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Laura Gunter named to Council of State Bioscience Associations board

Laura Gunter, NCBIO president
Laura Gunter, NCBIO president

NCBIO President Laura Gunter has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Council of State Bioscience Associations. Gunter will serve a two-year term beginning 2022.  

“We are thrilled to announce our new slate of incredibly accomplished and esteemed board leaders for the next exciting phase of CSBA,” said Michele Oshman, executive director of CSBA and vice president of external affairs at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization. “From the global threats of pandemics and climate change to the growing impact of bioscience on local jobs and economies, our industry faces many important challenges today. We look forward to continuing to work together across our new board leadership, members, and stakeholders to confront these threats and expand opportunities for innovation.”  

The Council of State Bioscience Associations is a confederation of state-based, nonprofit trade organizations each governed by its own board of directors convened by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization. The common mission of the members of the CSBA is to promote public understanding and to advocate for public policies that support patient access to lifesaving therapies and the responsible development of the bioscience industry. 

Gunter was selected as NCBIO president by the organization's Board of Directors in July. She succeeded longtime president Sam Taylor who died in February.  Gunter joined NCBIO in 2013 as director of membership development and government affairs and was elevated to executive vice president in 2020. 

CSBA also announced new board leadership, including a new chair of the Board of Directors, Maria Thacker, president & CEO of Georgia Bio.  

In addition to Gunter, the following new members have been appointed to the CSBA board for the 2022-2023 term:  

  • Maria Thacker, board chair, president & CEO, Georgia Bio  
  • Kelvyn Cullimore, board member, president & CEO, BioUtah  
  • Michael Fleming, board member, president, Delaware Bio  
  • Sonia Hall, board member, president & CEO, BioKansas  
  • Debbie Hart, past chair, president & CEO, BioNJ  
  • Liisa Bozinovic, CSBI representative, executive director, Oregon Bio  

The new board members will join current members serving for the 2021-2022 term:  

  • John Conrad, board member, president & CEO, iBIO  
  • Mike Guerra, board member, president & CEO, California Life Sciences  
  • Dawn Hocevar, board member, president & CEO, BioCT  

“I am honored to be the new CSBA board chair and pledge to continue elevating the critical work of state biotechnology associations nationwide,” Thacker said. “Our associations play a central role in championing the groundbreaking work of the biotechnology sector as we innovate for human health discoveries, agricultural advancements and environmental sustainability.”  

Hart said, “It has been my honor to serve as the CSBA board chair over these last two years. Our state associations have faced immense challenges on the policy arena as well as an unprecedented global pandemic."

“I am proud of what we have collectively accomplished in helping to stave off grave policy proposals, offering unique educational opportunities, and supporting our members, all despite operating remotely in a time of immense change for our country,” she said. “I am delighted to see the very talented Maria Thacker take over as the new CSBA chair and look forward to supporting her in that role and to our ongoing collaboration on behalf of our industry.”