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Tonya Kilpatrick

Director & Success Catalyst

Atlanta, GA


A high-performing, success-driven, transformational leader and Six Sigma Black Belt with over 15 years of unique and diversified wealth of knowledge, expertise, and business acumen in Administration, Business Development and Operations who creates solutions to achieve organizational objectives, enhance operational excellence, optimize bottom-line performance, increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, and increase revenue; Successful in delivering influential presentations to key decision makers; Capable of integrating strategies to optimize performance and lead high performing teams; Collaborative in working internal and external constituents, business leaders, government agencies, and key-decision makers; Conversant with technology and technology transfer issues. 
 Lean Six Sigma Black Belt 
 Extramural/Research Administration 
 Business Development 
 Program & Project Management 
 Change Management 
 Process Improvement 
 Financial Management  
 Team Facilitation 
 Balanced Scorecard Development  
 Strategic Planning  
 Infrastructure Development 
 Cross-functional Collaboration 
 Operations Management 
 Budget Development 
 Developed and submitted more than $100 million through federal, state, and corporate foundations including NSF, US DOE, NIH, NEA and NEH, DoD, NASA, DoE, and DoED. 
 Transformed teams to drive change and increase effectiveness. 
 Developed and implemented growth strategies to drive productivity and increase revenue. 
 Implemented targeted training initiatives to increase extramural funding, faculty engagement, and cross-disciplinary collaboration. 
 Developed SWOT analyses, balanced scorecards, strategic growth objectives and metrics to enhance and measure, manage and communicate organizational objectives. 
 Applied Lean Six Sigma principles to standardize and streamline processes optimize operations, increase speed and quality, and eliminate redundancy.  
● Enterprise Evaluation & Infrastructure Development ● Business Case Development ● Team Mentoring, Coaching & Group Facilitation ● Collaboration & Results ● Decision Maker Buy-In ● Transformational Leadership ●

Work Experience

Director for Research and Sponsored Programs

Clark Atlanta University
Atlanta, GA

September 2011 to Present

Key Accomplishments: Implemented a Lifecycle Grants Management infrastructure (funding identification, proposal and budget development, award negotiations, award management, monitoring, reconciliation, and analysis) to provide a one-stop-shop for researchers while increasing efficiency and customer satisfaction; Enhanced tracking and reporting capabilities with the application of Lean Six Sigma to standardize and streamline processes, optimize operations, increase speed and quality, and improve document management system; Administered more than $20M in extramural funds, contracts and cooperative agreements and created an integrative system for fiscal management of divisional operating budget; Created growth strategies to increase research productivity by 50%, increase extramural funding by $10 million, and facilitate faculty engagement and grantsmanship. 
• Direct the central research administration office and provide leadership to create an infrastructure that supports and stimulates research activity. 
• Implement initiatives to develop, standardize, and continuously improve operating procedures and processes and document management system. 
• Establish sustainable business practices and ensure a culture of continuous process improvement and accountability, which enabled the university to complete the federal compliance agreement mandated by the Department of Energy. 
• Lead proposal development and submit funding proposals to NSF, US DOE, NIH, NEA and NEH, DoD, NASA, DoE, and DoED and corporate foundations in excess of $70 million. 
• Transform teams and infrastructures to drive positive change, increase effectiveness, and achieve targeted goals and outcomes. 
• Advance and coordinate intellectual property, technology transfer, and patenting and licensing processes to facilitate the commercialization of technologies and inventions. 
• Coordinate faculty participation in the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). 
• Create a customer satisfaction survey with an 80% response rate to achieve a culture of service and responsiveness, optimize operations, and improve service delivery. 
• Develop comprehensive and integrative quarterly financial and resource utilization reports, SWOT analyses, scorecards, strategic growth objectives and metrics to enhance and measure the research enterprise. 
• Design, lead, and implement targeted training initiatives to increase extramural funding, faculty engagement, and cross-disciplinary collaboration. 
• Formalize complaint research practices and ensure compliance to promote ethical and responsible conduct of research. 
• Identify best practices for Research Administration and present findings to constituents and national conferences and consortiums. 
• Lead proposal development teams and review submissions of grant awards to ensure adherence to academic and research policies and compliance with applicable laws.

