William E. Bentley

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William E. Bentley is Robert E. Fischell Distinguished Chair in Engineering at the University of Maryland and Inaugural Director of the Robert E. Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices. His group develops molecular tools that facilitate expression of biologically active proteins and that manipulate signal transduction pathways, including those of bacterial communication networks. His lab also develops strategies for opening ‘communication’ between devices and biological systems. He is co-PI of Maryland’s Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation with the FDA and the National Capital Consortium for Pediatric Device Innovation with Children’s National Medical Center. He is a Fellow of the ACS, AAAS, AIMBE and the American Academy of Microbiology.

Rich Bendis

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Mr. Bendis is an entrepreneur, corporate executive, venture capitalist, investment banker, innovation and technology-based economic development leader, international speaker and consultant in the technology and healthcare industries. He currently serves as the founding President and CEO of Innovation America (IA), a national public-private partnership focused on accelerating the growth of innovation economy in America. As one of the most recognized experts in the field of innovation economy, Mr. Bendis has served on numerous distinguished boards and task forces including the White House U.S. Innovation Partnership Advisory Task Force, the Small Business Innovation Research Committee, the National Association of State Venture Funds board; State Science and Technology Institute, and the Ernst and Young Entrepreneurial Institute as a national/regional Judge.

Mr. Bendis has provided global consulting services to over 16 countries and 22 states, several cities and regions, along with international organizations including the United Nations, NATO, UK Trade and Industry, European Commission, French Embassy, the German Marshall Fund, The Canadian Consulate, METI, AKEA, the International Science Parks and Innovation Expert Group and other global entities. Mr. Bendis is a frequent consultant and speaker to 16 International innovation based economic development organizations, as well as over 20 states, regions and cities throughout the U.S. He was voted one of the Top 5 Speakers on innovation economy in 2012.

Alex M. Azar II

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Alex M. Azar II was sworn in as the Secretary of Health and Human Services on Jan. 29, 2018. Azar has spent his career working in both the public and private sectors, as an attorney and in senior leadership roles focused on advancing healthcare reform, research and innovation.

From 2001 to 2007, Azar served at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – first as its General Counsel (2001–2005) and then as Deputy Secretary. During his time as Deputy Secretary, Azar was involved in improving the department’s operations; advancing its emergency preparedness and response capabilities as well as its global health affairs activities; and helping oversee the rollout of the Medicare Part D prescription drug program.

In 2007, Azar rejoined the private sector as senior vice president for corporate affairs and communications at Eli Lilly and Co. From 2012 to 2017, he served as president of Lilly USA LLC, the company’s largest affiliate.

Azar clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia prior to practicing law for several years.

Azar graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in economics and government from Dartmouth College and earned his law degree from Yale University. For the past 10 years, Azar has lived in Indiana with his wife and their two children.

Margaret Anderson

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Margaret is a Managing Director with Monitor Deloitte based in Arlington. She brings a variety of health and translational medicine experience to the work at Deloitte. At Deloitte, she is focused on bringing forward her patient engagement experience to our regulatory practice, our non-profit work and commercial life sciences engagements. She is also focused on strengthening nonprofit organizations through strategic planning and organizational assessments. As a member of the NIH account at Deloitte, she is actively looking at how trends in the biomedical research system are impacting our nation’s largest funder of medical research.

She joined Deloitte from FasterCures, a Washington DC-based center of the Milken Institute, whose focus is to save lives by speeding up and improving the medical research system by focusing on spurring cross-sector collaboration, cultivating a culture of innovation and engaging patients as partners. While at FasterCures, she oversaw programs advancing the science of patient input, examining the metrics for collaborative research models, and policy related to federal research and regulatory. She has also worked on public health issues at the American Public Health Association and in a consulting capacity for HIV/AIDS programs. She began her career at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment looking at the impact of biotechnology and genetics on the economy and society.

Margaret is a founding board member and past-president of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA, was a founding member of the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences Advisory Council and the Cures Acceleration Network Review Board. She served previously on the National Health Council board, United for Medical Research, the Food and Drug Administration’s Science Board, Science Looking Forward Committee, and the National Academy of Medicine’s Forum on Drug Discovery, Development and Translation. She currently serves on the Board of Act for NIH, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, and the Melanoma Research Alliance.

Jonathan Aberman

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Jonathan is highly respected and valued thought leader on entrepreneurship and innovation and founder of Amplifier Ventures. . His work as a venture investor, innovation consultant, university professor and media commentator, allows him to experience and connect the many threads of entrepreneurship and technology innovation that are core to the United States economy and its future. When Jonathan talks about these areas, the community takes notice. He is identified as a leader of change and influence in print and television media, among other things being recognized by Washingtonian magazine as a “Tech Titan,” by Washington Business Journal as a member of the “Power 100” and by the Commonwealth of Virginia as one of the “50 Most Influential Entrepreneurs” in the Commonwealth. He hosts What’s Working in Washington, a podcast and weekly show on WFED examining innovation in one of the least understood business communities in the country. Jonathan’s interviews reveal how D.C. is about way more than just politics. It is brimming with creative people who are interesting, engaged and getting things done.

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