NC Science Fair Foundation Welcomes Theresa Gibson New Executive Director

Dr. Chris Ashwell, Chairman of the non-profit NC Science Fair Foundation (NCSFF) and Director of Undergraduate Research at North Carolina State University, is pleased to announce the selection of Theresa Gibson as the organization’s new Executive Director effective March 1, 2020. On Ms. Gibson’s appointment, Dr. Ashwell said, “Ms. Gibson’s leadership experience in strategic planning, partnership development, resource management, project coordinator, and engaging with state, local, and school level leaders will contribute greatly to our continuous improvement now and in the future.”


Ms. Gibson assumes this leadership role after serving the past seven years at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation of North Carolina State University. Her most recent role has been the Associate Director for Strategic Development.

Having begun her career as a high school math teacher, Ms. Gibson’s background, expertise, and passion for creating equitable educational opportunities to engage K-12 students and teachers in inquiry- based learning aligns with the core mission of the NCSFF as the sponsor of the NC Science and Engineering (NCSEF). Her statewide experiences with teachers and school leaders in innovative programming and professional development, both face-to-face and online, will be a tremendous asset as the NCSFF seeks to expand the engagement of more students and teachers, with a focus on underrepresented groups, in science and engineering research through local, regional, and state level partnerships.

Gibson earned her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Teaching Certificate at Buffalo State University and her Master of Business Administration at North Carolina State University. On her selection, Gibson said, “I am excited and honored to join the North Carolina Science Fair Foundation at such a pivotal time. The passion and commitment of the Foundation is clear in both their past success and in their horizon planning. As Executive Director, I look forward to expanding support for NC students to innovate through scientific research, by engaging with the STEM network, partnering across sectors, and providing access and opportunity for historically underserved groups in STEM.”

The NCSFF sponsors the North Carolina State and Engineering Fair (NCSEF) and its 9 Regional Competitions across North Carolina. NCSFF is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, volunteer driven organization, whose mission is to increase inquiry-based student research in STEM related areas of study in Grades 3- 12 by “Inspiring Innovation in Student Research.” NCSEF is the state affiliate to the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) sponsored by the Society for Science and the Public.

For more information about being a NCSEF judge, volunteer, or sponsors, please contact Ms. Gibson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the NCSEF website at