Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business and Economics has hired a new director for its entrepreneurship center. Starting September 1, 2017, Matthew Hanson, Ph.D., will serve as the new director of the Ralph W. Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics and as Clinical Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at Chapman University.

Dr. Hanson is a Chapman alumnus, earning his MBA in 1986 and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from USC.  He has served as an adjunct professor of finance at Chapman since 2012, where he teaches Entrepreneurial Finance, Introduction to Corporate Finance, Personal Finance and Business Analytics.

man wearing a suit, smiling

Dr. Matt Hanson, Director of the Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics

“Dr. Hanson’s varied background as a founder of an entrepreneurial enterprise and corporate executive make him an ideal candidate for this role.  His career in medical services and Ph.D. in Engineering assure that the Leatherby Center will be an active partner in Chapman’s increasing investments in the sciences,” said Thomas Turk, Ph.D., interim dean of the Argyros School of Business and Economics. “We look forward to Matt developing the Leatherby Center as a world class incubator for students and alumni, guiding innovative academic programs, and building an entrepreneurial think tank.”

Dr. Hanson replaces Shan Steinmark who has run the Leatherby Center since 2014. Currently the Center houses between 10 and 12 ”Teams-in-Residence” with office space on site at its Launch Labs facility, with a total of between 20 and 30 teams overall in the Launch Labs program. The Center provides resources for start-ups such as mentors and workshops, as well as supports both the entrepreneurship minor and emphasis. All teams must have a Chapman connection, such as students, alumni, faculty and/or staff as key leaders of each team.

Prior to this appointment, Dr. Hanson was senior program manager at Beckman Coulter, Inc., where he led international cross-functional teams in the development of a next-generation clinical automation system and development of the company’s first cloud-based customer application.  Prior to Beckman Coulter, Dr. Hanson was vice president and co-founder of Integrated Medical System, Inc., a startup launched by the Northrop Grumman Corporation to leverage aerospace technologies and processes in the health care space. Before joining Northrop Grumman, Dr. Hanson retired as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S Air Force where his last position was in the Science and Technology Office of the Secretary of the Air Force in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Hanson holds a bachelor’s degree, a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Southern California in addition to a Ph.D., where he also served as a teaching assistant and lecturer; an MBA from Chapman University; and is a Certified Scrum Master for software development.

About the Ralph W. Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Ethics

Established in 1995, Chapman University’s Leatherby Center offers one of the nation’s most respected programs for entrepreneurial young men and women.  The center aims to prepare and inspire principled, dynamic entrepreneurs whose ideas improve lives and solve important problems.  Through innovative courses and real-world leadership, the center provides students with access to a range of resources, including professional mentoring, entrepreneurial internships, a multi-university network, community resources, events, speakers, research, professional groups, competitions and boot camps. The Leatherby Center is unique in its approach to connecting students with inventors, investors and real-world entrepreneurs. For more information, visit

About Chapman University

As an academically distinguished center of learning, Chapman University attracts extraordinary students and faculty from around the globe. Its ten schools and colleges foster a vibrant intellectual community, and provide extensive opportunities for students to learn, grow and discover alongside remarkable faculty. The University is home to some 8,000 students pursuing bachelor, master and doctoral degrees, and is alma mater to more than 40,000 alumni found throughout the United States and the world. Now celebrating its 156th year, Chapman is known for its distinguishing strengths in leadership and civic engagement, in the arts and entertainment disciplines, and in specialized sectors of technology and science. The University is comprised of its main campus in Orange, California, and the Rinker Health Science campus for graduate health science programs in Irvine, California. Visit us at

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