Samar Kaukab

Exec Dir, University-Natl Lab Research Collaborations
The University of Chicago

Samar Kaukab recently served as Executive Director for Arete, an entrepreneurial research accelerator in the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research, Innovation and National Laboratories at the University of Chicago. In this role, she
led a multi-unit team working closely with faculty, senior administrators, and external
partners to launch and explore — often unorthodox — ways to generate, facilitate, support, and creatively communicate large-scale research initiatives across the
University and affiliated national laboratories. Previously, as co-founder and managing director of the Big Ideas Generator (BIG), a highly innovative internal funding platform for field-changing and ambitious research projects at the University of Chicago, Samar led a team in testing and exploring creative approaches in operationalizing the funding and assessment of risky but promising new ideas in basic research. Currently, Samar focuses on developing advocacy communications strategies for executive leadership at the University of Chicago and affiliated national laboratories. She is passionate about new approaches to pure research, social policy,
infrastructure and urban planning, and the evolution of identity and community in modern America. Samar got to hang out with President Obama for the day when he came to SXSW. She enjoys traveling, literature, and skiing. In addition to speaking
Urdu and Punjabi, she is currently learning French but is only 24% fluent according to Duolingo.

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