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Mark Allan, PhD, Director of Genetic Technology, Trans Ova Genetics

Dr. Mark F. Allan presently serves as the Director of Genetic Technology for Trans Ova Genetics, Sioiux Center, Iowa. In this role he oversees R&D for genetics, genetic marketing opportunities and new product development activities. Mark earned his undergraduate animal science degree from the University of Nebraska. Upon graduation and for the next seven years, he established a career in the beef industry, working directly with purebred cow/calf production. He returned to graduate school at the University of Nebraska, and studied mouse models to understand the genetic basis of energy metabolism and response of correlated traits in livestock species. In 2000, Mark developed and taught the inaugural Applications of Biotechnology in Livestock Class at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA. Upon earning his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska, Dr. Allan served as a Research Geneticist for the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (2003-2008) in Clay Center, Neb. In that position, he provided leadership in DNA mapping of production traits in beef cattle, with a large portion of his work focused on feed efficiency and reproductive performance. Dr. Allan served as a member of the group of scientists that brought the first bovine 50K genomic chip to market. Mark (2008-2011) served as the Associate Director of Global Technical Services for Pfizer Animal Health-Genetics. He was instrumental in the development and launch of Pfizer’s Angus HD 50K, a high density DNA tool enabling genetic improvement in Angus cattle, and the Dairy Clarified DNA tool, which has resulted in the application of genomic technology in the commercial dairy sector. He has been the recipient of multiple industry awards, including being named as one of the “Top Ten Industry Leaders Under 40” by Cattle Business Weekly and receiving the Trail Blazers Teachers and Researchers honor from the American Angus Journal. Mark has also been honored by the University of Nebraska, having accepted the Milton Mohr Teaching Fellowship Award and the Jon Holling Distinguished Teaching Award. Additionally, Mark has been recognized by Pfizer Animal Health with special awards for outstanding teaching and support of the Pfizer Animal Health work force. From 2006-2011 he served as an adjunct faculty member of the University of Nebraska Animal Science Department. Mark has given numerous invited symposium talks in North America and abroad.

David L. Ayares, PhD,  Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, Revivicor, Inc.

Dr. David Ayares, PhD is currently Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer for Revivicor Inc. Revivicor is a regenerative medicine company focused on providing a safe, human-compatible, alternative tissue source for human therapeutic use towards overcoming the World-wide organ shortage crisis. Based in Blacksburg, Virginia, Revivicor is a fully-owned subsidiary of United Therapeutics. The company has a diverse pipeline of genetically engineered (GE) pigs for use in xenotransplantation applications. Lead pre-clinical efforts are focused on applying the GE pig technology for replacement organs, specifically lungs, kidney, and heart. Prior to the formation of Revivicor in 2003, he was Vice President of Research and COO for PPL Therapeutics Inc., and part of the team that cloned Dolly the sheep. Dr. Ayares previously worked for 7 years in the pharmaceutical industry at Abbott Laboratories and Baxter Healthcare, developing transgenic mouse models for pharmaceuticals testing, as well as, encapsulation technologies for islet cell delivery. Doctoral research at the University of Illinois Medical Center (1982-1987), and post-doctoral research, in the Dept. of Biology at M.I.T. (1987-1990), focused on the study of gene targeting and DNA repair mechanisms in mammalian systems.

Russ Behnam, Senior Counsel to the Senate Agriculture Committee’s Ranking Member, Senator Debbie Stabenow

Russ Behnam currently serves as Senior Counsel to the Senate Agriculture Committee’s Ranking Member, Senator Debbie Stabenow. Since joining the Committee in May, 2011, Russ has been an advisor to Senator Stabenow on all policy and legislative issues regarding agricultural biotechnology and crop protection issues regulated under FIFRA. Russ also serves as an advisor on all policy and legislative issues regarding the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, including the Committee’s current effort to reauthorize the Commodity Exchange Act. Additionally, Russ handles all executive nominations that are referred to the Committee for the ranking member. As a senior advisor to Chairwoman Stabenow during negotiation and passage of the Agricultural Act of 2014, Russ helped find bipartisan agreement on all FIFRA related issues, and acted as legal counsel for the Research, Rural Development, and the Forestry titles of the bill. Prior to joining the Senate Agriculture Committee, Russ practiced law in New York City. Russ received a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and a law degree from Syracuse University College of Law.

