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The Director of the Global Innovation Fellow Program, Dr. Emer Dooley, explores her passion for teaching, innovation, and global health

The Director of the Global Innovation Fellow Program, Dr. Emer Dooley, explores her passion for teaching, innovation, and global health

Dr. Emer Dooley did not follow the standard path to academia. Her depth of experience in computer engineering and software development, coupled with her passion for teaching, helps Dr. Dooley mentor students today.

Growing up, Dr. Dooley recalls dreaming of becoming a high school teacher. However, her father encouraged her to pursue engineering. Dr. Dooley went off to college, following her father’s advice, attending the University of Limerick in Ireland where she received her Bachelor’s degree in computer engineering and electronics as well as her Master’s in computer engineering. After graduating, she spent her early career working as a Senior Design Engineer with Digital Equipment Corporation in Ireland, and later transferred to Boston. After several years at Digital Equipment Corporation, she left her position and became the Marketing Manager for the software company, Mosaix.

After five years of living and working in Boston, Dr. Dooley decided to join her husband in Seattle. As she settled in her new home, while happy personally, she felt something was missing professionally. This yearning led Dr. Dooley to return to school. She enrolled in the MBA program at the University of Washington where she completed her MBA in Strategic Management and Economics. She graduated from the program in 1992. Upon completion of graduate school, she went to work for a consulting firm and a tech start-up as a product manager. Although Dr. Dooley enjoyed business school, she felt working in marketing didn’t offer the kinds of challenges she was seeking.

This, however, did not impede on Dr. Dooley’s search to find her true calling. The desire to teach crossed her mind again—in fact, it never left. She reached out to her former professor, Dr. Gary Hansen at the business school for advice, mentioning her interest in teaching. He suggested she get her PhD in the School of Business Administration. Dr. Dooley followed his advice and applied for the PhD Program. As part of the program, Dr. Dooley had the opportunity to teach a class. This gave her a glimpse into teaching and launched her career in academia. In 1995, she joined the Foster School of Business as a faculty member where she taught the software development course using a business lens model with a focus on global health. Currently, Dr. Dooley serves as adjunct faculty and continues to teach at the Foster School of Business. She enjoys teaching at Foster because of its cross-disciplinary approach. Her interest in global health lead her to join the START team as a faculty lead through the Global Innovation Fellow Program partnership.

Dr. Dooley’s successful career did not come overnight. “I worked day and night in the early years of my career,” she says. It was when she came back for her PhD she felt things became much easier for her. She says, “…when you love what you do, work/life balance will come naturally.”

In addition to her work at University of Washington, Dr. Dooley serves as the Executive Director for the Alliance of Angels SEED Fund Committee and a board member for Women’s World Banking. Dr. Dooley’s passion for education and training is exhibited in her work with the Ashesi University Foundation, a private, non-profit liberal arts university located in Ghana, West Africa. She has helped fund the university since 2015 as an active board member. Dr. Dooley “hopes to inspire students by exploring the innovation, perseverance and passion of the great entrepreneurs of the Northwest.”