.

Mr. Norris joined Alta Devices, a solar cell manufacturer, in May of 2008 as President and CEO shortly after its founding.  He led the company through multiple rounds of financing, raising over $100M, ultimately leading the company to a successful acquisition in 2014.  Prior to Alta Devices, he was a Venture Partner at Blue Run Ventures, focused on hardware investments.  Chris was the President and CEO at Micro Display Corporation, and led the transformation of the company from chip maker to high definition TV (HDTV) manufacturer. 

Chris started his career at Intel, where he worked in both manufacturing and development.  He has 7 issued patents, a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s in Computer Engineering.

For leisure, Chris is a long-distance runner, bicyclist, and swimmer, off-road motorcyclist, private pilot, avid home brewer, BJCP beer judge and amateur chef. And an enthusiastic user of new technologies and devices.

“I’m joining SCU because I want to have a broader and more profound impact on the next generation than I can achieve as CEO of any one company," said Chris. "The CIE, with its new scope spanning all of the colleges of SCU, is a unique opportunity to combine the breadth of disciplines at the University, the Jesuit mission of service to others, and our location in the most innovative region of the world into a program that will enable SCU’s students to have generations-long impact on improving the world.”

The University envisions a new Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE).  In addition to continuing many of the fruitful programs and activities already established in the areas of innovation and entrepreneurship, CIE will promote three remarkable initiatives that will set it apart from other university centers of entrepreneurship and elevate our impact throughout the world.  This transformative plan will infuse all elements with the values and spirit of the Jesuit tradition and institute a truly integrated and unified educational platform across the entire University. 

Those initiatives follow:

  • The Jesuit Perspective
  • Extreme Authenticity in New Learning Experiences
  • The Entrepreneurial Mindset

Jesuit education has distinguished itself in many ways from the business education offered by non-Jesuit business schools worldwide. This distinctiveness, grounded in Ignatian spirituality, includes an emphasis on five key themes:

  • The development of the moral and spiritual character of the manager
  • The responsibility to use one's managerial skills for the benefit of "others"
  • A concern for the welfare of employees in the manager's organization
  • A focus on the social impact of business and organizational decisions
  • A special concern for the poor and marginalized frequently left out of the economy

We have reason to believe that Santa Clara University—executing against this plan—will be the first undergraduate institution in the country to provide this kind of values-based collaborative, interdisciplinary education.

About Leavey School of Business
Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, one of the most dynamic business environments in the world, the Leavey School of Business combines academic excellence in the 450-year Jesuit tradition, with an energetic, innovative spirit that typifies the region. For more information, see


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