After five impactful years strengthening the association and the state’s life science industry, Dr. Alexandre to retire at the end of 2021
SEATTLE – July 27, 2021 – Life Science Washington, the state’s life science industry association, today announced President and CEO, Dr. Leslie Alexandre will be retiring at the end of 2021. Until then, Dr. Alexandre will continue to lead the association, and its closely affiliated Life Science Washington Institute, while Life Science Washington’s board searches for the next leader to drive the organization forward.
“It has been my honor to lead Life Science Washington for the past five years and a privilege to work with my wonderful team and exceptional board to build a strong, high impact industry association,” said Leslie Alexandre, DrPH, President and CEO of Life Science Washington. “In partnership with the amazing companies we serve, Life Science Washington has built a thriving ecosystem that entrepreneurs, investors and top talent want to join.”
“Five years ago, our community lacked confidence that we could become a sustainable center of life science commercialization,” she continued. “It is thrilling to now be recognized as one of the nation’s top 10 life science industry clusters, with new companies starting up weekly, and investors pouring capital into the commercialization of cutting-edge research taking place in outstanding universities and research institutions across the state.”
A Washington native who spent most of her adult life working on the east coast, Dr. Alexandre returned to the state in 2016 to lead Life Science Washington in creating and executing a strategic plan to build a vibrant life science ecosystem. With strong support from the board, Dr. Alexandre revitalized and strengthened the association by adopting a modern governance structure, vastly improving board diversity (now 40% women and 15% LGBTQ or BIPOC), investing in critical infrastructure, and building a high-performance, diverse team (60% women and 25% LGBTQ or BIPOC) to meet the wide ranging and evolving needs of Washington’s fast growing life science industry.
Under Dr. Alexandre’s leadership, in 2017 Life Science Washington created a bold plan to build ecosystem vibrancy, support entrepreneurs and ensure its members have access to needed talent. Since then, the association has successfully executed strategic initiatives to accomplish these goals, among them:
Establishing the Life Science Washington Institute, a closely affiliated charitable non-profit to focus exclusively on meeting the needs of Washington’s life science entrepreneurs and startups with training, mentorship and connections to funders and strategic partners.
Launching a highly successful nationwide talent recruitment campaign: Find Your Best Life in Washington to attract talented mid to senior-level life science professionals from other leading life science communities to the region. Using videos promoted via targeted social media, the campaign showcases local employee stories focused on why Washington is a unique and desirable place to live and work to encourage job seekers to explore their options in Washington. Learn more about the campaign here.
Leading by example to cultivate diversity across the industry, starting with a focus on Life Science Washington’s board and staff and extending to support member organizations, as they work to create diverse, inclusive, and equitable organizations that foster cultures of belonging. There is still much more work to be done, and the Life Science Washington board has made this a top priority to support the region.
“Dr. Alexandre has been instrumental in elevating our industry as a top 10 cluster in the nation, and as a board we are thankful for her leadership,” said Life Science Washington Board Chair, Margaret McCormick, PhD. “We have overcome many challenges, especially during the pandemic, and Leslie has met each with strength and grace. We wish her the best as she enters retirement.”
Leaders interested in applying for the position of President and CEO of Life Science Washington should send their information to LifeScienceWashington@RussellReynolds.com
Kaitlyn Grosse, Marketing and Communications Manager