who we are

We are transdisciplinary.

      We are technical experts.

            We are innovative problem-solving teams.

ASURE is distinctly transdisciplinary in nature. When you bring us a problem, we assemble expert teams to develop and deliver highly innovative state-of-the-art solutions. We believe the most innovative-focused project teams are those that possess extensive expertise across disciplines. Our teams create new ways of solving difficult problems, and then develop and deliver them as practical solutions to our customers

ASURE applied research and development staff are chosen for their exceptional levels of technical expertise, operational cognizance and real-world domain knowledge. They are supported by the unsurpassed technical expertise of the nation’s largest research university — Arizona State University — with more than 3,000 faculty.

We bring the extraordinary resources of ASU to bear to help you solve real-world problems in national defense and homeland security.

Leadership team

R.F. “Rick” Shangraw Jr., PhD — Chief Executive Officer


Shangraw is also chief executive officer of ASU Enterprise Partners and the ASU Foundation for a New American University. Under Shangraw’s leadership, ASU Enterprise Partners was created in 2016 as a new model for diversified revenue generation to support Arizona State University.

Prior to joining ASURE, Shangraw served as ASU’s senior vice president for the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development (OKED) and director of the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability.

Before joining ASU he was founder and CEO of Project Performance Corporation, a research and technology consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. specializing in environmental, energy, and information management issues. His customers included the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Nuclear Security Administration and various Fortune 500 companies. Prior to PPC, Shangraw was on the faculty of Syracuse University.

He has a bachelor of arts, magna cum laude, in political science and a certificate in environmental studies from Dickinson College; a master of public administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University; and a PhD in public administration from the Maxwell School, with a specialization in technology and information policy and organization design.

Shangraw holds professor of practice appointments in the ASU School of Sustainability and the School of Public Affairs in the College of Public Service and Community Solutions.


Elizabeth “Betsy” Cantwell, PhD — Chief Operating Officer


Elizabeth “Betsy” Cantwell is the chief operating officer (interim) of ASURE.

Cantwell comes from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), where she was director for economic development. Prior to working at LLNL, she served in strategic leadership roles at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Cantwell earned her PhD in mechanical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley; an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business; and a B.A. in human behavior at the University of Chicago.


about ASU

  • Largest university in the U.S. under a single administration
  • Strong focus on “use-inspired” and defense-relevant research
  • More than $500 million in externally sponsored research in 2016
  • One of the top-10 research universities without a medical school according to the National Science Foundation
  • Serves more than 5,200 military and veteran students
  • Ranks among the "Best for Vets" colleges according to Military Times
  • Was named a "Military Friendly School" by G.I. Jobs magazine seven years in a row
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