Franck Cesar Jean Berthe, DVM, PhD, Senior Livestock Specialist, The World Bank

Franck Berthe is Senior Livestock Specialist at the World Bank and coordinator of the Livestock Global Alliance. The Alliance brings together the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), the International Research Institute on Livestock (ILRI), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and the World Bank, five global public institutions committed for safer, fairer and more sustainable livestock. Franck was previously Head of the Animal and Plant Health Unit at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) based in Parma, Italy. His core activity was to assess animal and plant production systems and practices with respect to primary production, ecosystems and public health. Franck’s job was to provide scientific advice to the EU risk managers and decision makers on a wide range of risks at the human-animal-ecosystem interface. Prior to coming to Italy in 2007, Franck was Associate Professor at the Atlantic Veterinary College (UPEI) and Canada Research Chair in Aquatic Health Sciences, exploring host pathogens relations in their environment. From 1994 to 2004, Franck has led active research in aquatic animal health at the French institute for the exploitation of the sea (IFREMER) in France and overseas territories. Franck is Vice-President of the Biological Standards Commission of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). He has served on OIE specialized Commissions since 1996. A native of France, Franck received a doctorate of veterinary medicine, and a PhD degree in molecular parasitology. He has a diploma in bacteriology from the Pasteur Institute.

Leah Beyer, Manager, Global Corporate Communications, Elanco Animal Health

Perspective is the view from your side of the fence based on what was, what could be and a whole lot of attitude. While farm life for Leah Beyer has entailed challenges that would cause most to head to greener pastures, the realities of life on her side of the fence fueled her zeal and resolve and further rooted her family on their Indiana farm. In addition to her role as a farm wife and mom, Leah has worked with the 4-H program, Indiana Farm Bureau and ag focused consulting agencies. In 2009, she joined the Indiana Soybean Alliance as the livestock director before starting her own consulting business that helped agriculture organizations through the governmental and social media mazes. Today, she continues to work in the agricultural industry for Lilly’s animal health sector, Elanco. In her role as global digital communications manager, she guides the digital and social media team that implements the social media strategies, website oversight and social media listening for the business and education needs.

Jay Byrne, President, v-Fluence Interactive

Jay Byrne is president and founder of v-Fluence Interactive, Inc. (v-Fluence). v-Fluence is a strategic communication and research agency providing public affairs, reputation and issues management support to some of the largest multi-national corporations, leading academic institutions, respected non-governmental organizations and government agencies across the globe. Mr. Byrne has more than 25 years of experience in public affairs and issues management. He directs an award-winning team that has been recognized internationally for its innovative, comprehensive and fully integrated new media communication and stakeholder engagement campaigns. Previously Mr. Byrne was director of corporate communications for Monsanto Company -- a global life sciences company with over 35,000 employees located in more than 100 countries. Mr. Byrne directed biotechnology acceptance communications, media relations, employee communications and consumer research programs in the U.S. and emerging markets. He managed Monsanto’s award-winning family of Internet sites and programs, as well as developed third-party support for biotechnology acceptance. Prior to joining Monsanto Mr. Byrne served as chief spokesperson, chief of staff and deputy assistant administrator for legislative and public affairs at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) from 1993 to 1997. Mr. Byrne also served as director of press relations for USAID. During his tenure at USAID he acted as the White House spokesman and media coordinator for the G-7 Detroit Jobs Conference and numerous other administration international economic development and trade initiatives. Mr. Byrne has held senior communications and press positions with the Clinton/Gore administration and presidential campaigns, Massachusetts Congressman Joe Kennedy, Boston Mayor Ray Flynn, Oregon Congressman Mike Kopetski and with numerous organizations and elected officials. He has been a featured speaker at more than 100 international trade and professional conferences. Byrne was a contributing author to the American Enterprise Institute published book “Let Them Eat Precaution” and he has published numerous articles on understanding global activism, effective science advocacy, strategic communications, reputation management and new media strategies in various mainstream, trade and peer reviewed journals including Forbes, Reputation Management Magazine, Public Relations Journal and other publications. A graduate of Tufts University, Byrne resides in St. Louis, Missouri with his wife Ann Kittlaus, daughter Erin and son Paul.

