HomeEconomyLocal NewsInnovation District Names Cathy O’Connor as Interim President and CEO

Innovation District Names Cathy O’Connor as Interim President and CEO

Katy Evans Boren, who was president and chief executive officer of the Innovation District, stepped down July 15. 

The board of directors of the Oklahoma City Innovation District recently announced current board member Cathy O’Connor will serve as interim president and CEO of Oklahoma City’s Innovation District.

Katy Evans Boren, who was president and chief executive officer of the Innovation District, stepped down July 15. 

“I am grateful to the board for the opportunity to serve as the first-ever president of this incredible initiative,” Boren said. “Collectively, we made progress, creating a dynamic ecosystem that will foster innovation, collaboration and growth. We have attracted world-class talent, generated groundbreaking ideas and built strong partnerships with the community. I am confident that this momentum will continue and lead to even greater success in the years to come.”

Boren has been a part of the district for five years and was appointed to the board as president and CEO of the Innovation District in 2018. In her role, she promoted economic growth and civic involvement in the district that includes the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and nearby biotechnology organizations. She spearheaded growth in the district, which is also home to the city’s bioscience sector, where many institutions are already conducting groundbreaking research and fostering entrepreneurship and innovation.

Other significant accomplishments included the selection of OKC Innovation District to operate Innovation Hall, a MAPS 4 project. Innovation Hall will anchor Convergence and serve as a community learning space and connection point for entrepreneurs to accelerate business growth, help create jobs and encourage more diversification in Oklahoma City’s economy. During Boren’s tenure, the Innovation District successfully navigated a global pandemic with the start of construction of Convergence, a mixed-use development led by some of the city’s leading commercial developers Richard Tanenbaum and Mark Beffort that have joined forces to develop the complex. 

“Katy Boren’s leadership and dedication have been instrumental in laying the groundwork for its future success. Her efforts, particularly in planning, programming and promotion have set us on a path towards tremendous growth and innovation,” said David Harlow, a board member of the Innovation District and CEO of BancFirst Corporation. “We are grateful for her contributions. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors and know that her impact on the district will be felt for years to come.” 

The district is surrounded by internationally acclaimed organizations spanning Oklahoma’s diverse sectors — healthcare, bioscience, aerospace and unmanned systems, specialized manufacturing, academia, technology and energy.

“Katy Boren’s leadership as the first-ever president and CEO of the Innovation District in Oklahoma City has laid a strong foundation for the development of the district that will undoubtedly contribute significantly to the growth of Oklahoma City’s emerging environment for technological collaboration,” O’Connor said. “We appreciate Katy and are confident that her vision and unwavering commitment to the district will continue to guide the district as it moves towards a limitless future.”

The board of directors will conduct a national search for the organization’s next president and CEO to oversee the district in its next phase of growth.

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