NJII Welcomes Thomas Murphy, Michael Chirico, Tom Villani to the Leadership Team

Newark, NJ – April 30, 2024 — New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII), a New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) subsidiary, today announced three new additions to the growing leadership team. NJII welcomes Thomas Murphy as Director of Defense Manufacturing Technology, Michael Chirico as Compliance Officer, and Thomas Villani as Assistant Vice President of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in the Entrepreneurship Division. 

“As NJII continues to grow, we are delighted to onboard industry experts to further advance our mission,” said NJII President, Dr. Michael Johnson. “As the Gateway to Innovation in New Jersey, NJII is continuing to accelerate technology translation, foster innovation and upskill the workforce. With these new additions to the team, NJII is positioned for strength and growth as we expand innovative methodologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) We are looking forward to tapping into the knowledge and leadership our new members bring, which will further our mission to make positive economic impact in New Jersey.”   

Thomas Murphy, NJII Defense Division’s Director of Defense Manufacturing Technology brings over 10 years of defense focused research of army technology and resources.  

After retiring from the Canadian Army, Murphy found a passion for Additive Manufacturing (AM) with his experience in the Advanced Materials Technology Branch with the U.S. Army at Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) where he was responsible for R&D of AM for various projects. 

Previous to joining NJII, Murphy investigated new technologies and managed a service bureau as the Lead 3D Printing Technologist at Cimquest and later worked with internal and external manufacturing partners at Shapeways as its Senior Product Manager. 

“The Defense Division at NJII is making great strides in the Additive Manufacturing field and in operationalizing emerging technologies,” said Murphy. “I am so excited to be joining such an innovative team where I will be able to practice my passion of AM and seeing that new advancements and ideas are able to become a reality with our support.”  

An attorney and technologist, Michael Chirico is a compliance leader with a deep understanding of the security and privacy challenges facing organizations. Chirico, a former Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at two New Jersey hospitals, has a career spanning over two decades working with clients, both internal and external, to develop, operationalize, and improve global security and privacy programs. His experience as a CISO and attorney aids organizations navigating information security, privacy, and the related regulatory landscape. Chirico’s practical experience comes from decades as an information security officer, technology attorney, and risk professional. 

“NJII, as a leader in the healthcare information technology (Health IT) sector, has been offering data-driven services that serves providers, patients, and the broader healthcare community. I look forward to this new chapter, continuing to serve and advance the security and privacy posture, and the corporate compliance program of leading companies such as NJII whose goals are aligned with driving economic impact,” said Chirico. 

Tom Villani joins NJII’s Entrepreneurship Division with a focus in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning. Currently, as Chief Science Officer at contract research organization, Visikol, Villani brings innovative strategic planning and leadership to a team of scientists working to use machine learning and other innovative solutions to automate workflows and processes.  

“I am thrilled to be joining the NJII team amidst its rapid growth and new initiatives. I am looking forward to leveraging my background as CSO at Visikol to apply elevated technologies and skills to new projects and solutions at NJII to work on further advancing its capabilities and offerings to entrepreneurs,” said Villani.  

To learn more about our leaders, visit www.njii.com/leadership.  

About NJII  

New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII) is a 501c3 organization wholly owned by the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). As an independent corporation, NJII is uniquely positioned to be agile, entrepreneurial, and opportunistic. NJII is focused on accelerating technology and fostering innovation to have a positive economic impact in New Jersey. To date, NJII has generated over $330M in revenue during its ten years of operation across its four divisions (Healthcare, Defense, Continued Learning, Entrepreneurship) and today has a team of 120 staff. Learn more: https://www.njii.com/about/.