Matthew Carr, PhD, Executive Director, Algae Biomass Organization (ABO)

Matthew Carr, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of the Algae Biomass Organization (ABO), the non-profit trade association for the algae sector. ABO represents the world’s leading algae businesses, institutions and individuals with a mission to promote the development of viable commercial markets for algae products. As Executive Director, Matt is the strategic and operational head of ABO with responsibility for the organization’s advocacy, communications and industry development initiatives, including the Algae Biomass Summit, the world’s largest algae conference. Matt joined ABO in 2014 after nine years as Director, then Managing Director, of the Industrial and Environmental Section at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the world’s largest trade association for the biotechnology sector. At BIO, Matt led successful efforts to establish a national mandate, tax incentives and other federal programs for advanced biofuels and biobased products. Before joining BIO, Matt was the American Meteorological Society Congressional Fellow on the Senate Agriculture Committee for Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), where he contributed to the development of the biomass provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Matt began his career as an environmental reporter for the Dallas Morning News after earning a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Washington and a B.Sc. in Atmospheric & Ocean Sciences (Honors) from McGill University. Matt has also taught middle school math and science, and participated as an undergraduate in the world’s largest tornado research field experiment. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife and two children.

Dennis Carroll, PhD, Director, Global Health Security and Development Unit, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) 

Dr. Dennis Carroll currently serves as the Director of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Global Health Security and Development Unit. In this position Dr. Carroll is responsible for providing strategic and operational leadership for the Agency's programs addressing new and emerging disease threats. Dr. Carroll also serves as USAID's Special Representative for Global Health Security. Dr Carroll was initially detailed to USAID from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a senior public health advisor in 1991. In 1995 he was named the Agency's Senior Infectious Diseases advisor, responsible for overseeing the Agency's programs in malaria, tuberculosis, antimicrobial resistance, disease surveillance, as well as neglected and emerging infectious diseases. In this capacity Dr. Carroll was directly involved in the development and introduction of a range of new technologies for disease prevention and control, including: community-based delivery of treatment of onchocerciasis, rapid diagnostics for malaria, new treatment therapies for drug resistant malaria, intermittent therapy for pregnant women and “long-lasting” insecticide treated bednets for prevention of malaria. He was responsible for the initial design and development of the President’s Malaria Initiative. Dr. Carroll officially left CDC and joined USAID in 2005 when he assumed responsibility for leading the USAID response to the spread of avian influenza. Dr Carroll has a doctorate in biomedical research with a special focus in tropical infectious diseases from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He was a Research Scientist at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory where he studied the molecular mechanics of viral infection. Dr. Carroll has received awards from both CDC and USAID, including the 2006 USAID Science and Technology Award for his work on malaria and avian influenza, and the 2008 Administrator’s Management Innovation Award for his management of the Agency’s Avian and Pandemic Influenza program.

Dave Conley, Director, Aquaculture without Frontiers (AwF)

Dave Conley joined the Board of Directors of Aquaculture without Frontiers (AwF) in February 2010, was appointed Executive Director in August 2011, and served in that position until June 2013 when he became Director, Corporate Communications at AquaBounty Technologies, Inc. AwF is an independent non-profit organisation registered in the USA, Australia, the UK, and soon Mexico. It works globally to promote aquaculture to alleviate poverty and improve health and livelihoods in developing countries. With a database of almost 400 volunteers from around the world, AwF provides technical and educational services to other organizations and governments working in poverty alleviation, nutrition, and food security. Previously Dave was Senior Consultant and Founding Partner of the Aquaculture Communications Group (ACG). He holds an M.Sc. in Parasitology from the Institute of Parasitology, McGill University, and a B.Sc. (Agr.), Renewable Resources Development, from the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, McGill University. He also holds a Diploma in Agriculture, Farm Business Management, from Kemptville College, University of Guelph.

Constance Cullman, President, Farm Foundation, NFP

Constance Cullman was named President of Farm Foundation, NFP in June 2016. She succeeds Neil Conklin, who retired after serving as President since 2008. Prior to joining Farm Foundation, Cullman was U.S. Government Affairs Leader with Dow AgroSciences. She previously worked at the Corn Refiners Association, Foreign Agricultural Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, and the Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Cullman is a graduate of Ohio State, earning her bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics, and a master’s degree in agricultural economics with an emphasis on international trade and agricultural policy.

