Margaret Anderson, Executive Director
Margaret Anderson is executive director of FasterCures/The Center for Accelerating Medical Solutions, defining the organization's strategic priorities and positions on key issues, developing its programmatic portfolio, and managing its operations. Prior to her appointment as executive director, she was FasterCures' chief operating officer for five years. She has extensive experience in managing biomedical and public health initiatives and facilitating multi-sector collaborations.
In 2011, the Clinical Research Forum recognized Anderson with an award for leadership in public advocacy, a testament to the positive impact of her leadership and FasterCures' vital role in improving the medical research system. She is a founding board member and past-president of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA, co-chairs the eHealth Initiative's Council on Data and Research, is on the board of the National Health Council, and is a member of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences Advisory Council, the Cures Acceleration Network Review Board, the National Health Council Board of Directors, United for Medical Research Steering Committee, and the Institute of Medicine's Forum on Drug Discovery, Development and Translation. She served as a board member of the Council for American Medical Innovation and the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research.
Anderson joined FasterCures after five years at the Academy for Educational Development (AED) in Washington. At AED, she was the deputy director and a team leader in the Center on AIDS & Community Health. Her responsibilities included financial and budget oversight; management of a team, projects, and staff; and strategic planning. She managed a portfolio that consisted of grants and contracts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Ford Foundation, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Between 1995 and 1998, Anderson was program director for the Society for Women's Health Research. At the society, she managed grant-funded programs, including the startup planning for the multi-year campaign Some Things Only a Woman Can Do to increase women's awareness of and participation in clinical trials, the Get Real: Straight Talk About Women's Health campaign for college campuses to improve young women's health, the Vive La Difference video and facilitator's guide to provide information about sex-based biology, and the annual Scientific Advisory Meeting.
Prior to joining the society, Anderson was a health science analyst at the American Public Health Association (APHA) from 1992 to 1995, where she managed a programmatic portfolio on HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, infectious diseases, women's health, and public health infrastructure issues. At APHA, she staffed the AIDS Working Group, the Science Board, and the Long Term Care Task Force, and wrote a series of reports on emerging HIV/AIDS issues.
From 1987 to 1991, Anderson was an analyst and project director at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. As a staff member in the Biological Applications Program, she contributed to studies on the societal implications of genetic testing. She directed reports on genetic and medical testing in the workplace and contributed to reports on forensic uses of DNA testing, cystic fibrosis screening, and U.S. investment in biotechnology.
Anderson holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland and a master's degree in science, technology, and public policy from George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs.
Cecilia O. Arradaza, Director, Communications & Policy
Cecilia Arradaza is FasterCures' communications & policy director. She manages the organization's communications programs, stakeholder outreach strategies, and policy priorities. Arradaza brings to FasterCures more than 15 years of experience in strategic communications on key issues that impact medical research and the life sciences industry. She joined FasterCures from Chandler Chicco Agency (CCA), a health communications firm, where she managed public affairs programs for clients including Johnson & Johnson, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and VHA Inc. Before joining CCA, Arradaza implemented issues advocacy initiatives for pharmaceutical and foundation clients of Hyde Park Communications, managed media relations and public education efforts for the American Psychiatric Association, and was part of the health and international public affairs practices at Powell Tate. Arradaza began her health communications career at the National Osteoporosis Foundation and the National Women's Health Network. She is on the founding board of Women Against Alzheimer's. She received her bachelor's degree from George Washington University at Mount Vernon College.
LaTese Briggs, PAS Program Analyst
LaTese Briggs is the Philanthropy Advisory Service (PAS) program analyst at FasterCures. Briggs previously served as a pharmaceutical market analyst for Decision Resources, a Boston-based research and consulting firm serving the biopharmaceutical industry. In this capacity, she provided expert analytics on the state of research and clinical development, including research challenges, market drivers, and unmet patient needs in the infectious disease space. She is trained as a biochemist, having completed her doctoral studies at the University of Maryland Baltimore County and then postdoctoral training at Harvard University/Broad Institute focusing on chemical biology and early drug discovery. She has authored several scientific articles and received a number of honors, including being named a Bill & Melinda Gates Millennium Scholar.
