VP for Engagement ends tenure after successful run

After seven years at the university, Saif Y. Ishoof is leaving his role as vice president of the Office of Engagement to endeavor his own strategic advisory firm to accelerate tech development in Miami. The FIU community is grateful for his many years of service, driving forward the vision of academic excellence, innovation and community impact.

This is a step that Ishoof has thought about for some time.

During his tenure at FIU Engagement, Ishoof launched countless partnerships and collaborations that have sparked innovation and impact. Building on Ishoof’s roots in Miami as a tech founder, lawyer, investor and board member — his new strategic advisory firm Lab22c will support venture-backed companies, corporate boards, and venture funds to help deploy capital in the city.

While Ishoof has been working toward this next chapter for the past year, he will officially leave his role at FIU on January 28, 2022. Upon his transition, Assistant Vice President Caryn Lavernia and the Office of Engagement will report directly to the provost.

VP for Engagement ends tenure after successful run

Ishoof is the longest-serving vice president in FIU’s Office of Engagement. During his tenure, he helped build, lead and guide win-win partnerships for FIU. Ishoof has initiated and scaled programs of impact at the university, such as leading FIU in securing the 2020 Carnegie Community Engagement Classification; launching the Urban Potential Laboratories (UP Labs) future of work training program; scaling our internship collaboration with Miami’s top academic institutions, the Talent Development Network; creating novel community partnerships with the South Florida Black Prosperity Alliance; and enhancing FIU’s community and private partnerships, such as with Royal Caribbean and Mitre. Ishoof helped to develop a unique partnership with City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, where he served as senior advisor for Innovation and Technology, helping support the mayor in launching what is now known as Venture Miami while connecting tech founders and investors with FIU faculty, staff, alumni and students.

Ishoof has been a major galvanizer and critical asset for the university’s growth, both internally and externally, raising close to $70 million during his tenure, including the naming gift for the Jaffer Center for Muslim World Studies — and his role in securing major gifts in support of the Education Effect, the Talent Development Network, UP Labs and others.

Ishoof has also helped amplify the Panther spirit and affinity throughout the years, including launching FIU Engagement’s Cafecito Chat show during the tumultuous pandemic; launching Tostada Tuesdays; and participating as a regular chef in the Taste of FIU cook-off contest. Throughout his time at FIU, Ishoof has demonstrated a commitment to students and the FIU community, whether in the classroom teaching in the SIPA Master of Arts in Global Affairs program or as a facilitator of the Civil Rights micro-credential in Montgomery, Alabama.

The university community wishes Ishoof the absolute best in the next stage of his life journey and is excited about what he will do to continue building Miami’s innovation ecosystem.

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