James Cummings, MD, Senior Director, Clinical Development, Novavax


Bernadette Dunham, DVM, PhD, Visiting Professor at Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University

Bernadette Dunham, DVM, PhD, is currently a Visiting Professor with the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University where her focus is on One Health issues. Dunham served as Director of the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 2008-2016. The Center regulates the manufacture and distribution of safe and effective drugs and food additives that will be given to animals, including animals from which human foods are derived, as well as companion animals and minor species. During her tenure at CVM Dunham also served as Deputy Director of CVM, Director of the Office of Minor Use and Minor Species Animal Drug Development, and Deputy Director of the Office of New Animal Drug Evaluation. From 1996-2012, Dunham was an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to joining FDA in 2002, Dunham was Acting Director for the American Veterinary Medical Association's (AVMA) Governmental Relations Division in Washington, D.C. She also served as Director of Laboratory Animal Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology at the State University of New York Health Science Center, Syracuse, N.Y. She participated in a post-doctoral residency program in the Department of Pathology at the N.Y. State College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., and was a research assistant professor at Boston University. Prior to returning to academia to pursue her Ph.D., Dunham was in private practice in Ontario, Canada. Dunham received the degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph, and a Ph.D. in cardiovascular physiology from Boston University.

Alison Van Eenennaam, PhD, Cooperative Extension Specialist Animal Genomics and Biotechnology, University of California, Davis

Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam is a Cooperative Extension Specialist in the field of Animal Genomics and Biotechnology in the Department of Animal Science at University of California, Davis. She received a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from the University of Melbourne in Australia, and both an MS in Animal Science, and a PhD in Genetics from UC Davis. Her publicly-funded research and outreach program focuses on the use of animal genomics and biotechnology in livestock production systems. Her current research projects include the development of genomic approaches to select for cattle that are less susceptible to disease, the development of genome editing approaches for livestock, and applied uses of DNA-based information on commercial beef cattle operations. She has given over 400 invited presentations to audiences globally, and uses a variety of media to inform general public audiences about science and technology. She frequently provides a credentialed voice on controversial topics including cloning and genetically engineered plants and animals. Dr. Van Eenennaam was the recipient of the 2014 Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) Borlaug Communication Award, and the 2016 Beef Improvement Association (BIF) Continuing Service Award.

L. Val Giddings, PhD, Senior Fellow, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF)

L. Val Giddings is Senior Fellow with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) in Washington D.C.  He oversees life sciences activities for ITIF with a particular emphasis on agricultural biotechnology.  He also serves as President and CEO of PrometheusAB, Inc., providing consulting services in regulatory compliance, media, and strategic planning.  Before joining ITIF he served for eight years as Vice President for Food & Agriculture of the Biotechnology Industry Organization.  At BIO, Giddings built a highly regarded program representing global biotech companies in policy, regulation, media and international affairs relating to agricultural biotechnology.  Giddings holds a PhD in Genetics and has three decades of experience in biotechnology policy and regulation.  Before joining BIO he spent 8 years with the biotech products regulatory division of the United States Department of Agriculture.  While with USDA he was International Team Leader and Branch Chief for Science & Policy Coordination.  During this time he gained substantial international experience, serving on the US delegations to negotiate the biodiversity treaty, and to the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.   Giddings arrived in Washington in 1984 to join the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment where he directed and contributed to studies related to biotechnology, the environment, and regulatory policy. He has also served as expert consultant to the United Nations Environment Programme, the World Bank, USDA, USAID, and numerous companies, organizations and governments around the world.

James Glueck, Jr., Senior Policy Advisor, U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry

James Glueck became senior policy advisor for the Senate agriculture committee in 2015. He previously served as deputy staff director and policy director for the Senate agriculture committee as well as legislative assistant for agriculture, trade, foreign relations, and water issues for Senator Mike Johanns. Prior to coming to Capitol Hill, James worked for Bunge North America, an integrated agribusiness and food ingredient company. Previously, he served at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including roles as a senior advisor to the Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, congressional liaison, deputy White House liaison, deputy director of intergovernmental affairs, and confidential assistant in the Farm Service Agency. James received an undergraduate degree in agricultural development from Texas A&M University and a graduate certificate in advanced international affairs from the George Bush School of Government and Public Service.

Elizabeth Held, Director Online and Millenial Engagement, White House Writers Group

Elizabeth Held is the director of online and millennial engagement at the White House Writers Group. She focuses on food and agriculture issues. Ms. Held helps build communities online dedicated to fighting activist myths about food and farming; and advises clients on their social media needs. She runs the White House Writers Group training program and conducts high-level research on a variety of topics. Prior to joining White House Writers Group, she worked as a reporter in the Orange County Register’s D.C. bureau and as an editorial assistant at USA TODAY’s opinion page. Ms. Held graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 2012 with a degree in history. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Integrated Marketing and Communication from Northwestern University.

