Mass. Life Sciences Center Taps Industry Consultant as New President and CEO
Susan Windham-Bannister, a consultant with 35 years in the life sciences and healthcare industries, has been appointed president and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. The board of the state-created but quasi-public center on May 28 unanimously approved the appointment of Windham-Bannister, at an annual salary of $285,000.
The center will administer the $1 billion, 10-year Life Sciences Initiative, which Gov. Deval Patrick is expected to sign into law after a conference committee of state legislators hammers out a compromise version of the measure. That is likely to happen this week, according to the Boston Herald, which cited House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi as its source.
Windham-Bannister is the first executive named to the post following a restructuring by Patrick’s administration of the quasi-public state agency charged with overseeing the development of a life sciences cluster in Massachusetts. That restructuring began last year, after the center’s first day-to-day leader — Aaron D’Elia, who held the title of executive director and was an appointee of Patrick’s predecessor, Mitt Romney — resigned under pressure in June 2007, after drawing fire from life sciences leaders for lacking experience in the industry.
Windham-Bannister will leave her position of managing vice president at Abt Bio-Pharma Solutions, a subsidiary of Abt Associates, to take her new post at the center, which takes effect July 15.
At Abt Bio-Pharma, she focused on the development of competitive commercialization strategies for large and small biotech companies, medical device / diagnostics companies, academic medical centers, pharmaceutical companies and health service providers. Her clients included the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, GE Healthcare, Genzyme, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Massachusetts General Hospital, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, Siemens Diagnostics, Tufts Medical Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Windham-Bannister earned a PhD from Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Policy and Management, where she was a Ford Foundation Fellow, and a BA from Wellesley College. She was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship in the Institute of Politics at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, where she focused on how managed care impacts the use of pharmacologics and the adoption of novel technologies.
The selection of Windham-Bannister caps an executive search that began seven months ago when the center hired Russell Reynolds Associates. According to the center, the search firm advertised the job in The Economist and In Vivo, and reached out to more than 250 prospects and sources, focusing on executives in Massachusetts and other top-tier life science clusters.
A search committee of the board then interviewed prospects that included a CEO of a “major” biopharmaceutical company, a general partner of a “marquee” device venture fund, a vice president of a “large” pharmaceutical research institute and a vice president and general manager of a “major” diagnostics company, the center said in its announcement of Windham-Bannister’s hire.
According to numerous local press reports, Windham-Bannister and her husband gave $500 to Patrick’s 2006 campaign for governor, and $300 to the campaign of Patrick’s running mate, Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray. Later that year, Windham-Bannister served on Patrick’s transition team. Windham-Bannister is a Carlisle, Mass., resident who was traveling out of the country last week, but is expected to join Patrick and other state officials at the 2008 BIO International Convention in San Diego later this month.
The life sciences center manages a $25 million budget and is poised to award its first grants, worth $12 million, to researchers later this year. The center’sduties includemaking financial investments in public and private institutions growing life sciences research, development, and commercialization; as well as building ties between sectors of the Massachusetts life sciences community. The center says it is “closely affiliated” with the state Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, but not subject to that agency’s direct supervision or control.
General Manager of Public Radio Station Named New CED President
Joan Siefert Rose has been named the new president of the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, a Durham, NC, nonprofit focused on helping life sciences and other technology companies grow in the Research Triangle Park region. Rose’s new position takes effect Aug. 11.
Rose, a CED board member for four years, will succeed Monica Doss, who retired May 31 after running the organization since 1986 as its first-ever full-time leader. CED provides networking, education, and venture-capital resources to more than 5,000 active members.
Rose is a 20-year radio veteran and journalist who previously served as the general manager at public radio station WUNC-FM, doubling the station’s staff and annual budget. At WUNC, Rose oversaw a format change to news and information, as well as a capital campaign that ran from 2004 to 2007 and topped its goal of raising $3.25 million. Rose steered the station toward producing more national programming, including segments for the Marketplace business program as well as the syndicated program The Story With Dick Gordon.
