Chancellor appoints Shah as OARnet executive director

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Dec 3, 2019) — 

Pankaj Shah, president and chief executive officer of the Lonestar Education and Research Network (LEARN) in Texas, has been named the seventh executive director of the Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet).

Pankaj Shah
Pankaj Shah [enlarge]

Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) Chancellor Randy Gardner announced Shah’s appointment today. Shah had served as executive director of the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) and OARnet before taking the Texas post in 2015; he will return to Ohio in February 2020. Denis Walsh, OARnet’s chief relationship officer, has been serving as interim executive director of OARnet since Paul Schopis retired earlier this year. Schopis replaced Shah as executive director of OARnet upon the latter’s 2015 departure.

OARnet is a member organization of the Ohio Technology Consortium (OH-TECH), the technology and information division of ODHE.

“I am pleased to announce Pankaj’s return to Ohio and to OARnet,” Chancellor Gardner said. “With the emphasis that the DeWine administration has placed on technology and innovation, it is important to have the right people in place to move Ohio forward.”

“I am really looking forward to working with the amazing OARnet staff once again,” Shah said. “I am very excited to help take OARnet to the next level while supporting the state’s many leading-edge technology programs, such as those at OH-TECH and InnovateOhio.”

For nearly four years, Shah has been responsible for developing the direction and goals of LEARN and developing strategies, outreach plans and business models to achieve them, while continuing his leadership role in national organizations such as The Quilt and Internet2.

Prior to his first tenure as OARnet’s executive director, Shah had served as:

  • Director of infrastructure for IT services at Marquette University
  • Engagement manager at Resource One Computer System
  • Senior manager at the American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT)
  • Division of track manager at the New York City Transit Authority (MTA)
  • Computer science department systems administrator at the City University of New York

Shah began his OARnet career by creating and managing the Internet2 Technology Evaluation Center (ITEC-Ohio) and as a partner in the Transportable Satellite Internet System.

Shah received a diploma in mechanical engineering, as well as certification in advanced tool technology, from S.B.M Polytechnic in Bombay (Mumbai), India. He earned his master’s degree in computer and information science from Brooklyn College, City University of New York. He received his MBA from the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University.