Kathi E. Hanna, Senior Fellow
Kathi E. Hanna has more than 25 years of experience in science, health, and education policy as an analyst, writer, and editor. Hanna served as research director and editorial consultant to President Clinton's National Bioethics Advisory Commission and has provided editorial services to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. In the 1990s, she served as senior advisor to the President's Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses and later served as the lead analyst and author of President Bush's Task Force to Improve Health Care Delivery for Our Nation's Veterans and the Task Force on the Future of Military Healthcare. She continues to provide ongoing writing and editorial assistance to the Defense Health Board and in 2010-2011 served as a writer and analyst for the Recovering Warriors Task Force. In the 1980s and 1990s, Hanna was a senior analyst at the congressional Office of Technology Assessment, contributing to numerous science policy studies requested by congressional committees on science education, research funding, science and economic development, biotechnology, women's health, mental health, children's health, human genetics, bioethics, cancer biology, and reproductive technologies. In the past two decades, she has served as an analyst and editorial consultant to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. National Academies, the U.S. Office for Human Research Protections, FasterCures, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the American Heart Association, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, and the March of Dimes. She has authored or co-authored 40 reports and papers ranging across studies of environmental health, obesity, immunization, genetics, emergency care, epilepsy, cancer, forensic science, military health, molecular biology, and general health and science policy. Before moving to the Washington, D.C., area, where she is currently located, she was the genetics coordinator/counselor at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Hanna received an A.B. in biology from Lafayette College, an M.S. in human genetics from Sarah Lawrence College, and a doctorate in government and health services administration from the School of Business and Public Management at George Washington University.
Mark Lim, Program Manager, Medical Research Innovation
Mark D. Lim is the innovations program manager at FasterCures and also serves on the scientific advisory board of the Quebec Consortium for Drug Discovery. Prior to joining FasterCures, Lim served a supporting role as the chief of technical staff at DARPA's Defense Sciences Office on a biomedical program that had efforts in new diagnostic and vaccine capabilities. He was the deputy program director for the Program for Innovative Molecular Analysis Technologies, an extramural funding program at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and also served as an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the NCI Office of Biorepositories and Biospecimen Research. Lim received his doctorate in chemistry at University of California, Santa Barbara and completed an NCI-funded postdoctoral fellowship in cancer nanotechnology at University of California, San Francisco and University of California, Berkeley. He has authored or co-authored 23 publications and book chapters on biospecimen quality challenges, federal funding opportunities for innovation, nanotechnology, and inorganic chemistry.
Susanna Ling, Associate Director, Development
Susanna Ling is responsible for corporate development projects at FasterCures. For nearly 20 years, she has been involved with the advancement of biomedical research in multiple capacities. She began her career working on leukemia research at the National Institutes of Health, then worked at leading biotechnology companies MedImmune and Guilford Pharmaceuticals, where she was involved with product development through every clinical stage and commercialization, helping to bring life-saving therapies to patients in need. Most recently, Ling was with the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the world's largest biotechnology trade association, where she was responsible for engaging leaders from pharmaceutical companies, start-up biotechs, and investors in corporate and business development programs.
Samantha Mayberry , Program Assistant
Samantha Mayberry joined the FasterCures team in September 2011 as a research intern. In May 2012, she officially joined the team as program assistant. Mayberry graduated from George Washington University in December 2011 with a bachelor's of arts in international affairs and a concentration in economics. Throughout her college career, Mayberry worked as a manager the George Washington University Lerner Health and Wellness Center. Additionally, she volunteered regularly at organizations throughout Washington, DC, such as KEEN, Capital Area Food Bank, Martha's Table, and Casey Trees.
Joseph Ortega, Operations Assistant
Joseph Ortega joined FasterCures in 2007 as operations assistant after having served as an international meetings associate for a fundraising association in Arlington, Va. Ortega brings to FasterCures extensive experience in fundraising organizations including positions he held at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Ashoka. Previously, Ortega worked as executive assistant for the president and CEO of the largest Latino advocacy, research, and legislation organization based in Washington, DC. Ortega worked for nearly 14 years as the assistant to the publisher and CEO of the largest U.S.-based Spanish language daily newspaper based in California. He also worked for Rep. Xavier Becerra, (CA-31), as executive assistant/scheduler in the Washington, DC office. Ortega studied at California State University, Los Angeles as a political science major.
Gillian Parrish, Manager, Outreach & Communications
Gillian Parrish joined FasterCures in 2009 as manager of alliance development and communications. She brings to the organization nine years of public affairs and public relations experience. Before coming to FasterCures, Parrish was a vice president on the healthcare team at Edelman, a global public relations firm, where she managed third-party outreach, strategic partnership development, public affairs, and media relations for a broad range of healthcare, health policy, and health technology clients. Parrish has served HMOs, health systems, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, drug distributors, industry trade associations, and major technology corporations. In her role as deputy director of the health alliances practice at Edelman, she supported key issues such as tobacco cessation, prostate health, women's heart health, Alzheimer's disease, and health information technology. Parrish began her career doing communications and public relations for the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum and Washington, D.C.'s Newseum. She holds a bachelor's degree in public communication from American University and a master's degree in global marketing from Emerson College.
