University of New England welcomes Lisa Herschbach as next director of Office of Innovation

Lisa Herschbach, Ph.D., director of the Office of Innovation
Lisa Herschbach, Ph.D., will join UNE as the director of the Office of Innovation, bringing over two decades of experience in higher education.

The University of New England has selected Lisa Herschbach, Ph.D., as the new director of the Office of Innovation, which serves as the central resource and champion for innovation at UNE.  

Herschbach, currently the executive director of community relations and founding director of the Thaden School in northwest Arkansas, was selected after a national search. She will begin her duties at UNE on May 31. 

“Dr. Herschbach has a proven record of growing experiential learning spaces in higher education and also understands the impact innovative, interdisciplinary educational opportunities have on students' long-term success after graduation,” said UNE Provost Gwendolyn Mahon. “We’re very excited to have her join the UNE team.” 

Herschbach has worked at Thaden School since 2016, first as the founding director of its high school, then as director of finance and operations, deputy head of school, and most recently as executive director of community relations. She has also served as a faculty member in social studies and history.  

“I am thrilled to be joining the University of New England,” said Herschbach. “In my conversations with students, faculty, and administrators during the interview process, I was struck by the collaborative culture and enthusiasm for innovation across UNE’s campuses. It is clear why UNE is a top-tier research university. I look forward to cultivating and implementing a vision for the Office of Innovation that fosters creativity and excellence in learning and scholarship across the state of Maine and beyond.”  

As UNE’s director of Innovation, Herschbach will oversee the University’s P.D. Merrill Makerspace, including its programs, professional staff, and students. The office also manages the Shaw Innovation Fellows program, which provides financial and creative support for young innovators from across UNE’s academic programs thanks to the generosity of David Evans Shaw and the P.D. Merrill Charitable Trust.  

Before her tenure at Thaden, Herschbach worked for over 20 years in higher education and held various academic and administrative roles at Princeton University and Rutgers University, including residential college dean, director of the summer bridge program, and director of the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning. 

Herschbach earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Stanford University before attending Harvard University, where she earned her doctoral degree in history of science. During her career, she built and expanded several maker education initiatives, including founding a digital learning space within Princeton’s teaching and learning center and expanding a studio lab to support interdisciplinary experimentation and exploration through innovative uses of technology. She was voted the 2022 Power Woman of Arkansas for elevating K-12 education in the state and recognized by the National SEED Project as a new leader in 2021.