Scott D. Holmstrom, PhD, Senior Director, Late Stage External Innovation, Elanco Animal Health, A Division of Eli Lilly and Company

Scott D. Holmstrom, Ph.D., received his doctorate in analytical chemistry from Miami University in 2000 and joined Elanco Animal Health the same year.

As a research scientist from 2000 through 2006, Dr. Holmstrom has provided chemistry and drug disposition expertise and significant contributions toward the development and commercialization of drug products for Elanco, including global approvals for Comfortis and Trifexis. His work has impacted numerous companion animal and food animal programs targeting ectoparasites, endoparasites, coccidiosis, ketosis, and feed efficiency. In these assignments, Dr. Holmstrom has developed and validated analytical and bioanalytical methods, and led technical teams to elucidate the metabolism, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of existing products and new compounds.

From 2006 - 2012, Dr. Holmstrom led cross functional product development teams to obtain global registration of new chemical entities for companion animals, targeting parasiticides. Additionally, from 2011 – 2013, he served to integrate the Jannsen Animal Health research and development efforts with those of Elanco.

From 2013-2016, Dr. Holmstrom led global regulatory affairs for Elanco. In this role, he was responsible for shaping the regulatory landscape to enable outcomes for Elanco and their customers, and to ensure that Elanco deliverables are completed in accordance with appropriate regulations and commitments to global regulatory authorities. This position provides direction for activities according to the company objectives and plays a key role in the development of short term and long term company strategy.

As of 2016, Scott has taken a role focused on the development and execution on late stage external innovation strategies. In this role, he develops specific strategies and execution plans to partner with external companies to commercialize products that can support near and mid-term growth objectives for Elanco that may include co-promotion, commercialization partnerships, joint ventures, project, and company acquisitions.

Wayne Hunter, PhD, Research Entomologist, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Dr. Hunter is a Researcher for the USDA, ARS, U.S. Horticultural Research Lab, Ft. Pierce, FL, with over 20 years in active research and is a recognized leading authority on insect vectors of plant diseases, insect genomics, RNAi. Dr. Hunter has obtained both international and national recognition and is sought as an advisor and consultant on scientific and technology programs on problems in research areas beyond his immediate research field. He conducts research on insect pathogen transmission, examining the genetic basis for pathogen interactions, biology and disease. His contributions include genomics on Leafhoppers which transmit bacteria in Pierces disease of grapevine; Aphids which transmit Citrus Tristeza Virus; Psyllids which transmit bacteria of plants (Citrus Greening Disease and Zebra Chip); Tospovirus transmission by thrips. Dr. Hunter has authored/ co-authored over 112 research papers in peer-reviewed journals, 7 reviews or book chapters, including “Genome Mapping and Genomics in Arthropods, Vol. I, 2008.” Dr. Hunter’s provides his expertise to research consortiums on disease transmission, insect genomics and RNAi studies across 14 countries. Dr. Hunter is the lead researcher on the “Asian Citrus Psyllid – and- Leafhopper Genome”, serves on “International Whitefly Genome Initiative”; served on the “Pea aphid” and the “Nasonia, Parasitoid Genome Consortiums”. Dr. Hunter founded the ‘Arthropods Genomics Workshop’, at the International Plant and Animal Genomes Conference (2005-present), and published the First large-scale, multi-state, field trial, in the USA using a dsRNA product to reduced a viral pathogen, for the improvement of the health of honey bees (Hunter et al, 2010). Recent efforts include to major grants to develop and use biotechnology in a systems biology approach to reduce pests and pathogens of citrus.

Dan Jenkins, Global Director, Regulatory Affairs, Genus

Dan has been appointed to the newly-created role of Regulatory Affairs Director, based in Washington D.C. for Genus PLC. Prior to this role, Dan served as Monsanto’s US Agency Lead for Regulatory Affairs and also worked for Dow AgroSciences in sales as well as research and development. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from California Polytechnic State University, a Master’s Degree in Entomology & Applied Ecology from the University of Delaware and a Juris Doctor (JD) degree from Loyola Law School.

Jonathan Lightner, PhD, Chief Research & Development and Scientific Officer, Genus plc. 

Jonathan is a world-renowned quantitative molecular geneticist, whose career has encompassed R&D, regulatory and commercial activities. He joined us in 2013 from Pioneer Hi-bred International Inc, a DuPont business, where he led a global team focused on genetic solutions to enhance agricultural productivity. He has been issued over 40 patents in key areas related to crop improvement. He obtained his Doctorate in Plant Physiology at the Institute of Biological Chemistry at Washington State University in 1994. He also holds a Masters in Systems Engineering from Iowa State (2009) and an MBA from the University of Iowa (2009).

