The Ohio State University has selected technology executive Shereen Agrawal as the inaugural executive director of the Center for Software Innovation. She begins her appointment today, Sept. 18.
As executive director, Agrawal will implement strategies to carry out the center’s vision, build out world-class curriculum led by university and industry experts, expand experiential learning opportunities to prepare the future workforce and oversee the center’s daily operations.
“Throughout her career, Shereen has gained experience launching new technology, leading go-to-market initiatives, forging networks across global technology communities, and developing high-performing teams," said Ohio State Executive Vice President and Provost Melissa L. Gilliam. “These experiences, combined with her passion for cultivating community and fostering students’ potential, will be vital as she grows the center’s team."
Driven by the vision of software entrepreneur and investor Ratmir Timashev, a historic $110 million gift from the Timashev Family Foundation established the Center for Software Innovation, which will expand opportunities for students in entrepreneurship and advance education in software innovation, product management, sales and marketing. Bringing together the College of Engineering, Fisher College of Business and other partners in creative new ways, the center aims to catalyze efforts across the region to create a hub for innovation, entrepreneurship and product development activity.
“This is an exciting new day for the Center for Software Innovation, Ohio State and the city of Columbus," said Ratmir Timashev, who serves as chair of the center’s advisory council. “Shereen understands entrepreneurship and knows what it takes to harness innovation at scale. I’m looking forward to her leadership and all that’s ahead."
Agrawal most recently has served as co-founder and managing partner of Embedded Services, a central Ohio-based consulting firm focused on product and go-to-market strategies. Previously, she served as vice president of business development at Columbus-based Root Insurance where she led major software partnerships. Agrawal has also advised student-led ventures as an executive in residence for Ohio State.
“I am a strong believer in the power of community and ecosystems and am excited to build this future for global innovation in Columbus and at Ohio State," Agrawal said. “The pace of innovation and change is quickly accelerating. With the rapid adoption of AI, automation and more, it is more critical than ever to equip students with the skills to not only adapt but also thrive."
Before returning to her native state of Ohio, Agrawal worked in Silicon Valley, where she held roles at Intel Corp. and Twitter. As part of the finance team at Intel, she focused on developing a competitive advantage in new mobile technology. Her roles at Twitter involved developing an ecosystem of software startups connected to the company’s data products to enable new consumer experiences while growing a novel revenue stream.
Agrawal earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan.