Sacha Patera

Corporate Engagement and Foundation Relations, Office of Dean for Research
Future Faculty Workshop Speaker

Alexandra “Sacha” Patera brings over a dozen years of university industry engagement experience as she joins the Princeton Corporate Engagement and Foundation Relations (CEFR) team in June 2022.  A chemist trained in biophysics, structural biology and rational drug design, Sacha is passionate about the importance of external partnerships to a thriving academic research ecosystem.  She has been building and brokering relationships in support of academic research, technology, and innovation for over a dozen years.  Her approach centers on establishing trusted partnerships with faculty and scientists. Before joining Princeton, Dr. Patera served as Associate Vice President at Rutgers leading a university-wide Corporate Engagement Center; she has also held corporate relations positions at Dartmouth College and Northwestern University.  Sacha is co-author of "Five Essential Elements of a Successful Twenty-First Century University Corporate Relations Program” (NACRO, 2011) that has contributed to the recent transformation of university industry engagement worldwide.

Sacha brings to her work a commitment to the professional development of scientists. Her early career experience includes biomedical research, managing an interdisciplinary PhD training program, creating professional development training for graduate students, postdocs, and early career faculty.  As part of that, Sacha has been deeply involved in efforts to create systemic diversity, equity, and inclusion in academia (and society) for over twenty years. Dr. Sacha Patera holds a biochemistry BS from McGill University, a chemistry PhD from Brandeis University and a business executive education certification from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management. 

Fun fact: Sacha will happily show pictures of the time when in 1988-90 she was part of a startup that sent protein crystallization experiments onto the Soviet Space Station MIR; Sacha was the translator and even integrated the equipment directly onto the Soyuz rocket! An immigrant from then Czechoslovakia, Sacha is grateful for the opportunity to grow up on the ancestral lands of the Kanien'kéha Nation, in Tiohtià:ke/ Montreal.   Sacha is fluent in English, French and Russian, and proficient in Czech and Spanish.  Pronouns are she/her/hers.  Sacha is a French spelling and pronounced ‘Sasha.’

"Maintain a growth mindset. Seek opportunities in less obvious places. It's OK to be a big fish in a small pond. Remember to thank those who have helped you. Don't forget to reach back and help the next person coming up."  

Twitter: @Sacha_Princeton