as vice chair and acting chair of the U.S. Commission on International Migration. He was educated at Reed College and at Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.
Jessica Townsend is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in Needham, MA. Olin College is a new undergraduate engineering institution with a focus on design and entrepreneurship. Dr. Townsend teaches several of the mechanical engineering core courses at and also advises student design teams in Olin’s Senior Capstone program. Her current research interests include development and characterization of engineered fluids (nanofluids) for electronics cooling applications. Dr. Townsend received her Ph.D. in aeronautics and astronautics from MIT, where she developed evaporatively cooled turbine blades for advanced aircraft engines. Prior to returning to school for her doctorate, she spent three years in industry as an aerospace performance engineer at Hamilton Sundstrand Power Systems.
Dr. Townsend received her M.S. from the Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering Department at the University of California at Davis. She earned her B.S. at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in mechanical engineering and credits her mentors at UMass for their early influence in pointing her towards a career in engineering education.
She was also the recipient of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Foundation Wilbur and Orville Wright Graduate Research Award, the AIAA Foundation Gordon C. Oates Air Breathing Propulsion Graduate Award and the American Association of University Women Engineering Dissertation Fellowship.
Barbara Wallner has recently retired and serves currently as consultant to several biotechnology companies. Before her retirement she held the positions of senior vice president for Technology Operations and chief technology officer at ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc, a publically traded company that is developing cancer therapeutics. She was also founder, president and chief executive officer of Chymic Therapeutics, Inc., a start-up company that was developing therapeutics for cancer, autoimmune and infectious diseases.
Before joining ZIOPHARM Oncology, Dr. Wallner was senior vice president of Research and chief scientific officer at BioTransplant, Inc. Previous to that she was a founder, senior vice president for research and chief scientific officer of Point Therapeutics (acquired by DARA BioSciences); before that she was vice president for Research at ImmuLogic, Inc. and held several management positions at Biogen (now Biogen Idec) where she invented Amevive® now marketed for psoriasis by Astellas Pharma. During her 30 years of industry experience, Dr. Wallner has published 68 scientific papers and authored 32 issued U.S. patents. She has served on several Scientific Advisory Boards.
Susan Windam-Bannister is the first president and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, a quasi-public organization charged with administering the 10-year $1 billion life sciences initiative enacted by the Massachusetts Legislature in June 2008. The Life Sciences Center is the hub for all sectors of the state’s life sciences community—biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, medical diagnostics and bioinformatics.