John R. Broderick, former president of Old Dominion University, was an active participant and supporter of the original Oceans Conference when it was launched in 2012 in Virginia Beach, so, it is only natural for him to serve as one of the honorary chairs in 2022.
President Broderick is credited with establishing the Commonwealth Center for Recurrent Flooding, which was formalized by former Governor Terry McAuliffe and adopted by both the Virginia House and Senate in 2015. The initiative was done in partnership with College of William and Mary and the Virginia Institute for Marine Sciences. Faculty and students at all three institutions are now involved in a variety of research projects aimed at creating greater understanding of possible solutions for both communities and individuals.
ODU’s commitment to this issue actually began in 2010 when President Broderick launched the Center for the Study of Sea Level Rise at the institution, elevating Old Dominion to the top tier nationally in addressing a significant environmental problem in Hampton Roads and beyond.
Named one of Virginia’s top 500 business leaders by Virginia Business in 2020, the Connecticut native was a longtime proponent of increasing ODU’s presence in STEM-H disciplines and research. For several years, university recorded the second-largest percentage of STEM-H degrees awarded in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
During his 13-year tenure as its leader, Old Dominion received more than $1.2 billion in new resources from public and private sources. This includes facilities valued at more than $100 million – constructed or underway – for Chemistry, Engineering and Health Sciences. In 2018, ODU launched an expansion of health science offerings at its Virginia Beach Higher Education Center, with an increase in nursing classes and the creation of a center focused on telehealth.
In his final year, ODU received funding from the Virginia General Assembly and Sentara Health Care to establish a joint School of Public Health with Norfolk State University and Eastern Virginia Medical School.
Other centers that opened at ODU during his presidency include the Centers for Global Health, Social Mobility and Cybersecurity as well the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Virginia Institute for Spaceflight and Autonomy. President Broderick was a member of the state board for the Wallops Island flight facility for eight years.
Governor Ralph Northam appointed Mr. Broderick to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia when he stepped down as President in 2021. He also served on statewide committees appointed by both Governors McDonnell and McAuliffe.
He is a former chair of the Council of Presidents for public institutions in Virginia as well boards with Conference USA, the Colonial Athletic Conference and the Southeastern Universities Research Association. He also held leadership positions in the NCAA for a number of years.
Broderick and his wife, Kate, were honored by students for their commitment to inclusion and student success with the naming of the Broderick Dining Commons in 2016. Mr. Broderick has been honored by the Urban League of Hampton Roads, the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. He was twice listed in the top five for the Inside Business Power list for Hampton Roads.