The station also opened a production studio at the American Tobacco Historic District in Durham, and expanded by adding reporters and bureaus, one of which is set to open in downtown Greensboro, NC, this fall
Before joining WUNC in 2001, Rose held the top post at Michigan Radio in Ann Arbor for four years. She has also been a reporter and news anchor for various stations around the country, winning a Peabody Award and other honors.
Rose has an undergraduate degree from Middlebury College in Vermont and a master's degree in public health from the University of Michigan. She lives with her husband, Jim, and their two sons in Chapel Hill, NC.
Robert ‘Bobby’ Klein, Lawyer for Proposed Port St. Lucie Biocampus, Dies at 49
Robert "Bobby" Klein, a partner in the Fort Pierce, Fla., law firm Klein and Dobbins, and a lawyer for a life sciences campus project pending before Port St. Lucie, Fla., officials, died May 26 after getting caught in rip currents and drowning at Bob Graham Beach on Hutchinson Island in Martin County. He was 49.
Klein was set to have appeared May 27 at the Port St. Lucie City Council meeting to represent the Lulfs Grove Business Park project. The project entailed the city annexing 464.5 acres of vacant agricultural land west of Glades Cut-Off Road to attract biotechnology and other industry.
The day of the council meeting, Mayor Patricia Christensen called for a five-minute recess after planner Michael Houston and some council members teared up during a discussion on the Lulfs Grove project.
A day earlier, Klein, at the beach with his family, swam out to rescue his two sons, 14-year-old Ethan and 11-year-old Peyton, who got caught in the currents while riding Boogie boards. The boys were fine, but Klein lost consciousness and was brought back to shore by rescue workers before being pronounced dead at Martin Memorial Medical Center, according to Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers.
Klein was born in Chicago and raised in Chattanooga, Tenn., where he attended the McCallie School, a boys’ college preparatory school. He is a former chair of St. Lucie County's planning and zoning commission; served on the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council; and was president of the Chamber of Commerce in the 1990s. Klein also was a founding member of Temple Beit HaYam in Stuart in 1993 and was on the board of directors there for about eight years.
Klein graduated from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and went to law school at Emory University in Atlanta.
Klein's funeral was held May 29 at Temple Beit HaYam, followed by internment at Forest Hills Memorial Park in Palm City. The family has requested donations be made to Treasure Coast Hospice, 1201 S.E. Indian St., Stuart, FL 34997; or United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Member and Donor Services, P.O. Box 90988, Washington, D.C., 20090-0988.
Ex-Medical Producer of CBS Early Show Joins AMDeC Foundation
Robert Forman has been named director of communications by the Academic Medicine Development Company or AMDeC Foundation, a consortium of 28 medical schools, academic health centers, and medical science research organizations in New York state.
Forman joins AMDeC from CBS News, where he prepared the daily Healthwatch segment as lead medical producer for the network’s morning broadcast, The Early Show. For two years before joining Early Show, Forman wrote and produced Discovery Health Channel’s Daily Rounds program, a daily compilation of health news prepared by CBS News Productions. Also for Discovery Health Channel, Forman produced the Health in the News series, as well as a one-hour Medical Profile on Hall of Fame football quarterback Joe Namath’s battle with arthritis.
Forman previously produced or co-produced A&E Biography programs on celebrities, including Robert Blake, Cal Ripken, Jr., Jack Nicklaus, James Arness, Patricia Heaton and Giorgio Armani, as well as programs in the Twentieth Century with Mike Wallace series on the History Channel. He also covered nine national political conventions, two New Hampshire primaries and the 1996 Pat Buchanan for President campaign, and was a member of the CBS News team that received an Alfred E. DuPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for its distinguished reporting from China during and after the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising.
Forman has also won the American Heart Association’s Howard W. Blakeslee Award, the Champion-Tuck Award for reporting on business and economic issues, an Overseas Press Club award and a Communicator Award.
A graduate of Princeton University, Forman lives in New York City with his wife Audrey and their two children.