WORCESTER, Mass. - Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has announced that Linda Carre Looft has been promoted from director to assistant vice president for government and community relations. In her new capacity, Looft continues to report to WPI president Dennis D. Berkey as a member of his senior administrative team.
Looft serves as senior liaison to federal, state, and local officials for the university’s academic and research communities. In this capacity, she works closely with government agencies to obtain research funding in areas of strategic importance to WPI. Over the past five years, she has brought in more than $15 million in grants to the university. Most recently, she helped secure an additional $1 million in federal funding for the Center for Untethered Healthcare, part of the WPI Bioengineering Institute (BEI), and another $1 million a new established center within BEI. She also manages advocacy for the Massachusetts Academy of Mathematics and Science at WPI and oversees many of WPI’s high-profile events, including major conferences, VIP visits, and international events—on and off campus.
Looft has been instrumental in shepherding the development of BEI, a multidisciplinary research and development organization founded in 2002 that forms academic, industry, and government partnerships to develop innovative healthcare technologies. In addition, she has helped secure federal, state, and local funding for the WPI Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center, a state-of-the-art research facility under construction in Worcester’s Gateway Park, as well as the Precision Indoor Personnel Location System and transportation research.
Her work has supported WPI’s efforts to address the region’s economic development needs, including service as campus liaison to the Worcester UniverCity Partnership, chair of the Colleges of Worcester Consortium’s External Relations Committee, and member of the consortium’s executive committee. In 2005 she participated in the Trans-Atlantic Leadership Forum with President Berkey in Ipswich, England, where a group of business, community, and academic leaders examined how a region’s economic development can coalesce around a university. Since then, she has consulted with the new university in Ipswich, University Campus, Suffolk, as it has looked to WPI for best practices in economic development initiatives.
Looft has been a member of the WPI staff since 1996. She and her husband, Fred J. Looft, head of WPI’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, reside in Leicester, Mass., where she is in her 13th year as an elected member of the school committee. A board member of the Central Massachusetts YWCA and the Massachusetts Manufacturing Assistance Center, Looft holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Worcester State College and has begun work toward a master’s degree in professional communications at Clark University.