BIO names new VP of Government Relations

Lee Rawls, Chief of Staff to US Senator Bill Frist, Named BIO's new Vice President for Government Relations

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 18, 2000) – “I am delighted to make this announcement on behalf of our Board of Directors and the 950 members of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO),” said President Carl B. Feldbaum.

“BIO and the biotechnology industry will face a rapid-fire succession of issues in the next Congress, including Medicare prescription drug coverage, FDA reform and user fees, and protection of intellectual property.

“These will be tough, complex and vital challenges to our industry. Lee Rawls brings the proven Capitol Hill-generalship we will need to fully participate and finally prevail in these campaigns.

“Given the closeness of the presidential election, and the new political environment in Congress, where neither political party can credibly claim to dominate, Lee Rawls’ extensive experience and reputation for working and winning across a broad political spectrum will greatly facilitate our efforts to fashion legislation with bipartisan appeal,” Feldbaum added.

During the four years that Rawls served as Chief of Staff to Senator Frist, the Senator (who is also a cardiac surgeon) emerged as the Senate’s preeminent voice on scientific and health care issues. This includes the Frist-Breaux proposal to reform Medicare, legislation to double federal medical research over the next decade and Frist’s leadership role in passing the FDA Modernization Act of 1997.

Lee Rawls led the Frist legislative team on new proposals which included the Women's Health Research Act, the Children's Health Act of 2000, the Minority Health Disparities Research Act, the Global Aids and Tuberculosis Act of 2000 and the Emerging Public Health Threats Research Act.

Rawls’ Capitol Hill experience also includes formerly serving as Chief of Staff to Senator Pete Domenici from 1982-85. During that period, Senator Domenici initiated federal funding for the Human Genome Project. Rawls has also served as Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs for the U.S. Department of Justice.

Since 1993 Rawls has been an Adjunct Professor at the College of William and Mary, teaching courses in public policy and legislation; he was also a Managing Partner in the law firm of Baker, Worthington, Croissley, Stansberry & Woolf in Washington, DC.

Lee Rawls received his B.A. in history from Princeton University and his J.D. from George Washington University.

“Lee will be a significant asset, legislatively and otherwise, to our industry. Our paths have crossed many times professionally, and I look forward to working with him, Steve Lawton, and other recent recruits to continue to building BIO into an appropriately formidable political, communications and service organization for biotechnology,” Feldbaum concluded.

BIO represents 950 biotechnology companies, academic institutions and biotech centers in all 50 states and in 26 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health-care, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.