Dr. Helena Wisniewski

Professor of Entrepreneurship

Management, Marketing, Logistics, and Business Analytics [Chair]
Helena Wisniewski


Dr. Helena S. Wisniewski, is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, in recognition of creating and facilitating inventions that have a tangible impact on society, improving the quality of life and contributing to economic development. She has extensive executive and leadership experience in industry, government, and academia, and service on public and private boards of directors. She served as a senior executive at the Lockheed Corporation, and a Vice President at the Titan Corporation, and ANSER. As CEO and founder of Aurora Biometrics she built an international business, and sold the company. She is a technological entrepreneur who has formed numerous startups across diverse areas, raised investment and sold companies. While at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), she identified and directed many breakthrough advances in science and engineering including AI, as the Manager of the Applied and Computational Mathematics Program that she created. Prior to DARPA, she served at the CIA. At UAA, she served for seven years as Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Studies where she led and grew the research enterprise, established the first technology commercialization infrastructure at UAA and dramatically increased the number of patents. Together with faculty she formed the first four UAA startups, and one received a “Best University Startup,” award from NCET2. She established the UAA Patent Wall of Fame, and the Innovate Awards that brought a six to one return on research investment. She is the Founding Director of the Arctic Domain Awareness Center (ADAC). She created ADAC to develop technologies to improve crisis response to Arctic maritime challenges, and led the effort that won it a multi-million dollar award from DHS. As a tenured Professor of Entrepreneurship in the College of Business and Public Policy, she established the first Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors in Alaska at UAA, and developed and taught their first AI course. She is the Chair, Management and Marketing Department. Prior to UAA, she was the Vice President for Research and Enterprise Development at Stevens Institute of Technology, where she tripled research revenues, launched nine startups and sold two.

Among her awards are the Distinguished Alumni Award from William Paterson University, the 2001 Women in Technology Award for Entrepreneurship, Award of Honor in Recognition of Extraordinary Leadership, and Management from Lockheed, Special Recognition Award from DARPA, a Special Achievement Award from CIA, and Teaching excellence Award from Virginia Tech.. She earned a PhD in mathematics from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, an MS in Math from Stevens Institute of Technology, and BA in Math from William Paterson University. In the community, the Governor appointed her to serve on the New Industry Development Team, She is a Member of the Anchorage International Rotary Club, and a Paul Harris Fellow, Member, Commonwealth North and an Alumni Member of the FBI Citizens Academy.


  • “WHAT IS THE BUSINESS WITH AI? PREPARING FUTURE DECISION MAKERS AND LEADERS”, Technology & Innovation/National Academy of Inventors (2020)
    Journal Article
  • “Creating an Ecosystem for Academic Entrepreneurship”, World Scientific (2020)
  • “Creator and editor of "Innovation Frontier" UAA's Annual Research Report”, (2017)
    Magazine/Trade Publication
  • “Entrepreneurship in Biomedical Engineering, from Classroom to Corporation: A Model and Case Study”, (2007)
    Journal Article
  • “Biometrics: Making Life Simpler, Safer and More Secure”, (2001)
    Journal Article
  • “Nonlinear Dynamics -the Enabling Technology for the Next Generation of Telecommunication and Signal Diagnostic Systems”, (1992)
    Journal Article
Additional Research

Education & Affiliations


The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, PhD in Mathematics
Stevens Institute of Technology, MS in Mathematics
William Paterson University, BA in Mathematics


Fellow, National Academy of Inventors (FNAI)
National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer (NCET2)
Anchorage International Rotary Club, Paul Harris Fellow (AIRC)
Federal Bureau of Investigation Citizens Academy (FBI)
Commonwealth North
National Council of Entrepreneurial Technology Transfer (NCET2)
Armed Forces Communication and Electronics Association (AFCEA)
New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS)
SPIE, International Society for Optical Engineering.
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Sr. Member (AIAA)
Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM)