Bob Obana

Bob Obana joins Gladstone with more than 30 years of experience leading higher education and independent research organizations.


Robert “Bob” E. Obana, a seasoned executive with over 30 years of experience in the administration of higher education and independent research organizations, joined the Gladstone Institutes as chief operating officer (COO). As COO, Obana will oversee administrative services at Gladstone.

“I am thrilled to be a part of Gladstone because of its strong reputation as a first-class research organization,” said Obana. “Everyone I have met is eager and passionate about the Gladstone mission, and I look forward to sharing in that passion and building strategic partnerships.”

Obana joins Gladstone from the Northern California Institute for Research and Education (NCIRE), the nation’s leading biomedical research foundation dedicated to improving veteran’s health, where he served as executive director and chief executive officer.

“NCIRE is a hidden jewel in the research world,” said Obana. “Many of the challenges there are similar to those at Gladstone, and I feel good about how we were able to increase public awareness of the organization, expand the funding base, recruit faculty to conduct veterans-related research, and to serve those veterans who have done so much for our country.”

In addition to his position at NCIRE, Obana has served as chief finance officer and director of finance for the Public Policy Institute of California; assistant vice chancellor for budget and finance at the University of California, San Francisco; western regional manager with KPMG, LLP; and vice president for finance and administration/chief financial officer at Alliant International University. He is a member of the Statewide Leadership Council for the Public Policy Institute of California and of the Bay Area Science and Innovation Consortium (BASIC), and he also serves on the boards of the Kokoro Assisted Living Facility, the National Japanese American Historical Society, and the Tri-Valley Bank.

Obana officially begins his new position on August 1, 2016.

“My first priority is to listen and to learn all I can about Gladstone,” said Obana. “Research is a team sport, and I look forward to meeting and working with members at all levels throughout the organization.”

Obana has an AB in environmental science from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MBA from Golden Gate University.

“Gladstone has always benefited from a strong and creative group of administrators who have a passion for our scientific mission,” said Gladstone President R. Sanders “Sandy” Williams, MD. “Bob is exactly the right person to take our administrative operations to the next level. I could not be happier that he has joined us.”

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