Dr. Woodliff is the President of the Michigan Lean Consortium, a non-profit organization whose mission is to transform Michigan’s organizations and economy by developing and supporting lean systems thinkers. Prior to that he was the Director of Industry Relations for MForesight - Alliance for Manufacturing Foresight, an NSF sponsored think-and-do tank focusing on the next generation technologies that will strengthen U.S. manufacturing.
From 2008 to 2016, Dr. Woodliff was the Tauber Institute for Global Operations Industry Co-Director and Adjunct Professor, where he led the Institute’s growth in industry involvement In 2007, he was a Visiting Professor at Wayne State University assisting in the development of systems engineering courses for executives in China.
Dr. Woodliff's corporate experience spans 34 years with a variety of global experiences, including engineering and manufacturing, sales, product planning and strategy, program management, and quality. Dr. Woodliff's career began as a product engineer in 1970 with General Electric's Aircraft Engine Group in Ohio. From 1971-1973, he served on active duty in the U.S. Navy, after which he was hired by Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan. Dr. Woodliff worked for Ford until 2000, holding a series of management positions. While at Visteon until 2006, Dr. Woodliff held the positions of Director of Climate Sales, Director of the Lincoln Customer Business Unit, and Director of Advanced Business Development.
Born in Wyandotte, Michigan, Dr. Woodliff holds a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering, a master's degree and a doctorate in mechanical engineering, and a master's degree in business administration, all from the University of Michigan. He is Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Children's Hospital of Michigan, and a member of the Detroit Medical Center’s Board of Trustees. At the University of Michigan, Dr. Woodliff serves on the External Advisory Board of the Mechanical Engineering Department and the Industry Advisory Board of the Tauber Institute for Global Operations. Dr. Woodliff and his wife live in Dearborn, Michigan.