Rhett Weiss is the executive director of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. In this role, Rhett lead Ell's strategic direction, management, development, and market positioning. As Ell's first executive director, he has set many programs and initiatives in motion. He also serves on its faculty, teaching or advising graduate students in the entrepreneurship, negotiations, and venture capital areas. Rhett has served as well on the faculty of Cornell Tech in New York City. He created and taught Tech Enterprises, the entrepreneurship course, Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation, and Pitch Lab, a series of business communication and presentation workshops for Cornell Tech’s graduate engineering students.
Before joining Cornell, Rhett had over 25 years of successful leadership and management roles. He has served as a bank COO, directed a consulting practice at a Big 4 firm, practiced law at a major international law firm, and holds a software and business method patent. Throughout his career, he has been involved in over $35 Billion of transactions and in dozens of entrepreneurial ventures and innovation initiatives. Among them, he is chairman and CEO of DEALTEK, Ltd., which he founded in 1999. The transactions which he has led often have received industry recognition, awards, and coverage in business and technology news articles.
From 2005 to 2010, Rhett served as senior team leader - strategic development for Google Inc. He was chief designer and negotiator of several large strategic acquisition and development projects for Google’s global infrastructure, typically involving its legendary data centers. He headed key initiatives, contracts, and relationships with businesses, utilities, governments, economic development agencies, landowners, and other stakeholders. Weiss also created and conducted negotiation-training workshops in Google’s offices globally.
Weiss is a frequent presenter or writer on negotiations, entrepreneurship, and economic development. Among his books, he is the co-author of The Entrepreneurial Engineer -- How to Create Value from Ideas, published by Cambridge University Press.
Weiss holds a BS in management with honors (finance major) from Tulane University, a doctorate of jurisprudence from the College of William & Mary, and an MBA-level executive certificate in international business from Georgetown University. He also has held board chairman and other leadership positions at professional, educational, and civic organizations.