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Stephen Zarrilli Named President & CEO of University City Science Center

The University City Science Center announced today that Stephen Zarrilli will assume the role of President & Chief Executive Officer effective October 1, 2018.

Mr. Zarrilli brings 35 years of experience from a variety of enterprises including public, private, venture-backed and non-profit both at the management and governance levels. With a proven record in strategy, organizational growth, business development, governance and finance, Mr. Zarrilli will establish and maintain a forward-looking vision that galvanizes the Science Center’s role as a leader in life science and tech-based economic development in Greater Philadelphia. Mr. Zarrilli will be responsible for positioning the mission-driven non-profit as a point of convergence for academic and research institutions and as a hub of entrepreneurial activity, while strengthening the organization’s programs and supporting the growth and expansion of the uCity Square development. Mr. Zarrilli has served as a member of the Science Center’s Board of Directors since 2014.

“What we have found in Steve Zarrilli is a proven leader of ideas, organizations and people, and a passionate advocate for helping entrepreneurs grow concepts into companies. He brings to the Science Center deep ties to Philadelphia, but also an expansive view of how technology, when nurtured and incubated, can thrive and be a catalyst for economic development,” says Board Chairman Craig R. Carnaroli.

Mr. Zarrilli served most recently as the President & CEO of Safeguard Scientifics, a growth capital provider to technology and life science companies. Mr. Zarrilli was in the role for six years through June 30, 2018, and as Safeguard’s CFO from 2008 - 2012. Before joining Safeguard, Mr. Zarrilli was the Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Penn Valley Group, a management consulting firm focused on delivering strategy consulting services to early-stage businesses. Mr. Zarrilli also previously served as CFO of Fiberlink Corporation and as Chairman and CEO of Concellera Software, both venture capital-backed software enterprises. In 1994, Mr. Zarrilli joined US Interactive, Inc., a digital technology company as its fifth employee. He subsequently became its President & CEO in 1998 and led the company through its initial public offering in 1999. During his tenure at US Interactive, total staff grew to 800 across eight offices in the US, England and Germany.

“I am very excited to have this opportunity to lead the Science Center during its next phase of growth and contribution to our regional innovation economy. I believe the Science Center is uniquely positioned to serve as an important catalyst for the continued development of science and technology commercialization opportunities both locally and nationally,” says Mr. Zarrilli. “The Science Center has such a rich history of supporting entrepreneurial development. I believe we can substantially leverage this history of success to further create new and scalable programming and support for our innovation community; and strengthen the Science Center’s collaborative endeavors with our shareholders, partners and other community members.”

“We’re thrilled to welcome Steve Zarrilli to the Science Center,” says interim President & CEO, Curtis M. Hess. “The depth and breadth of his experience coupled with his knowledge of the region’s innovation ecosystem make him a natural fit to lead the Science Center as we embark on the expansion of uCity Square, welcome Cambridge Innovation Center to our community and prepare for our move into 3675 Market Street. Steve will be an asset in furthering the growth of the Science Center in scale and scope.”

Mr. Zarrilli currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Trustees of La Salle University and as a Board Member of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Mr. Zarrilli holds a B.S. in Accounting from La Salle University.

The appointment of Zarrilli culminates a six-month national search from a diverse pool of approximately 100 candidates.

About the Science Center
Located in the heart of uCity Square, the Science Center is a mission-driven nonprofit organization that catalyzes and connects innovation to entrepreneurship and technology commercialization. For 50+ years, the Science Center has supported startups, research, and economic development in the life sciences, healthcare, physical sciences, and emerging technology sectors. As a result, graduate firms and current residents of the Science Center’s incubator support one out of every 100 jobs in the Greater Philadelphia region and drive $13 billion in economic activity in the region annually. By providing resources and programming for any stage of a business’s lifecycle, the Science Center helps scientists, entrepreneurs and innovators take their concepts from idea to IPO – and beyond. For more information about the Science Center, go to

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