Research!America Elects New Board Leaders and Directors

Monday, March 27, 2017

Research!America, a nonprofit advocacy alliance, has elected Governor Michael Castle as board chair and the Honorable Kweisi Mfume as board vice chair. The Honorable John Edward Porter, who served as Research!America board chair for 12 years, has been named chair emeritus. The alliance also elected two new members to serve on its board of directors: Dr. Susan Fitzpatrick, president of the James S. McDonnell Foundation, and the Honorable Bart Gordon, partner, K&L Gates. 

“I am confident that Gov. Michael Castle and the Hon. Kweisi Mfume will be powerful advocates and effective leaders of Research!America,” said the Hon. John Edward Porter. “They both have an impressive and proven track-record of elevating research for health in the national conversation and supporting pro-innovation policies.” 

“I am honored to serve as Research!America’s board chair and work with leaders and advocates in the scientific community to strengthen federal support for public and private sector research and policies that foster innovation,” said Gov. Michael Castle. “As chair, I’m committed to working with our distinguished board of directors to ensure our nation’s scientific enterprise is equipped to address threats to our health, economy and national security.” 

“It is a privilege to serve as vice chair of Research!America,” said the Hon. Kweisi Mfume. “It’s imperative that our nation remains a global leader in research and innovation and I look forward to doing my part to keep research for health at the forefront of national priorities.” 

“Research!America is eternally grateful for the contributions of Chair Emeritus Porter and we are delighted that Gov. Michael Castle and the Hon. Kweisi Mfume will spearhead our alliance,” said Mary Woolley, president and CEO, Research!America. “Dr. Susan Fitzpatrick and the Honorable Bart Gordon are exceptional research for health advocates and we look forward to benefiting from their insights.”  

Governor Michael Castle, chair of Research!America’s Board of Directors, is a former two-term Governor, nine-term U.S. Congressman, Lieutenant Governor, Deputy Attorney General and State Senator, and is a partner in DLA Piper's Government Affairs practice. He maintains offices in Wilmington, Del., Washington, D.C. and New York. Gov. 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. His extensive state and federal experience provides a unique understanding on a wide array of issues faced by businesses that are dealing with federal laws and regulations, are incorporated in Delaware or dealing with Delaware business entities. During his nine terms as Delaware's sole member in the House of Representatives, Gov. 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.

The Honorable Kweisi Mfume, vice chair of Research!America’s board of directors, is a former five-term Member of Congress. Mr. Mfume joined the Board of Research!America after concluding 12 years of service on the Johns Hopkins Board of Trustees. He is the former Executive Director of the National Medical Association and former President and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), a position he held for nine years. He currently serves as Chief Health Equity Officer of Capital Technologies Informatics Systems and Director of Maryland's Health Policy Research Consortium. In Congress, he served on the Banking and Financial Services Committee and held the ranking seat on the General Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. Mr. Mfume also served as a member of the Committee on Education and as a senior member of the Small Business Committee. He served as both Vice-Chair and later Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. Kweisi Mfume was formerly a member of the Board of Visitors of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, People for the American Way, and the Meyerhoff Scholars Advisory Board of the University of Maryland. Active in the community, Kweisi Mfume is currently Chairman of the Morgan State University Board of Regents. Mr. Mfume is the recipient of eleven honorary doctorate degrees and hundreds of other awards and citations. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Morgan State University and has a Master’s degree in Liberal Arts from Johns Hopkins 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. He was also a senior member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and served on the House Committee on Financial Services and the House Committee on Rules, Transatlantic Parliamentary Dialogue, and NATO Parliamentary Assembly. 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. He also promoted legislation that would implement a research program focusing on the environmental, health, and safety aspects of nanotechnology. 

Dr. Susan Fitzpatrick is president of the James S. McDonnell Foundation, St. Louis, Missouri. The McDonnell Foundation is one of a limited number of international grant-makers supporting university based research in biological, behavioral, and complex systems sciences through foundation-initiated programs. As president, Dr. Fitzpatrick serves as JSMF’s Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Fitzpatrick joined the James S. McDonnell Foundation in 1993 as the Foundation’s first Program Officer. She was promoted to Program Director in 1997 and to Vice President in 2000. Fitzpatrick is an adjunct associate professor in the department of neuroscience at Washington University School of Medicine (St. Louis) and teaches neuroscience in both lectures and seminars. Dr. Fitzpatrick lectures and writes on issues concerning applications of neuroscience to clinical problems, the translation of cognitive science to educational settings, the role of private philanthropy in the support of scientific research, and on issues related to the public dissemination of and understanding of science. Dr. Fitzpatrick serves on the board of the Ontario Brain Institute, is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Foundation Science Council, and is a member of the International Advisory Council of the Rotman Institute for Philosophy. 

A full list of Research!America's board members is available here:  


Media Contacts

Tim Haynes
Senior Director of Communications 

Without continued support for health research, many of the most promising young scientists, their ideas and a myriad of potentially life-changing scientific breakthroughs will vanish into oblivion.
Paul Marinec, PhD; University of California San Francisco