Director of External Relations
Maren Cattonar is the director of external relations for the Abdul Latif Jameel Water and Food Systems Lab (J-WAFS) at MIT. Ms. Cattonar works to build partnerships with industry, research institutions, non-profits, and governments in support of J-WAFS' mission. Her efforts will help grow J-WAFS' collaborative research portfolio and research affiliate memberships.
Ms. Cattonar operates in the nexus between research, industry, and government. In addition to her position at J-WAFS, she currently serves as a senior strategic advisor and ecosystem architect for BMNT, helping to solve strategic problems for the national security community. She is a co-founder of Automated-Analytics, a large-scale GPU-based image processing, management, and visualization platform, and is on the board of the MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF). She is also a mentor for the MIT Sandbox, TechStars Air Force, and MIT i-Teams programs.
Previously, she was a venture capitalist for the energy and utility sector, and served as the assistant director of MIT’s Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation, which focuses on transitioning technology from the laboratory to the marketplace. She was a senior industrial liaison officer at MIT’s Office of Corporate Relations where she managed a portfolio of member companies in aerospace and defense, energy, and insurance.
Prior to joining MIT, she was with Northrop Grumman as the manager of technology strategy and portfolio development, and the manager of sector mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures. Ms. Cattonar was also a systems engineer on strategic missile defense programs for the MDA, and a program manager for advanced technology programs for DoD and DHS.
Ms. Cattonar received B.S. degrees in engineering and economics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and her M.S. degree from UPenn's Wharton School and School of Engineering and Applied Science.