Randall Lutter, PhD, Visiting Fellow, Resources for the Future

Randall Lutter, who has more than 25 years senior experience in the management and evaluation of programs regulating health, safety and environmental risk, is Professor of Public Policy at the Frank Batten School for Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia, and Visiting Fellow at Resources for the Future in Washington D.C. From 2003 to 2009, Lutter served at the Food and Drug Administration in different capacities, including as Chief Economist and Deputy Commissioner for Policy. He played a leadership role developing new policies affecting regulation of genetically engineered animals, animal clones, prevention of mad cow disease, user fee programs for new drugs and devices, communicating risks from unapproved imported drugs, and the management of FDA’s advisory committees and strategic planning. Lutter also served at the Office of Management and Budget in the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs from 1991 to 1997 and in 2009-2010, and from 1997 to 1998 he was senior economist for regulation and the environment at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. Lutter was resident scholar with the American Enterprise Institute and fellow with the AEIBrookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, where he wrote about a variety of regulatory approaches to address health, safety and environmental risks, covering topics from air pollution and greenhouse gases, to toxic substances, food safety and genetically engineered animals. He taught at the State University of New York at Buffalo after earning a Ph.D. in economics at Cornell University. With Jason F. Shogren, he co-edited Painting the White House Green: Rationalizing Environmental Policy Inside the Executive Office of the President, 2004, RFF Press. He has testified before Congressional committees. His work has appeared in the American Economic Review, Environmental Science & Technology, the Journal of Political Economy, Risk Analysis, Science and the Administrative Law Review as well as publications like Politico and Regulation.

Bret Marsh, DVM, Indiana State Veterinarian

Dr. Marsh serves as the Indiana State Veterinarian. He is responsible for all statewide animal health programs, as well as providing inspection services for the meat, poultry and dairy products industries. He is also an advisor to the Indiana State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. Dr. Marsh previously served as the Special Detail to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture’s Homeland Security Staff. In that role, he represented the views of the country’s state veterinarians on issues affecting the nation’s ability to preserve and protect its agricultural assets. Dr. Marsh was Treasurer to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) for six years, and served in the AVMA House of Delegates for nearly a decade. Dr. Marsh is a past President of the Indiana Veterinary Medical Association and the United States Animal Health Association. He has received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from both the Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine and the Purdue College of Agriculture. He received his BS degree in Animal Sciences, and his DVM from Purdue University.

Adrianne Massey, PhD · Managing Director, Science and Regulatory Affairs, BIO

Adrianne Massey is Managing Director for Science and Regulatory Affairs at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization. Dr. Massey began her professional career as a faculty member in the Biology Department of North Carolina State University. She left academia to join the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. As Vice President, she directed the Center’s award-winning biotechnology education, work force training and public outreach programs. Dr. Massey has assisted Asian and African governments on issues related to biotechnology product development and regulatory policy, as well as science education, workforce development, and risk communication. She served on the Board of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation, and, at the request of the U.S. State Department, she has advised governments, universities and NGOs in Europe, India, Chile and Africa, and U.N. organizations such as F.A.O. and the Convention on Biodiversity. She is co-author of three textbooks on the science, applications and societal issues of medical, agricultural and industrial biotechnology. Her textbooks, which have been translated into various languages, were all published by the American Society for Microbiology. She served as the Science Advisor for the weekly PBS series, BREAKTHROUGH! Television’s Journal of Science and Medicine, and has developed interactive exhibits for science and technology museums.

Dana O’Brien, Senior Director of Federal Government Relations, BIO

Dana O’Brien serves as Acting Executive Vice President for Food and Agriculture & Senior Director of Federal Government Relations for the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), focusing his work on federal advocacy related to agricultural and industrial biotechnology. Dana works as part of the BIO team, with member companies, and with key stakeholders to inform federal officials about the value of biotechnology and to advance common industry and stakeholder objectives in Congress and within the federal agencies. Dana joined BIO in March 2011. Prior to BIO, Dana served as the Legislative Director for the late Congressman Ike Skelton, D-MO, concentrating on agriculture, energy, trade, and foreign policy issue areas. A native of Sedalia, Missouri, and a graduate of Missouri University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Dana joined the Skelton team immediately out of college and served there for nearly 14 years.

