Five new members have joined the Gladstone Foundation Board. increasing the breadth of expertise and bringing the size of the board to 19. The new cohort consists of current and former founders, executives, counsels, managers, and partners of Bay Area companies.
The new members include Linda S. Grais, Gary J. Morgenthaler, Stephen A. Richardson, Gary T. Steele, and James B. Tananbaum. All five began their term this fall. Together they bring a rich array of expertise from biotech, venture capital, asset management, and real estate industries.
“We are thrilled to welcome this talented group of leaders to the Foundation Board,” said Gladstone President Deepak Srivastava. “I look forward to working with the board on several key efforts related to operationalizing our new strategic plan, including developing additional partnerships with industry and advancing Gladstone’s discoveries to clinical applications.”
The Gladstone Foundation was established in 2011 as a nonprofit organization under the guidance of former Gladstone President R. Sanders Williams. Each board member is recruited for a 3-year term, and often serves two terms.
The Foundation Board provides guidance on strategic decisions, the implementation of business development plans, and building philanthropic and strategic partnerships.
“The advice and range of perspectives we get from our board members is absolutely critical,” explained Robert Wicks, vice president of philanthropy and CEO of the Foundation Board. “Their collective wisdom is amazing, and they are always ready to roll up their sleeves and help.”
By bringing together individuals with differing expertise, the board has become a valuable source of outside perspective. Board members also act as liaisons to potential industry partners and help Gladstone increase its ties to the tech and biotech industries.
“I have seen first-hand how our funding can make an impact on the science, specifically in speeding up the progress being made and allowing the scientists to delve into new and bold areas.”
Gladstone aims to double the size of the Foundation Board in the upcoming years. To this end, Gladstone looks for dedicated leaders who understand that the search for cures must begin with in-depth biological knowledge learned through discovery science.
“We all share a strong belief in the potential for science to overcome disease,” said Vice Chair Stasia Obremskey. “We know it can take a while for discovery science to lead to treatments or cures. But Gladstone’s commitment to driving a new era of discovery, and their history of making bold decisions and foundational discoveries has set them on a trajectory to greatly accelerate the pace at which basic research translates to clinical applications.”
This shared ethos is crucial to the board members’ mission as passionate ambassadors and advocates for Gladstone.
Board members help attract philanthropic support, which is used to fund early-stage research. These funds allow Gladstone scientists to pursue truly innovative and sometimes risky projects that traditional funding organizations, such as the National Institutes of Health, do not typically support.
“I have seen first-hand how our funding can make an impact on the science, specifically in speeding up the progress being made and allowing the scientists to delve into new and bold areas,” said Board Chair William (Bill) H. Younger, Jr.
And now, the skills and expertise of Gladstone’s board members will benefit more than just leadership.
This fall, Gladstone launched a new program for trainees, Beyond Gladstone. Beyond Gladstone brings in board members to share with young scientists their knowledge and personal experience from working in the industry, finance, and business side of science. This program aims to provide early-career scientists with mentoring, networking opportunities, and exposure to alternative career paths in science.
“The generosity of our board members is remarkable,” noted Srivastava. “We are in a golden age of scientific discovery, and having their support is key if we are going to find cures in the next decades."