Kiyah Duffey joined the Fralin Life Sciences Institute at Virginia Tech as director of strategic innovations on July 25. 

In collaboration with Matt Hulver, executive director, Duffey is responsible for the management of a broad portfolio of strategic initiatives to spark innovation at the Fralin Life Sciences Institute and Virginia Tech through the development and execution of programs, initiatives, and research partnerships, advancing the institute’s national influence and reach.

Duffey will assist the executive director in driving all aspects of the institute’s strategic agenda from inception to execution — locally, domestically, and globally.

“Duffey is a highly resourceful individual with strong emotional intelligence, strategic-thinking, and strong analytical skills. We are excited to have her join the community to help drive the institute’s strategic agenda and create synergies with faculty, students, and staff," said Hulver. 

The Fralin Life Sciences Institute at Virginia Tech is an instrument of strategic university investment committed to improving the human condition by supporting life sciences research, education, and outreach across Virginia Tech and the world. 

“I am thrilled to be back at Tech in a position where I can use my previous experiences with corporate and nonprofit research and strategic planning to move the institute forward and achieve its broad mission of improving the human condition,” said Duffey. 

Duffey’s specific duties will include facilitating key strategic initiatives into actionable, measurable, and achievable project plans. She will also identify and track the full input and output portfolio across the Fralin Life Sciences Institute’s core services and affiliated centers to maximize their effectiveness, bolster successful existing programs, and leverage promising resources to advance the Institute’s mission and reputation.

Duffey holds a doctoral degree in nutritional epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a bachelor’s degree in psychology and neuroscience from Bowdoin College, located in Brunswick, Maine.

She is the author of more than three-dozen peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts focused on understanding the determinants of dietary intake and the long-term associations between dietary intake patterns, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome. Her research has influenced local and state policies and has been featured in Men’s Health Magazine, Oprah’s O Magazine, USA Today, and the BBC News and on NPR’s Morning Edition, Good Morning America, and the NBC Nightly News. 

In her previous consulting position, Duffey’s firm played a significant role in shaping the future of health for young children. In collaboration with The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Duffey conducted key stakeholder interviews and drafted strategic implementation plans for the foundation’s $500 million commitment to expand its reach into the pregnancy to age 5 space. With the Pew Charitable Trusts, she contributed to a health impact assessment of proposed rule changes to the Child and Adult Care Food Program, and drafted a three-year strategic action plan for Nemours following the Healthy Kids Healthy Futures 2016 Childhood Obesity Summit.