California Life Sciences Association Adds Substantial Depth to Board with Several New Appointments

Aug. 20, 2019 13:30 UTC



SAN FRANCISCO & SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- California Life Sciences Association (CLSA), the trade association representing California’s life sciences sector, today announced the appointment of several new members to CLSA’s Board of Directors. Joining the board are:

  • Victoria Blatter, Senior Vice President, U.S. Government Affairs, Amgen
  • Elizabeth Grammer, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Head of Human Resources, Ardelyx, Inc.
  • Jennifer Johnson, Ph.D., Associate General Counsel, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences
  • Casey Lynch, CEO, Co-founder, and Chairman, Cortexyme
  • Joshua Ofman, M.D., M.S.H.S., Chief of Corporate Strategy and External Affairs, GRAIL (Current Board Member Changing Affiliation to GRAIL)
  • Matthew Plunkett, Ph.D., Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Nkarta Therapeutics
  • Stacey Pugh, Vice President and General Manager, Neurovascular, Medtronic
  • Fran Schulz, Partner, Assurance Services – Life Sciences Practice, Ernst & Young
  • Bridget Walsh, Vice President, Government Affairs and Public Policy, Boehringer Ingelheim

“This is a period of strong growth for California’s life sciences sector and CLSA, and I’m pleased to welcome such a diverse and skilled group of new leaders to our Board to help us sustain and cultivate the industry locally, nationally and globally,” said Mike Guerra, President & CEO, California Life Sciences Association (CLSA). “Our entire Board is committed and focused on ensuring that California continues to be the gold standard for life sciences for the world – advancing science, creating new therapies and technologies, and driving public policies that benefit patients.”

“I very much look forward to working with this amazing group of people on the CLSA Board to help advance California’s world-leading life sciences ecosystem,” added Melinda Richter, Global Head, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS and Chair of CLSA’s Board of Directors. “We welcome our new members who can help further our collaboration within the industry, as well as with policymakers in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. Together we hope to be the trailblazers for the work we feel must still be done to bring life-changing medicines and medical devices to patients and their families.”

About Victoria Blatter, Amgen

As Senior Vice President, U.S. Government Affairs for Amgen, Victoria Blatter is responsible for federal and state legislative issues and managing relationships with U.S. agencies, legislatures, and governmental administrations. She is also responsible for international lobbying and diplomacy in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining Amgen, Blatter worked at Merck & Co., Inc. as vice president of U.S. Policy and Federal Government Relations. She previously served as professional staff for the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging and as minority staff director for the U.S. House Select Committee on Aging—Subcommittee on Retirement Income and Employment. View full biography.

About Elizabeth Grammer, Ardelyx

Elizabeth (Liz) Grammer is Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Head of Human Resources of Ardelyx, a biopharmaceutical company focused on enhancing the way people with cardiorenal diseases are treated by developing first-in-class medicines. As a member of the Executive Team, Liz plays a key role in setting corporate strategy. As the head of human resources, she is able to seamlessly align talent acquisition and management with corporate goals. View full biography.

About Jennifer Johnson, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences

Jennifer Johnson, Ph.D., is Associate General Counsel for DuPont’s Nutrition & Biosciences Division, which sells a wide variety of products, including probiotics, cultures, industrial enzymes, food and beverage ingredients and pharmaceutical excipients. She leads a large in-house legal team and sits on the business President’s Leadership Team, where she applies her business and legal expertise to support business growth and limit risk. Jennifer also teaches Biotechnology Law at UC Berkeley School of Law. View full biography.

About Casey Lynch, Cortexyme

Casey Lynch is the CEO, Co-founder and Chairman of Cortexyme, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering a novel approach for treatment of Alzheimer’s and other degenerative disorders. Prior to co-founding Cortexyme, Ms. Lynch co-founded and led various companies and organizations in the biotechnology industry including Aspira Biosystems, Inc. and NeuroInsights, LLC. She served as Aspira’s co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer from 1999 to 2004 and she co-founded NeuroInsights, LLC and served as its Managing Director from 2004 to 2015. Ms. Lynch also co-founded Neurotechnology Industry Organization and served as a board member from March 2005 to September 2018. View full biography.

About Joshua Ofman, GRAIL

Joshua Ofman, M.D., M.S.H.S., is Chief of Corporate Strategy and External Affairs at GRAIL. Previously, Josh spent more than 15 years at Amgen, where he most recently held the role of Senior Vice President, Global Health Policy. Prior to that, Josh was a faculty member in the Department of Medicine and Health Services Research at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, as well as Senior Vice President of Zynx Health Inc., a subsidiary of Cerner Corp. View full biography.

About Matthew Plunkett, Nkarta Therapeutics

Matthew Plunkett, Ph.D., joined Nkarta in 2018 as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Dr. Plunkett was most recently Chief Financial and Business Officer of Medeor Therapeutics, a development stage cell therapy company, where he led the completion of a $57 million Series B financing. Prior to Medeor, from September 2012 to August 2017 he held positions as Chief Business Officer and Executive Vice President, Corporate Development at CTI BioPharma, a commercial stage hematology-oncology biotech company. View full biography.

About Stacey Pugh, Medtronic

Stacey Pugh is Vice President and General Manager of Medtronic’s Neurovascular business, where she provides the overall global strategic leadership, guides market and business development, and is responsible for revenue growth. Previously, Stacey was Vice President of Medtronic’s Neurovascular international business unit and was responsible for leading the company’s European, Middle Eastern and African (EMEA) business programs and developing trade strategies to support the global revenue and market share growth of Medtronic Neurovascular products. View full biography.

About Fran Schulz, Ernst & Young

Fran began her career at Stanford Research Institute (SRI International) as a research analyst in the Life Sciences Division over 35 years ago. While in that role, she developed her passion for the industry and its potential in our society. In 1987, she specifically joined the Ernst & Young Life Sciences Practice (previously known as Arthur Young) as a result of her experience at SRI and her passion for the industry. Fran has worked for EY for over 30 years, and for the past 19 years, Fran has been an assurance partner in that practice. Her clients have ranged from early-stage companies to mid-size commercial companies to multinational, multi-product organizations. View full biography.

About Bridget Walsh, Boehringer Ingelheim

Bridget Walsh leads Boehringer Ingelheim’s U.S. Government Relations and Public Policy group and heads its Washington, D.C., office. Boehringer Ingelheim, a privately held family owned company since 1885, is one of the top 20 biopharmaceutical companies in the world with 50,000 employees worldwide. The company develops not only human pharmaceuticals but also is the second largest company globally in the development and manufacturing of animal health medicines. View full biography.

  • Learn More about the California life sciences sector
  • View CLSA’s Legislative Action Center
  • Watch CLSA’s Faces of California Biomedical Innovation Web Series
  • View Upcoming CLSA events
  • Meet the CLSA Board of Directors

About California Life Sciences Association (CLSA)

California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) is the state’s largest and most influential life sciences advocacy and business leadership organization. With offices in Sacramento, San Diego, South San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington DC, CLSA works closely with industry, government, academia and others to shape public policy, improve access to innovative technologies and grow California’s life sciences economy. CLSA serves biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostics companies, research universities and institutes, investors and service providers throughout the Golden State. CLSA was founded in 2015 when the Bay Area Bioscience Association (BayBio) and the California Healthcare Institute (CHI) merged. Visit CLSA at, and follow us on Twitter @CALifeSciences, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.


California Life Sciences Association (CLSA)
Will Zasadny | Director, Communications | 619-961-8848



Source: California Life Sciences Association

Back to news