Hadyn Parry, Chief Executive Officer, Oxitec

Hadyn has an extensive background in the Life Science sector. During his fifteen-year career at Zeneca/Syngenta he held various positions, including General Manager of Zeneca Plant Sciences and European Director and Global Head of R&D for Advanta, one of the world’s largest seed companies. More recently he was CEO of MNL Pharmaceuticals, a company that was focused on pioneering a novel approach in immunology. Hadyn is also Chairman of Help For Heroes, a charity founded in 2007 to support wounded British soldiers.

Ryan Phelan, Executive Director, Cofounder, Revive & Restore

Ryan Phelan is a serial entrepreneur active in both the for-profit and non-profit worlds. She is the Executive Director of Revive & Restore, with a mission to enhance biodiversity through the genetic rescue of endangered and extinct species. Ryan currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Personal Genome Project, which aims to sequence and publicize the complete genomes and medical records of 100,000 volunteers, in order to enable research into personalized medicine. In 2005 Phelan launched DNA Direct, the first medical genetics company to focus on bringing personalized medicine to the consumer market. The company was acquired in 2010 by Medco Health Solutions (with over 55 million Medco members) to provide pharmacogenetic testing services and clinical support focused on drug/gene interactions. In 2001 she was co-founder and director of the ALL Species Foundation, a global science initiative to discover all life on Earth in 25 years. It led to the online Encyclopedia of Life, which so far has collected web pages on 925,000 species. In 1995 she founded Direct Medical Knowledge—a consumer health web site unique for its content depth and innovative search interface that was acquired by WebMD in 1999. DMK’s content became the backbone of WebMD’s consumer health site.

Margaret Riley, Professor of Public Health, School of Law, University of Virginia

Margaret Foster Riley, is on the faculty at the University of Virginia where she has joint appointments as a Professor in the School of Law, the School of Medicine Public Health Department and the School of Public Policy. She also is Director of the Animal law Program She teaches food and drug law, health law, animal law, bioethics, regulation of clinical research and public health law. Riley has written and presented extensively about health care law, biomedical research, genetics, reproductive technologies, stem cell research, animal biotechnology, health disparities and chronic disease. She serves as chair of UVA's Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee and as legal advisor to the Health Sciences Institutional Review Board, which is responsible for reviewing all human subject research at UVA involving medically invasive procedures. She served on the National Research Council Committee on Revisions to the Common Rule for the Protection of Human Subjects and has advised numerous committees of the Institute of Medicine and the Virginia Bar. Before coming to Virginia, Riley was an associate with Pepper Hamilton & Scheetz in Philadelphia, where she worked primarily in complex securities, commercial and mass tort litigation. Prior to that position, she was a litigation associate with Rogers & Wells in New York. Riley received her law degree from Columbia University and her bachelor of arts from Duke University.

Eddie Sullivan, PhD, President, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, SAB Biotherapeutics, Inc.

As President, CEO and Co-Founder, Dr. Sullivan is actively involved in charting the vision of the organization and working directly with the scientific and technical staff to develop new, innovative products using the DiversitAb™ Platform. He has worked to form strategic partnerships around the world to promote the development of life saving therapeutics. 

As a seasoned biotechnology executive, Dr. Sullivan has more than 15 years of leadership experience including President of a subsidiary of Kyowa Hakko Kirin, a Japanese pharmaceutical company. During that time, he led initiatives to develop infectious disease, cancer and autoimmune therapeutics. Raising over $190M in capital to develop biopharmaceutical platform technologies, he has also led several mergers and acquisitions. Dr. Sullivan was previously Vice President of Business Development and Government Relations of Sanford Applied Biosciences, a subsidiary of Sanford Health. He was also the head of Genemark, a company developing molecular diagnostic tools to the animal health industry as well as a co-founder of BioDak, a biotechnology development company.

Dr. Sullivan has been a thought leader in this field and worked with various committees and discussion groups that have focused on animal biotechnology and has actively participated in discussions for establishing a regulatory framework for this technology. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) in Washington, D.C. He is also Founder and Past President of the state affiliate of BIO, South Dakota Biotech. He was appointed by the Governor of South Dakota to the state’s Research Commercialization Council and serves as Chairman of the South Dakota National Science Foundation EPSCoR.

Dr. Sullivan holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona and graduate degrees from Brigham Young University, Kennedy-Western University,  and Utah State University in both reproduction and business.

