Clare Leinweber to Join Tsai CITY as Executive Director

The Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale (Tsai CITY) is pleased to announce Clare Leinweber as its next executive director. Beginning in mid-summer, Leinweber will lead Tsai CITY in its mission to inspire and support students from diverse backgrounds and disciplines to seek innovative ways to address real-world problems.

Clare Leinweber.

Clare Leinweber.

Leinweber is an experienced leader in innovation education. For over 15 years, she has mentored and taught hundreds of student innovators, founders, and joiners, helping them develop compelling ideas to solve real-world problems by creating for-profit or not-for-profit ventures and by innovating from within established organizations. She is an expert in designing innovative co-curricular programs that leverage the natural experiential learning lab environment of a diverse university campus.

Leinweber joins Yale from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where she led the Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship center. In this role, she directed co-curricular innovation programs for Penn undergraduate and graduate students in Philadelphia and San Francisco. During her tenure at Penn, the center’s programs expanded substantially in reach and breadth of content, achieving significant growth and diversity in student participation and successfully launching numerous student enterprises. Leinweber’s recent projects include directing an initiative to support women founders and establishing a matching process for student innovators to connect with student founders on special projects, building fruitful interdisciplinary partnerships across campus.

Throughout her university experience, Leinweber has worked closely with students as mentor, advisor, and teacher. She also brings deep experience in collaborating with faculty, staff, and alumni to design opportunities for meaningful engagement and learning. Leinweber holds a master’s degree in human development and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, both from the University of Chicago. She also holds a graduate certificate in management from the Wharton School and a master’s degree in public health from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Her educational and professional journey has been guided by intertwined questions: How do people construct meaning in their lives, and how does this construction of meaning shape their pursuits? What are the factors that engender resilience and enable people to thrive? How do these choices pertain to creativity and innovative thinking?

Leinweber will continue to explore these questions at Tsai CITY, which was launched in fall 2017 and this year engaged over 10% of Yale’s student body. “I can’t wait to join Tsai CITY,” Leinweber says. “The breadth and depth of activities the team has launched in such a relatively short period of time is truly impressive. I am excited to begin the process of strategically scaling up key initiatives with demonstrated traction, as well as exploring innovative new ideas.” As she approaches this period of growth, she is particularly eager to connect with students from all corners of Yale’s campus. “I can’t wait to meet the Yale students involved with Tsai CITY,” she says. “They are at the heart of this enterprise and I know I will be inspired by them.”

Leinweber will join Tsai CITY mid-summer. Learn more about Tsai CITY’s mission and core objectives here.

Laura Mitchell