WARF board selects new managing director

WARF board selects new managing director

Erik Iverson, J.D., LL.M, a nationally recognized leader in advancing global health initiatives, life science discoveries and intellectual property management, has been selected as the next Managing Director of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). The appointment was announced by the WARF Board of Trustees today.

Iverson will succeed Carl E. Gulbrandsen, who has served as WARF’s Managing Director since 2000 and has been with the organization since 1997. Gulbrandsen is retiring June 30th. Iverson will become WARF’s Managing Director July 1, 2016.

Iverson’s background includes:

  • Extensive experience leading organizations committed to scientific research and business initiatives advancing global health.
  • Deep legal knowledge and experience in intellectual property management, technology transfer, collaborative research initiatives, and tax matters.
  • Demonstrated experience as an entrepreneurial leader starting new ventures including raising capital for start-up companies.

Erik IversonIverson currently serves as President, Business & Operations, of the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) based in Seattle, Washington, where he is responsible for all operations, business development and external affairs. IDRI is a global health research and product development organization that is a world leader in the development of vaccines and vaccine related technologies. Iverson has helped IDRI diversify its funding sources, establish international spinout companies, structure collaborative product development relationships with universities, research institutions and pharmaceutical companies, and build internal business operations, including manufacturing, to provide revenues and support IDRI’s global health mission.

Prior to joining IDRI in 2011, Iverson was hired as the first attorney dedicated to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s global health and agricultural programs, and played a lead role in building the Global Health Program for seven years as Associate General Counsel. During his tenure there, he established lasting, high-impact policies and practices with respect to intellectual property management, global collaborative research alliances, and access strategies. Iverson helped lead many initiatives and worked closely with foundation staff, as well as academic and industry grantees, in the context of the foundation’s Global Health Program which provides $4 billion in annual funding for the discovery and development of vaccines, drugs, diagnostics and related technologies.

In addition to his roles within the Gates Foundation’s grant making, Iverson played a leadership role in the establishment of the foundation’s Program Related Investment (PRI) team, which makes equity and debt investments in startup biotechnology companies to complement its multi-billion dollar grant making activities. The PRIs are used as high impact tools to stimulate private-sector driven innovation, encourage market-driven efficiencies and attract external capital to priority initiatives.

“Erik’s portfolio of experience is an exceptional match for leading WARF into the future,” said Peter Tong, Chair of the WARF Board of Trustees. “He brings the perfect blend of knowledge in technology transfer along with scientific discovery. His experience in advancing transformative work in the global health arena as well as in philanthropy prepares him incredibly well for service to WARF and the UW-Madison research community.”

“I’m deeply honored and enthusiastic about taking on the Managing Director role of such an esteemed organization,” said Iverson. “WARF is a world leader for many achievements including the creative ways it manages a very large and diverse technology portfolio, nurtures a growing entrepreneurial ecosystem of high tech startup companies within the Madison area, and provides funding to support scientific endeavors at the University. I look forward to working closely with the Chancellor and research community of UW-Madison, which is a premier research university I have long respected and greatly admired. I also look forward to returning to the Midwest, and getting to know the people and great state of Wisconsin.”

Previously, Iverson was an attorney at the law firm of Perkins Coie LLP where he represented life science companies in the negotiation of financing transactions, joint ventures, research collaborations, licensing agreements and manufacturing agreements.

Iverson has served as an Adjunct Professor in Biotechnology Law at University of Washington, School of Law in Seattle, WA, and is a founding member of the HIV Cure Initiative which aims to identify global funding and build multinational public-private partnerships for the purpose of finally developing a cure for HIV.

Iverson is also Founder and a Board Member of Afrigen Biologics Limited, an IDRI spinout company located in Cape Town, South Africa. Afrigen Biologics is the first ever vaccine and biologics focused biotechnology company on the continent of Africa.

Iverson received his Juris Doctor (J.D.) from The University of North Dakota School of Law in 1994 and his Master of Laws (LL.M) in Taxation from New York University School of Law in 1995. He completed his Bachelor of Arts in Business Management and Political Science from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota.

– Reposted from WARF