Smart leadership starts here.

R. Michael Townsend

Senior Advisory Consultant

Dr. R. Michael Townsend serves as Senior Advisory Consultant to Harris Search Associates providing insight, national relationships, and vetting of candidates on behalf of client institution committees and our firm.

For more than 30 years Dr. Townsend has held information technology leadership roles in the business, education, academic medicine, and scientific research, effectively assisting organizations translate technical requirements and operational and strategic alignments and practices into technology-enabled solutions in support of successful research, bench-to-bedside, and precision medicine innovation and discovery.  

Dr. Townsend most recently served as Chief Information Officer for The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) where he led a team of 30 Information Technology individuals accountable for the creation, and maintenance of complex clinical, administrative, research, and educational systems in support of the goals and objectives of the Ohio State cancer program.  Prior to joining OSU in 2009, he held executive Information Technology leadership positions at The University of Chicago, Lehman Brothers, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and RIK Data Solutions.

Dr. Townsend earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a 2nd bachelor’s degree in mathematics, from Syracuse University, and a Ph.D. in Theoretical Chemistry from the University of Chicago. He served on several OSU University and Medical Center committees helping to shape the technological needs, policies, and procedures of the institution and interactions with outside entities.  At the regional and national levels, has served as chair of the Alliance of Dedicated Cancer Centers CIO Committee, a steering committee member of the Cancer Center Administrators Forum, and memberships in Cancer Informatics “4” Cancer Centers (CI4CC), The Ohio CIO Forum, The Digital Solutions Gallery, and numerous other organizations.


R. Michael Townsend