Karen Rogers, Communications Manager
Karen Rogers joined FasterCures as communications manager in 2010. She most recently served as publications manager at the Partnership for Public Service in Washington, DC. Previously, she worked in communications at the Association of Public Health Laboratories and The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati. She has communicated health messages to multiple audiences by serving as editor of various print and electronic publications and serving as Web master. Rogers graduated with honors from Xavier University with a bachelor's degree in public relations, with minors in history and Spanish. She earned a master's degree in public communication from American University.
Kristin Schneeman, Program Director
Kristin Schneeman joined FasterCures in April 2005 as program director, with primary responsibility for its innovation portfolio of projects and activities, focused on best practices in the funding and conduct of medical research and innovative collaborations among players in the research enterprise. She brings to FasterCures 20 years' experience in public policy, politics, academia, and the media. Schneeman served for three years as a senior adviser and policy director to a gubernatorial candidate in Massachusetts, as a policy aide to a U.S. Congressman, and for four years as the front-line manager and chief-of-staff for a senior adviser to Vice President Al Gore. At Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, she directed a research project – the top priority of the dean of the school – on future challenges facing governments, and at Harvard Business School she worked with a noted professor who specializes in analyzing and advising on complex negotiations in business, politics, and international relations. Schneeman began her career as a producer of documentary films on political and social issues, for which she was the recipient of an Emmy Award in 1990.
Lisa Simms, External Affairs and Operations Director
Lisa Simms is the external affairs and operations director for FasterCures. She brings more than 13 years of experience in project and event management, office management and administration, community mobilization, and outreach for a variety of political and advocacy organizations including LISTEN, Inc., The Alliance for Justice, Time Dollar Institute, Children's Defense Fund, Democratic National Committee, and the National Rainbow Coalition. Simms is a graduate of Michigan State University.
Melissa Stevens, Deputy Executive Director
Melissa Stevens is deputy executive director for FasterCures, a nonprofit think tank and center of the Milken Institute that works across sectors to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the medical research enterprise, and accelerate the discovery and development of new treatments for deadly and debilitating diseases. Stevens manages planning and implementation of FasterCures programs. She also directs the organization’s medical philanthropy efforts including the Philanthropy Advisory Service, designed to help foundations, philanthropists, and their advisors make more impactful investments in medical research and better assess the return on philanthropy. Previously, she worked in the health sciences practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers, advising commercial and federal clients across the healthcare continuum. Stevens received a bachelor's degree in biochemistry and an M.B.A. from Pennsylvania State University.
Karlee Stewart, Communications Coordinator
Karlee Stewart is the communications coordinator for FasterCures. She joined the organization as a recent honors graduate of Northeastern University with a bachelor of arts in journalism with a concentration in public relations. During her four years in Boston, she worked in corporate communications at MathWorks and in public relations, most recently at the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, heading their social media efforts. Throughout college, she played a key role in creating the success of HerCampus Northeastern, an online magazine dedicated to Northeastern women's issues. She managed the HerCampus' team of more than 25 writers, editors, photographers, and staff members, working to produce weekly articles and content, and coordinated with the magazine's national organization and the university's administration. She has also worked as the promotions director for the university's radio station and the public relations coordinator for Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority – Phi Eta.
Shawn Sullivan, Program Associate
Shawn Sullivan joined FasterCures as a program associate in March 2011 to assist Executive Director Margaret Anderson and to perform program research and government affairs projects for the organization. Sullivan most recently worked on Capitol Hill for Congressman Michael Michaud (ME-2) and was a congressional outreach coordinator for the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis. He also has more than five years of office administration experience for an IT sales and support organization in Miami, Fl. Sullivan is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Maryland with a bachelor's degree in government and politics.
Elizabeth West, Program Manager
Elizabeth West joined FasterCures as a program manager in 2011 to support initiatives in medical philanthropy, innovative financing, and intellectual property within the biomedical research and development field. Previously, she worked in business consulting and trade association management at Adjuvant Global Advisors, a business development and strategy consulting firm in the biotechnology and regenerative medicine space. At Adjuvant, she also served as the program director for her lead client, the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine. West received her bachelor's degree in Political Science and Japanese from the University of Hawai'i and earned a Master's of Arts in International Science and Technology Policy from the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University.