Deputy Associate/Special Assistant to Vice Chancellor

Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia
Atlanta, GA

March 2002 to June 2011

Key Accomplishments: Developed the infrastructure for research administration and procedures for pre/post award management of more than $60 million of cross-disciplinary and multi-institutional extramurally funded awards; Increased system-wide enrollment by 30% by developing strategies to improve teacher preparation programs, degree offerings, and program delivery. Led the USG Annual Combined Charitable Giving Campaign and increased charitable contributions by 100%; Received The Governor’s Cup and Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Leadership and Project Execution. 
• Directed administration of department and executed Six Sigma projects and process improvement initiatives to develop, standardize, and continuously improve operating procedures and processes. 
• Developed proposal for the National Science Foundation that resulted in $35 Million award for Partnership for Reform of Science and Mathematics (PRISM) initiative. 
• Created strategic plans and organizational performance goals. 
• Coordinated and served on the African American Male Initiative K-12 Pipeline Subcommittee and co-work Subcommittee Report and submitted recommendations for improving graduation rates for African American males. 
• Led special projects and continuous improvement initiatives across University System of Georgia (USG) and developed training, workshops on proposal writing, project development, and extramural fund administration. 
• Developed a Balanced Scorecard to strategically manage, measure success, and communicate organizational objectives. 
• Delivered project presentations to constituents and developed relationships with governors, university presidents, vice presidents, faculty and staff, state and local superintendents, legislators, and external constituents. 
• Identified opportunities to improve performance and transform department-wide business processes and systems.

Business Administrator

Florida State University, Institute of Molecular Biophysics
Tallahassee, FL

March 1998 to June 2002

Key Accomplishments: Successfully designed, planned and implemented the International Symposium for the Inaugural Center of Excellence in Molecular Biophysics, including research forums and faculty poster sessions; Managed more than $12 million in extramural funds and led proposal development and submissions. 
• Developed budgets and submitted multi-investigator federal grant proposals to the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute of Health (NIH), and the American Cancer Society. 
• Created comprehensive marketing and communications plans for symposia, conferences, meetings, and special events.


Lean Six Sigma

Georgia State University -
Atlanta, GA

January 2007

Project Management Leadership

Georgia Institute of Technology -
Atlanta, GA


B.S. in Business Administration

Florida A&M University -
Tallahassee, FL



Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, Word, Excel, Visio, PowerPoint, and MS Project, Research Administration, Operations Management, Balanced Scorecard Development, Program & Project Management, Sustainability and Process Improvement, Strategic and Succession Planning, Presentation and Pubic Speaking, Lean Methodology, Grant Preparation and Submission, Conference and Event Planning, Budget Development, Social Media Marketing, Group Facilitation, Team Building, Cross-functional Collaboration, Graphic and Website Design


Lean Six Sigma Black Belt

Project Management Leadership

Additional Information

• Bachelor’s degree in business administration, over 15 years in research administration, 11 years in senior leadership capacities, serving as a member of the senior leadership team.  
• Significant experience in research administration in a university setting. 
• Proficient knowledge and experience with intellectual property and technology transfer practices and procedures. 
• Experienced in electronic grants submissions through, NSF Fastlane, eRA Commons and other electronic proposal systems.  
• Proficient knowledge and understanding of related OMB circulars A-21, A-110, and A-133 Circulars.  
• Demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously to meet deadlines. 
• Proven track record of success working with faculty, researchers, and administrators across departments, disciplines and with representatives of external bodies  
• Experienced in preparing, reviewing and negotiating contracts with external funding agencies. 
• Experienced in working with program officers and acting as an effective liaison between investigators and funding agencies. 
• Strong familiarity with Federal Agencies, State Agencies, Private, and Corporate Foundation entities. 
• Knowledge of and ability to interpret, explain, and apply internal and external regulations and policies governing sponsored research. 
• Demonstrated budget development, financial reporting, analysis, and forecasting.  
• Demonstrated leadership, management, and administrative experience in Research Administration and Life Cycle Grants Management. 
• Demonstrated expertise gathering qualitative and quantitative data, conducting research, creating PowerPoint presentations, and drafting speeches/talking points for presentations.  
• Strong problem-solving and analytical skills to master complex issues and convey concise information and summary reports to internal and external constituencies.  
• Strong leadership skills to facilitate communication and collaboration.  
• Solid project management (Gantt, Pert, etc.) and process improvement (DMAIC, DMADV, etc.).  
• Lean Six Sigma trained and certified with a high commitment to customer service and continuous process improvement.  
• Demonstrated extramural fund preparation, submission, and management experience in excess of $100 million in funded awards.