About AWIS

AWIS Governance

Meet the AWIS 2016–2017 National Governing Board

President Bahija Jallal, PhD

Executive Vice President of AstraZeneca and Head of MedImmune

As part of AstraZeneca’s Senior Executive Team, Dr. Bahija Jallal is tasked with advancing the biologic organization’s pipeline of drugs targeting cancer, infections, respiratory and inflammatory diseases, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal disorders, and pain. Dr. Jallal received a master’s degree in biology from Paris Diderot University and her doctorate in physiology from Pierre-and-Marie-Curie University. She conducted her postdoctoral research at the Max-Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany.

President-Elect Susan Windham-Bannister, PhD

Managing Director, Biomedical Innovation Advisors, LLC,
and President and CEO, Biomedical Growth Strategies, LLC

Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister is a world-renowned innovation expert, recognized by the Boston Globe as one of the “10 Most Influential Women in Biotech” in 2013. Windham-Bannister currently serves as managing partner of Biomedical Innovation Advisors LLC, as well as the president and CEO of Biomedical Growth Strategies, LLC. She received a BA from Wellesley College, a doctorate in health policy and management from the Florence Heller School at Brandeis University, and a doctor of science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (honoris causa). She has been an AWIS member since 2016.

Secretary Robert Powell, PhD

Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
and of Food Science and Technology, University of California Davis

Dr. Robert Powell has been a faculty member at the University of California Davis since 1984. From 2002 until 2011, he was chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. Besides his academic position, Dr. Powell serves as Science Advisor to the Secretary of the California Department of Natural Resources. In 2014 he was appointed to chair the Science and Technology Committee. Dr. Powell has published over 110 papers in peer-reviewed journals. He holds his BA, MS, and PhD from Johns Hopkins University and has been an active AWIS member since 2015.

Treasurer Pamela Marrone, PhD

CEO and Founder, Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc.

Dr. Pam Marrone is the CEO and founder of Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (MBII: NASDAQ). In December 2013, she was named the Sacramento Businessperson of the Year for the Sacramento, California, region by the Sacramento Business Journal. Her peers have elected Dr. Marrone as a Fellow of AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science). She has a BS in entomology, with honors and distinction, from Cornell University and a PhD in entomology from North Carolina State University. Dr. Marrone has been an active AWIS member since 1994.

Councilor Vasudev Bailey, PhD

Principal, Quid

Dr. Vasudev Bailey is a principal at Quid and leader of the global healthcare practice, where he guides senior leaders on business and commercial strategy using data science, software technology, and Big Data. He received his PhD in biomedical engineering from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he was recognized as both a Siebel and a Medtronic Scholar. Dr. Bailey graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from University of California Irvine, where he was also recognized as both a Regents and a Henry Samueli Scholar. He has been an AWIS member since 2016.

Councilor Patricia Bartlett

Acting Assistant Secretary for Education and Access, Smithsonian

Patricia Bartlett is the Acting Assistant Secretary for Education and Access for the Smithsonian Institution, where she is defining its education program. Prior to this, Ms. Bartlett was senior advisor for Higher Education Initiatives at the Smithsonian and chief of staff to former Secretary of the Smithsonian Dr. Wayne Clough. She holds a BA in political science from Agnes Scott College and masters’ degrees in urban affairs from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and in writing from Johns Hopkins University. She has been an active AWIS member since 2015.

Councilor Sangeeta Bhatia, PhD

Dr. Sangeeta Bhatia is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and the John J. and Dorothy Wilson Professor at MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She is the Director of the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine, and a member of the Ludwig Center for Molecular Oncology and is also an Affiliated Faculty member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, an Institute Member of the Broad Institute, a Biomedical Engineer at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and has been elected to Brown University’s Board of Trustees.

Millennial Councilor Jennifer Blum, PhD

Astrophysicist/Research Staff Member for the Department of Defense

Dr. Jennifer Blum is an astrophysicist and graduated from Columbia University with a bachelor’s degree in astrophysics. In 2011, she was the first African American in five years to obtain her PhD in astrophysics at the University of Michigan. Her expertise was in black holes, and she was a Rackham Science Award Fellow. She has been trained by multiple mentors, including Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. Dr. Blum was a member of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) and of Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) while at the University of Michigan. She has been an AWIS DC mentoring circle leader for the last two years and has participated in Society of Women Engineers (SWE) conferences. Dr. Blum is currently a researcher for the Department of Defense. Her hobbies include professional voice acting in radio commercials.

