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May. 18, 2021

TOPIC: Press Releases

NORD Announces New Board Chair and New Member of its Board of Directors

Posted by Valaree DonFrancesco

Washington, DC, May 18, 2021—The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD®) announced that during a recent Board of Directors meeting, Kay Holcombe was elected as Chair and Dennis Jackman joined as a new Board member. Each provides a dynamic and strong track record of leadership in public and private health sectors and in biotech innovation that will be instrumental in supporting NORD’s mission of helping the over 25 million Americans living with rare diseases.

Together with over 330 disease-specific member organizations and more than 15,000 Rare Action Network® advocates across all 50 states, and national and global partners, NORD is committed to the identification, treatment, and cure of rare diseases and disorders through programs of education, advocacy, research, and service. Since its founding nearly 40 years ago, NORD has expanded public knowledge of rare diseases and pioneered innovative research and other programs that are transforming science and the experience of living with a rare disease.

Kay Holcombe, MS, is Senior Advisor to the Milken Institute Center for Public Health. She retired as Senior Vice President for Science Policy at BIO, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization. Previously, she was Vice President for Government Relations at Sanofi-Genzyme, an international biotechnology company; served as Executive Vice President of Policy Directions Inc., a policy advisory and advocacy firm; and worked in the US House of Representatives and US Senate as health legislative staff. She has held positions in legislative affairs at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA); Foundation for Biomedical Research; US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); National Institutes of Health (NIH); and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). She is a member of the board of the Reagan-Udall Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing the mission of FDA to modernize product development, accelerate innovation and enhance product safety effectiveness; the Critical Path Institute, dedicated to bringing together experts from regulatory agencies, industry and academia to collaborate and improve the medical product development process; and the National Blood Clot Alliance. She joined NORD’s Board of Directors in 2019.

Dennis Jackman, MBA, is an independent board and organizational consultant. He retired as Global Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at CSL Behring, an international biotherapies company. Previously, he worked in the US Senate followed by positions in external affairs, board leadership, government relations, regulatory affairs and public relations. He is a board member at Rock Ethics Institute, which works to advance ethical leadership and promotes engaged ethics research from its home in the Penn State College of the Liberal Arts. He is a former board member of Life Sciences Pennsylvania.

“At NORD, we always believe that we are stronger, together; our Board leadership reflects our efforts to bring together the best and most collaborative minds from across the scientific, medical, patient advocacy, academic and regulatory communities, to address current and critical topics related to rare diseases,” said Peter L. Saltonstall, President and CEO of NORD. “Kay and Dennis have distinct skills, passion and a commitment to the rare disease patient community that will drive our work. We are honored to have them on our leadership team.”