Mark Billingsley New OIPC Director

January 11, 2021

Mark Billingsley
Mark Billingsley is director of the Office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization. Photo by JR Ancheta.

Congratulations are in order as Mark Billingsley has been recently promoted to the director of OIPC.  Mark brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from his position as OIPC’s Intellectual Property and Contracts director/patent attorney for the past four years.  He received a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Florida and a law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon.  Mark has an unshakable work ethic and a commitment to developing strategies that embrace innovation while creating opportunities in the wake of so much change at the University.  He will continue to be a game-changer and inspire others as he takes on this new role as director.

We would like to thank Gwen Holdmann for her leadership these past three years.  Gwen has pushed the envelope to achieve many accomplishments during her quarter-time appointment as director.  Gwen and Mark have made an unstoppable team working tirelessly to attract external funding and develop programming. In 2018, the launch of their flagship project became a reality and the Alaska Center for Innovation, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship, better known as Center ICE, was born.  It now provides funding opportunities and support to innovative Alaskans and acts as a bridge between the University of Alaska and the rest of the Alaskan community.   Gwen has blazed an impressive trail paving the way for numerous collaborative efforts in the future and will continue to contribute to the team as an OIPC Ambassador.  She has full confidence that under Mark’s direction, OIPC and Center ICE will continue on their current growth trajectory and keep working towards creating a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. 

The highly diverse team at OIPC / Center ICE has also undergone many changes in the past year.  We hired a program manager and patent attorney- David Park.  Peter Webley has transitioned from an ambassador to the deputy director.  Alex Hirsh recently came on as a new ambassador.  Nigel Sharp hired two incredible student ambassadors (Meg Waite and Solomon Himelbloom) to help create and promote the ongoing events and opportunities at Center ICE.  We have also had to bid farewell to wonderful teammates over the year as they move on to other exciting challenges and opportunities. Thanks to Ky Holland, Lesli Walls, Trey Coker, Erik Talvi, Gerald Montuya, and Zach Mason for their invaluable contributions to our success.  We are proud of our team and are looking forward to a proactive year ahead.