Florida A&M University (FAMU) alumna Marcy Muldrow Sanders, DrPH, has been named National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) program director for her alma mater and the Florida State University System (SUS), in an initiative designed to expose faculty and students to civilian research and entrepreneurship opportunities with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).
Her appointment at FAMU represents the first such NSIN position at a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) and a state university system within its nationwide footprint.
“FAMU welcomes alumna Dr. Marcy Muldrow Sanders back to our campus community. This is an important step in our partnership with the National Security Innovation Network and the Department of Defense,” said FAMU President Larry Robinson, Ph.D. “Sanders’ leadership in this initiative will greatly benefit students and faculty at FAMU and across the Florida State University System as they seek solutions to issues that impact Florida and the nation as a whole.”
In September 2020, NSIN and the SUS executed an agreement formalizing the strategic partnership with a specific mission of fostering defense innovation throughout Florida. Muldrow Sanders, who is based in FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, said this arrangement opens the door to civilian opportunities in the DoD.
“The reason I took this job is to be able to expose students to the Department of Defense as a non-uniform experience. The DoD has opportunities for students in terms of careers and fellowships and entrepreneurship,” said Muldrow Sanders, who previously worked for Enterprise Florida in Tallahassee. “My job is to introduce young people and professors to a completely new way to do business with the DoD through civilian opportunities. When students solve problems, when they build the technology, they create an entrepreneurial opportunity to sell to their customers. The DoD will help them build their company to sell that thing to the DoD. I am excited to bring them a different experience with the DoD that doesn’t require them to put on a uniform and still serve their country.”
As program director, Muldrow Sanders is also the first university based NSIN team member in the State of Florida. She will manage innovation outreach and defense ecosystem development for FAMU, the Tallahassee area, and across the state.
Prior to joining NSIN, Sanders spent six years in the public-private military and defense and economic development ecosystem managing contracts and grants for the Florida Defense Support Task Force with Enterprise Florida, Inc.
A retired Navy commander, Muldrow Sanders specialized in anti-submarine warfare during her military career. She also has extensive Navy program and policy development experience. She brings robust program, budget, and workforce management expertise.
The daughter of FAMU graduates, Muldrow Sanders attended FAMU High before entering FAMU, where she earned a degree in journalism. She went on to earn a master’s degree in business administration from Chaminade University of Honolulu and a Doctor of Public Health in epidemiology from Capella University. She’s also a certified licensed building contractor in Florida.
Morgan C. Plummer, NSIN managing director, said the new partnership gives the DoD an opportunity to remedy its poor track record in tapping the HBCU talent pool.
“This partnership will build an enduring connection between FAMU and the Department of Defense that will open opportunities for service to students and faculty and allow the DoD to tap into the incredible talent pool that lives at FAMU,” Plummer said. Having Muldrow Sanders leading the effort will garner results. “She will bring her deep experience in the military and her knowledge of all that FAMU has to offer to ensure that pressing national security challenges are connected with the talent capable of finding the solutions.”