Dr Richard O’Kennedy

Vice President for Research, Development and Innovation (RDI)

Dr. Richard O’Kennedy leads all research, development, and innovation (RDI) efforts across Qatar Foundation (QF), which are a pivotal element of Qatar’s national RDI agenda and its goal of building a sustainable and diversified economy.

Prior to his appointment as QF Vice President for Research, Development, and Innovation, Dr. O’Kennedy held the position of Vice President for Research at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), a research and graduate studies university based in Doha, Qatar, and a member of QF. In this role, he led HBKU’s research initiatives and ensured their alignment with the university’s core mission and strategic focus.

Dr. O’Kennedy has previously served as Vice President, Scientific Director of the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute and Head of the School of Biotechnology of Dublin City University in Ireland, while also being a visiting scientist at the MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas in the US. He holds seven patents and has authored more than 250 scientific papers, 51 reviews, 40 book chapters, and two books. He has worked closely with industry throughout his career, and outputs emerging from his research have been successfully commercialized.

Dr. O’Kennedy’s work in research and academia has also entailed giving 180 invited lectures and supervising 70 PhD students. He has received numerous accolades and awards, including election to the Royal Irish Academy, membership of which is considered to be the highest academic honor in Ireland.