BIO Announces New Food and Ag Executive Director

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 22, 2004) -- Carl B. Feldbaum, President of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today announced that Sean Darragh has been selected for the newly-created position of Executive Director for BIO’s Food and Agriculture section.

“With the growth of biotechnology in agriculture, food, animals and plant-made pharmaceuticals, along with the consolidation of the Council of Biotechnology Information and its communications programs into BIO, our food and ag section has expanded at a rate and scope that required increased, strategic management of multiple programs.  Sean Darragh has both the skills and breadth of experience to lead our member companies’ efforts to usher in this new technology with its broad range of benefits,” Feldbaum stated.

The new Executive Director, who comes on board August 9, reports to the BIO President and is accountable to the BIO Food and Agriculture Section Governing Body (FASGB). He will direct the diplomatic, legislative, regulatory and communications strategy for the Food and Ag Section as well as manage the day-to-day operations, budget and staff.

Darragh has most recently been Deputy Vice President of International Affairs at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) where he led advocacy, alliance development and public affairs initiatives in the United States and abroad on intellectual property, WTO matters, tariff and non-tariff barriers and customs issues.

Prior to PhRMA, Sean served in a number of senior positions at the U.S.  government.  They include: Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of  Defense at the Pentagon, where he oversaw export policies into Latin America,  Principal Negotiator at the Office of U.S. Trade Representative where he managed the agricultural and life sciences division, Senior Advisor  to the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury  and Director for Global Issues and Multilateral Affairs on the National Security Council staff.

During his time in the U.S. Army,  Darragh commanded two artillery batteries. He is a graduate of U.S. Army Ranger School, Air Assault School and Airborne School.  He earned an M.A.L.D. in International Affairs from Tufts University and a B. S. in Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

“Biotechnology in the food and agriculture sector will continue to be a vital area of innovation contributing to health,  environmental, and economic benefits for consumers everywhere,” Darragh stated, “but with any new technology, the industry faces regulatory hurdles, trade barriers and communications challenges. It’s a full agenda, and one that I look forward to taking on. I am delighted to have the opportunity to play this leadership role at BIO.”   

“We are very pleased to have Sean Darragh in this new position,” said BIO FASGB Chairman Richard Hamilton of Ceres, Inc. “Sean brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in agricultural policy and international trade as well as industry association experience. We look forward to having Sean spearhead our efforts to enhance public understanding of agricultural biotechnology, promote science-based regulation and to provide an intellectual property framework that encourages and rewards innovation.”     

Pete Siggelko, Vice Chairman of the BIO FASGB and Dow AgroSciences Global Leader  added, “Sean’s range of experience in the life sciences area combined with his global perspective and past work with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and U.S. Department of the Treasury will help us take the necessary steps to take our organization to the next level.” 

Feldbaum also praised Jim Leslie of Kincannon & Reed of Vienna, Va. who helped conduct the nationwide search for the new position.

BIO represents more than 1,000 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations in all 50 U.S. states and 33 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health-care, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.

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About BIO
BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIOtechNOW is BIO's blog chronicling “innovations transforming our world” and the BIO Newsletter is the organization’s bi-weekly email newsletter. Subscribe to the BIO Newsletter.