Endowed Chair and Director
SmartState Center for Innovation + Commercialization
Laura B. Cardinal, Ph.D., is the Endowed Chair and Director of the SmartState® Center for Innovation + Commercialization at the University of South Carolina (USC) Darla Moore School of Business. Cardinal brings more than 30 years of innovation management scholarly and education experience to this role as director and educator. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Texas-Austin in organizational studies and has held previous faculty positions at the University of Houston, Tulane University, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Duke University, and Southern Methodist University.
As the SmartState Center’s leader, Cardinal not only helps bridge the gap between academia and commercialization, but also plays an integral role in preparing next generation business leaders and innovators through education informed by scholarship in the managing innovation arena. This is evident in her legacy of successfully implementing a new certificate program at the Darla Moore School of Business called the Strategic Innovation Certificate. The program focuses on preparing working professionals and graduate students from all walks of life to successfully navigate rapid technological changes across industries to help companies and organizations remain competitive in their fields.
Cardinal’s experiences include strategizing with major companies such as Sara Lee, Xerox, PARC, Rockwell, Reichold Chemicals, Human Systems Innovators, Inc., as consulting/executive education clients and business advising partners.
Her areas of expertise include managing innovation and R&D capabilities and understanding the evolution and adaptation of control systems and strategy in founding firms. Cardinal’s research appears in a number of journals including the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Annals, Organization Science, and Strategic Management Journal.
She has served on editorial review boards of esteemed academic publications, the Board of Governors of the Academy of Management, the Board of Directors of the Strategic Management Society, and grant panels for the National Science Foundation.