Councilor April Burke

President and Founder, Lewis-Burke Associates LLC

April Burke has over thirty years of experience in legislative and regulatory advocacy and analysis in areas related to higher education, science and engineering research, technology transfer, and health policy. Ms. Burke represents leading research universities and scientific societies with Congress, federal agencies, and the White House. She received a BA from Stanford University, where she was Phi Beta Kappa, and is a graduate of George Washington University National Law Center. Ms. Burke has been an active AWIS member since 2005.

Councilor Jennifer Elisseeff, PhD

Dr. Jennifer Elisseeff is a professor of ophthalmology and orthopaedic surgery at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She also holds appointments in the Johns Hopkins Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Department of Materials Science and Engineering and she is the Jules Stein Professor of Ophthalmology and director of the Translational Tissue Engineering Center. Her interdisciplinary laboratory comprises surgical fellows, biologists, chemists, and engineers that work together to develop new biomaterials, study stem cells, and design new technologies for regenerative medicine.

Councilor Jean I. Feldman

Head of Policy Office, Division of Institution and Award Support, Office of Budget, Finance and Award Management, National Science Foundation

Jean I. Feldman is head of the Policy Office, Division of Institution and Award Support, within the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Office of Budget, Finance and Award Management. Prior to working at NSF, she worked in policy positions for the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command. She has a BA in history and political science from Wright State University and a master’s in public administration from George Washington University. She has been an AWIS member since 2016.

Councilor Sara Kenkare-Mitra, PhD

Dr. Sara Kenkare-Mitra is Senior Vice President of Development Sciences at Genentech. Sara has had a significant impact on the development of a number of biologics and small molecules leading to Genentech’s key product approvals including Avastin, Tarceva, Lucentis, Xolair, Erivedge, Perjetta, and Kadcyla. In addition, more than 60 Investigational New Drug applications with the potential to treat a multitude of diseases, in particular, cancer, have been filed by her organization with US and ex-US regulatory agencies. At Genentech she is a key member of the technical and portfolio decision-making committees.

Councilor Wendy Mayer

Ms. Mayer is Vice President, Worldwide Innovation for Pfizer and a member of Pfizer’s Worldwide Business Development and Innovation Leadership Team. In this role, she is responsible for driving innovative ideas and thinking across the organization through the identification of transformative and disruptive innovation platforms that can be leveraged across the business, and through the development of an innovative culture that will support continued innovation throughout the organization. Wendy joined Pfizer in 1997 and has had various roles across different aspects of the commercial organization.

Councilor Pamela McCauley, PhD

Professor, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems, University of Central Florida

Dr. Pamela McCauley leads the Human Factors in Disaster Management Research Team and serves as director of the Ergonomics Laboratory at the University of Central Florida. Dr. McCauley was recently selected to be a Jefferson Science Fellow with the U.S. State Department. Her areas of research and expertise include: ergonomics, biomechanics, fuzzy set theory, and artificial intelligence research, particularly with applications to human factors. Dr. McCauley earned her bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD in industrial engineering from the University of Oklahoma. She has been an active AWIS member since 2015.

Councilor David Ruth

Executive Director, Elsevier Foundation

David Ruth is executive director of the Elsevier Foundation, which funds programs to promote access to scientific and medical information in the developing world, expand the participation of women in science, and enhance professional education in health care. Mr. Ruth earned a master’s degree from the Columbia University School of International Affairs, with a specialization in international economics, and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the University of Wisconsin. He has been an active AWIS member since 2011.

Councilor Gillian Small, PhD

Provost and Senior VP for Academic Affairs, Fairleigh Dickinson University

Dr. Gillian Small was recently named provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Prior to this, she served as dean for research at the City University of New York (CUNY) and was appointed vice chancellor for research. Dr. Small came to the United States in 1985 to conduct postdoctoral research at Rockefeller University in New York in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Dr. Christian DeDuve. Dr. Small received her PhD in biological sciences from Wolverhampton Polytechnic (now University of Wolverhampton) in England. She has been an active AWIS member since 2012.

Councilor Elizabeth L. Travis, PhD

Associate Vice President, Women Faculty Programs; Mattie Allen Fair Professor in Cancer Research; and Professor in the Department of Experimental Radiation Oncology, Division of Radiation Oncology,
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Dr. Elizabeth Travis is an internationally recognized scientist who has made seminal contributions to our understanding of the effects of radiation on normal tissue. She is a fellow of the American Society of Radiation Oncology and is a recipient of the Leadership Development Award from the Group on Women in Medicine and Science of the Association of American Medical Colleges. Dr. Travis is a tireless advocate for women faculty and is committed to furthering their academic careers and to seeing them appointed to leadership positions. She has been an active AWIS member since 2008.

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