This week’s Behind the Breakthrough features Deb Peat, an adventurous and talented program manager at IV. Deb’s extensive background in marine geophysics and remote sensing has taken her to all corners of the planet. Her impressive credentials include partnering with a spinout from the University of Hawaii to help the telecommunications industry map the numerous fiber optic cables across the sea floor. Deb’s experiences allow her to work with both inventors and the management team to drive the next breakthroughs.

Here are some of her reflections:

On her role at IV:

“As a program manager, I like to think of my role as the bridge between the business and technical spaces. Essentially, I support the business needs of IV Lab projects and executive management at the same time. Program management here is somewhat improvisational and many of the interesting bits are the things that arise unexpectedly.”

On her background:

“My experience as a Hurricane Island Outward Bound (HIOB) instructor endorsed a spirit of service, self-reliance, and tenacity. That experience led to a stint in Labrador on a vessel supporting geologists and even surviving a hurricane north of the Arctic Circle. This sharpened my focus and academic direction. After school, I spent some time in oil exploration in South America, and then working for the Department of Defense in antisubmarine warfare only to wake up one day and ask myself, ‘How did I get here?’

“From there I spent many years in marine geophysics, navigating from data processor/cartographer to eventually running a company. Later I helped open two North American offices for a Hong Kong competitor. The offices opened at about the same time as the BP oil spill, which put us at the epicenter of the disaster to support mapping gas bubbles in the water column. It was a lot of risk to manage with high stakes visibility.”

On what she brings to IV:

“When I decided to change careers, I had to think about what I could bring to an organization like IV Lab. I already knew that the caliber of intellect in the organization would be awesome and plentiful. I realized that my management skills and experience would be beneficial. I’ve always been highly organized and that mixed with a deep need for efficiency, strategic thinking, and a desire to make things work allows me feel relevant here.”

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