Research!America Elects New Board Leaders

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Research!America, a nonprofit alliance that advocates for science, discovery, and innovation to achieve better health for all, has elected Susan Dentzer as board chair and the Honorable Bart Gordon as board vice chair. The Honorable Mike Castle, who served as Research!America board chair for four years, has been named chair emeritus.

Susan Dentzer, Senior Policy Fellow at the Duke University Margolis Center, is a health policy thought leader, commentator and journalist. The Honorable Bart Gordon, currently a partner at K&L Gates, served in the House of Representatives for 26 years representing Tennessee and as Chairman of the House Science Committee.

“Susan Dentzer and Bart Gordon will be powerful advocates and effective leaders of Research!America as they have already shown themselves to be while serving on our board.” said CEO and President, Mary Woolley. “They each have impressive records of elevating research for health in the national conversation”.

The Research!America alliance has a diverse base of nearly 400 institutional members spanning the medical and public health research ecosystem. Member institutions include patient advocacy organizations, universities, industry, independent research centers, philanthropic organizations, scientific societies and trade associations.

“The rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and therapeutics is simply the latest illustration of the value and necessity of ongoing investment in research for health,” said Ms. Dentzer. “Research!America has a long track-record of successful advocacy on behalf of this critical investment. I am honored to serve as board chair and to help move the cause forward.”

Together, the Research!America alliance works to increase policymaker awareness of the health and economic benefits of medical and public health research while building a strong base of citizen support for more research and innovation. Throughout 2020 and continuing in 2021, the alliance has played a pivotal role in supporting the research enterprise throughout the pandemic while looking ahead to post-pandemic needs.

“I had the opportunity to work with Research!America when I served in the House of Representatives.” said the Honorable Bart Gordon. “The organization is well-respected in the halls of Congress and throughout the public and private sector research community. It is a pleasure and honor to serve as vice chair of the board during this critical time in innovation to improve health.”

The alliance also re-elected two officers: Dr. E. Albert Reece, executive vice president for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland, the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor, and Dean of the School of Medicine will continue to serve as secretary. Amy Comstock Rick, president and CEO of the Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI), will once again serve as treasurer. Both are extremely well-regarded leaders in their respective fields of academic medicine and regulatory policy. 

“Research!America is eternally grateful for the contributions of Chair Emeritus Castle. Our entire board and staff thank him for his tremendous service to our organization.” said Mary Woolley. “We look forward to continuing to benefit from his insights and wisdom.”

Gov. Mike Castle is a former two-term Governor of Delaware, nine-term U.S. Congressman, Lieutenant Governor, Deputy Attorney General and State Senator. Governor Castle has always held a deep interest in financial services, health care and energy, and throughout his public life he has worked across party lines, building bridges and forming coalitions to find pragmatic, bipartisan solutions to some of the most pressing problems facing the country. During his nine terms as Delaware's sole member in the House of Representatives, Governor Castle served on the House Financial Services Committee, which has jurisdiction over the banking, securities and insurance industries, where he chaired the Subcommittee on Domestic and Monetary Policy and dealt with issues which directly affect the financial services industry and consumers.

Susan Dentzer is Senior Policy Fellow for the Robert J. Margolis Center for Health Policy at Duke University. Dentzer is one of the nation's most respected health and health policy thought leaders and a frequent speaker and commentator on television and radio, including PBS and NPR, and an author of commentaries and analyses in print publications. From 2016 to 2019, Dentzer was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation. From 2013 to 2016, she was senior policy adviser to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and before that, was the editor-in-chief of the policy journal Health Affairs. From 1998 to 2008, she was the on-air Health Correspondent for the PBS NewsHour. Dentzer is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine; an elected member of the Council on Foreign Relations; a fellow of the National Academy of Social Insurance; and a fellow of the Hastings Center, a nonpartisan bioethics research institute. Dentzer graduated from Dartmouth, is a trustee emerita of the college, and chaired the Dartmouth Board of Trustees from 2001 to 2004. She serves on the advisory board for the Center for Global Health Equity at Dartmouth, and previously was a member of the Board of Advisors of Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine for more than two decades. Dentzer holds an honorary master’s degree from Dartmouth and will receive a master’s degree in health care delivery science from Dartmouth in 2022.  She also holds an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Muskingum University.

The Honorable Bart Gordon joined K&L Gates as partner in the Washington, D.C. office after 26 years representing the state of Tennessee in the United States House of Representatives. He served as Chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology from 2007 to 2010. During his distinguished congressional career, Chairman Gordon developed a reputation as the undisputed bipartisan leader in innovation policy in the U.S. Congress. In 2007, he championed the America COMPETES Act, signed into law by President Bush, which promotes federal investments in innovation in order to make the U.S. more competitive. In 2010, he engineered the passage of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act. Signed by President Obama, the Act renewed the federal commitment to R&D and education. Chairman Gordon played a key role in developing and passing the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act, which encouraged the federal government to promote the transfer of nanotechnology breakthroughs from laboratories to commercial products.

Dr. E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, is the Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland; the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor, and Dean of the School of Medicine. He is also professor in the departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medicine, and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. He is a member of the prestigious National Academy of Medicine (NAM). He has served on the faculty at Yale University School of Medicine, Temple University, and as Vice Chancellor of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and dean of the College of Medicine. In 2010, he served as Acting President of the University of Maryland Baltimore. His research focuses on diabetes in pregnancy, birth defects and prenatal diagnosis.

Amy Comstock Rick, JD, is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI), having joined in August, 2014. Prior to joining FDLI, Ms. Rick was the Chief Executive Officer of the Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN) from 2003-2014. Before joining PAN, she was the Senate-confirmed Director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics from 2000-2003 and the Associate Counsel to the President in the White House Counsel’s Office from 1998-2000. Ms. Rick began her federal service as a career attorney at the U.S. Department of Education in 1989 and became the Assistant General Counsel for Ethics in 1993.  She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bard College and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan.

Media Contacts

Terri Schwartzbeck
Director of Communications 
571-482-2719

We have health challenges in this country that science will provide answers for if given the chance and we haven't given science that opportunity
Mary Woolley, President and CEO, Research!America