The University of Arizona has named Jon Dudas as senior associate to the president and secretary of the university.
In the newly created position, Dudas will help facilitate the UA's relationship with the Arizona Board of Regents and Arizona's other public universities. He will report directly to UA President Ann Weaver Hart and serve as a member of her cabinet.
"We're excited to welcome Jon and his family to the University of Arizona," Hart said. "In a time when synergistic partnerships are so critical to our success, he will serve in a valuable role, making sure that our relationships with the Arizona Board of Regents and our institutional peers in the state remain productive and strong."
Dudas worked for the U.S. government for 14 years, most recently as under secretary of commerce for intellectual property and director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He served in the position from 2004 to 2009, overseeing 9,000 employees and a nearly $2 billion annual budget.
"As secretary of the university, his experience in Washington, D.C., as the director of the Patent and Trademark Office and his private business experience will aid the University of Arizona as we advance the critical synergies required for our plan for the university, 'Never Settle,' to achieve its goals," Hart said.
During his time at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Dudas spearheaded several patent cooperation and development missions with China, India, Europe, Brazil and other countries, working to improve intellectual property systems globally.
Prior to directing the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, he served as the counsel for legal policy and senior floor assistant to Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Dennis Hastert, and as staff director and deputy general counsel of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.
Following his U.S. government tenure, Dudas served as the president of FIRST, a nonprofit organization that aims to inspire children to pursue majors and careers in STEM – science, technology engineering and math – fields. He also was a partner in the law firm Foley & Lardner LLC, where he specialized in international intellectual property strategy and policy.
He currently serves on the board of directors of Conversant Intellectual Property Management.
Dudas has a law degree from the University of Chicago and a bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Illinois. He began his career in private legal practice in Chicago.
He and his wife, Nicole, have four children; the oldest is a student at the UA.
"I am excited to join the University of Arizona, and I look forward to contributing to its ongoing success as Arizona's land-grant research university," Dudas said. "The work being done on this campus has an impact not only in Arizona, but across the nation and the world. I'm eager for the opportunity to work with this community of innovative thinkers and doers in support of the state's higher education enterprise and the UA's mission."