Paul Shapiro, Vice President, Farm Animal Protection, The Humane Society of the United States

Paul Shapiro serves as the vice president of farm animal protection for The Humane Society of the United States. He also is the author of a forthcoming book on the cultured (in vitro) meat movement. Shapiro has been interviewed by hundreds of print, broadcast and online news outlets as an authority on farm animal welfare and animal advocacy. He’s also published dozens of articles about animal welfare in publications ranging from daily newspapers to academic journals.

Stephen Sundlof, DVM, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality, Kindred Biosciences, Inc.

Dr. Stephen Sundlof is the CSO and Executive Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality at Kindred Biosciences, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to bringing the very best science and medicine to companion animals. From 2008 to 2010 he served as Director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition which was responsible for of ensuring the composition, quality, safety, and labeling of foods, food and color additives, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. In the 14 years preceding this appointment, Dr. Sundlof served as Director of FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine which was responsible for ensuring the safety and effectiveness of animal drugs, and the safety of animal feed including pet food. Prior to joining the FDA, he was a professor at the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine.

From 1994-2008 he served as chairman of the World Health Organization/Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Codex Alimentarius Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods and is past president of the American Academy of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. He received both his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine and Ph.D. in toxicology from the University of Illinois, and is a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Toxicology.

John Swart, PhD, President, Exemplar Genetics

Dr. John R. Swart is the president of Exemplar Genetics, a biomedical research company focused on the development of models of human diseases such as cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, heart disease and cancer. The company is in its eighth full year of business, has seen its revenues grow each year, and has a strong pipeline of models. Exemplar has been able to establish itself as the global commercial leader in this field through its patented technologies, established infrastructure, and proven results. The company was recently acquired by Intrexon Corp. and operates as a wholly owned subsidiary.

Prior to starting with Exemplar, Dr. Swart worked for twelve years for the global animal health business of Boehringer Ingelheim. While with Boehringer, Dr. Swart served in several capacities including leading a team in Research and Development that was focused on new product development and life cycle management, held the position of Executive Director of Operations for a site that produced animal health vaccines, served as Regulatory Affairs Liaison for USDA and FDA inspections, provided oversight for a GMP level Quality Assurance program, and worked with Sales and Marketing for Key Opinion Leader development. He also participated in Boehringer’s International Management Development Program leading a team that developed recommendations for improved business planning within the company.

Dr. Swart received his B.A. for Northwestern College of Iowa in 1990 and his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska in biochemistry in 1994. Dr. Swart serves on the Animal Biotechnology Policy Committee of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the Industry Advisory Board for the University of Nebraska’s Chemistry Department and has extensive experience in business planning, product development, regulatory acceptance, and market expansion.

Mark Walton, PhD, Vice-President, Regulatory Affairs, Yorktown Technologies

Dr. Walton is a career veteran of the plant and animal biotechnology industries and has worked as a research scientist, entrepreneur and corporate executive. Mark’s involvement in animal biotechnology began with his founding of Linkage Genetics, one of the first companies to provide DNA testing services to plant and animal breeders. Prior to joining Yorktown Technologies, Mark worked with Recombinetics, a Minnesota-based animal genetics company that utilizes state-of-the-art genome engineering methods to develop animals for the biomedical and food industries. From 2005 through 2010 Mark served as the President of ViaGen, the global leader in livestock cloning, and during his tenure was actively involved in the policies and politics of animal biotechnology. While at ViaGen he worked closely with stakeholders in the government, public and private sectors to support the FDA’s activities leading to the 2008 release of the Cloning Risk Assessment documenting the safety of cloned livestock and their offspring. Over the same period Mark and ViaGen joined the coalition of companies and public sector scientists working to clarify the process by which genetically engineered animals were to be regulated which culminated with the FDA’s release of Guidance to Industry Number 187 in 2009. Over the past several years Dr. Walton has had the opportunity to work on a variety of agricultural development projects in Africa and Asia. The opportunities to meet smallholder farmers and see firsthand the challenges facing people for whom crop loss and livestock mortality are not just an economic challenge but are potentially life threatening has reinforced his commitment to ensuring all farmers have access to the best possible technologies. In 2014 Dr. Walton worked with colleagues from around the world to bring regulators from 26 countries together for a four-day workshop on risk assessment and regulation of animal biotechnology. The actions started during the workshop are continuing and will ultimately make it possible for farmers in developing nations to benefit from advances in biotechnology.


*As of 9/20/2016