Susan Windham-Bannister

Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister is a nationally and internationally recognized innovation expert. She was recognized by the Boston Globe as one of the “10 Most Influential Women in Biotech” in 2013 and by Boston Magazine as one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Boston” in 2011. Dr. Windham-Bannister currently serves as Managing Partner of Biomedical Innovation Advisors LLC, which she founded with Dr. Harvey Lodish, co-founder of Genzyme, and member of the Whitehead Institute, MIT. She also serves as the President and CEO of Biomedical Growth Strategies, LLC. Both of these advisory firms leverage Dr. Windham-Bannister’s experience as the immediate past President and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), a state-funded investment organization charged with administering the $1-billion Life Sciences fund that was proposed by Governor Deval Patrick in 2007 and signed into law in June 2008. She is the first African American in the U.S. to lead a life sciences-focused innovation initiative of this scale. The MLSC is the hub for all sectors of the Commonwealth’s life sciences community – biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, medical diagnostics and bioinformatics.

As CEO, Dr. Windham-Bannister was responsible for the Center’s investment strategy, brand management, organizational development and return on public investment. She also was a member of the Center’s Board of Directors with Joshua Boger Ph.D., founder of Vertex; Adelene Perkins, CEO of Infinity Pharmaceuticals; Lydia Villa-Komaroff, Ph.D., founder and CSO of Cytonome-ST; Abbie Celniker, CEO of Eleven Biotherapeutics; Edward Benz, M.D., President of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and Peter Slavin, M.D., President of Massachusetts General Hospital.

Under Dr. Windham-Bannister’s leadership, the MLSC invested nearly $700 million of the fund, leveraged another $2.7 billion in matching investment capital, established Massachusetts as the global leader in life sciences, and made the life sciences the fastest job-producing sectors of the Massachusetts economy. In September 2013, the MLSC won a national competition for “Excellence in Technology-Based Economic Development.”

Since completing her tenure as President and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative, Dr. Windham-Bannister has been an advisor to other city, state and regional life sciences initiatives. Her work with the New York City Partnership Fund resulted in a $1.1B New York life sciences initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo and Mayor De Blasio in December 2016. Currently she is advising the Mayo Clinic on an implementation plan for its Destination Medical Center/Discovery Square Initiative. Dr. Windham-Bannister has been an invited speaker on public-private partnerships for accelerating innovation at numerous national conferences and at international conferences in Barcelona, Beijing, London and Stockholm.

Before assuming her role at the MLSC, Dr. Windham-Bannister was co-founder and Managing Partner of Abt Bio-Pharma Solutions (ABS), a boutique consulting firm serving life sciences companies. She led the firm’s Commercial Strategy Group, which formulated market access and competitive business strategies for global clients. In her 35-year consulting career, she has been instrumental in the successful launch of a number of well-known therapeutics, medical devices and novel biomarkers, and has supported a number of high-profile M&A’s. Her client base included early stage as well as Fortune 50 life sciences (Pfizer, Merck, Novartis, Roche), technology (IBM, GE) and financial services companies (CIGNA, Prudential, The Hartford, CitiGroup).

Dr. Windham-Bannister has been recognized as one of the Harvard Club’s “12 Women to Watch” (2012) and by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce with a Pinnacle Award for career achievement (2013). Other awards include the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus Abigail Adams Award (2009), the Science Club for Girls Catalyst Award (2011), the Freedom House Champions of Freedom Award (2012), the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts Leading Women Award (2012), the Visiting Nurse Association of Boston & Affiliates Hero in Health Care Award (2012).

Dr. Windham-Bannister has co-authored two books: Competitive Strategy for Health Care Organizations, and Medicaid and Other Experiments in State Health Policy. She also has written numerous articles on competition in today’s health care marketplace and is a frequent speaker at national and international life sciences conferences.

Dr. Windham-Bannister received a B.A. from Wellesley College, a Doctorate in Health Policy and Management from the Florence Heller School at Brandeis University, and a Doctor of Science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (honoris causa). She completed her doctoral work at the Heller School under a fellowship from the Ford Foundation and was also a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School. Dr. Windham-Bannister also served as a Fellow in the Center for Science and Policy (CSAP) at Cambridge University, Cambridge, England.

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