Julie Barrett O’Brien, MPA
Chief Executive Officer
Julie Barrett O’Brien has long been a transformational leader. As the CEO of OpenBiome, she is leading the organization in its mission to accelerate microbiome science to improve health for all.
A big picture, systems thinker, she has successfully navigated the private, public and social sectors, bringing a unique perspective to organizational effectiveness and social impact.
She began her career in the coffee industry. As Director of Dunkin’s billion-dollar coffee and beverage category, she and her team drove double digit growth year after year. She led the policy team for ethical supply chain management and pioneered one of the first Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives on the globe.
As a member of the senior leadership team at Management Sciences for Health, she played a critical role in changing the face of global health. She was among the earliest advocates for investing in health system strengthening and was instrumental in bringing a successful resolution on Universal Health Coverage to the United Nations. Of significant note was her additional role as a trusted adviser for leadership communications and public affairs to the Afghanistan Ministry of Public Health. Prior to joining OpenBiome, she launched and scaled a global venture – LookUp.Live – among the first nonprofits to draw the link between youth mental health and social media.
A distinguished lecturer at Yale’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and a guest lecturer at Boston University’s School of Public Health, Julie holds an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School and a BA from the University of San Diego. She’s co-authored several articles, has been an Adviser to the Clinton Global Initiative, the World Bank, and NAFTA’s Commission for Environmental Cooperation. She also serves as Board President of The Coffee Trust and of Play on for Africa.
Chief Administrative Officer
Paul Leech is an experienced business leader specializing in strategic financial planning, non-profit management, and workforce development. He has over 30 years of success in growing both early stage and mature companies across diverse sectors including retail and wholesale industries, restaurant and hospitality, and non-profits.
At OpenBiome, Paul has guided the expansion of our mission from a domestic stool bank bridging a gap in C. difficile care to a global research organization using microbiome-based approaches to tackle urgent public health challenges. He has significant experience in global leadership and has served on company boards around the world.
Paul holds a CPA equivalent from the University of Derby and has served as the Chief Finance and Administration Officer for the Trustees of Reservations—one of Massachusetts’ largest nonprofits as well as the first conservation and preservation organization in the United States—and the CEO of Team Impact, a non-profit that matches children experiencing serious illness and disability with college sports team to create life-changing experiences.
Majdi Osman, MD MPH
Chief Medical Officer
Majdi is an internationally recognized physician-scientist working to reduce health disparities and develop microbiome-based health solutions. Trained in internal medicine at University College London, he has previously conducted research at the World Health Organization and completed his Master’s in Public Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health on a Frank Knox Fellowship.
Majdi’s research focuses on infectious disease, malnutrition, and stool banking. His work has been published in The Lancet, The New England Journal of Medicine, and Clinical Infectious Diseases. He was also a co-principal investigator on the THRIVE (Transfer of Healthy Gut Flora for Restoration of Intestinal Microbiota via Enema) study—the first fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) clinical trial on the African Continent.
At OpenBiome, Majdi leads the Global Microbiome Innovations Program to develop new microbiome-based approaches for public health challenges including malnutrition and mental health. He is also the co-founder of YBank—a non-profit dedicated to adolescent health, a visiting assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, and a Trustee of the African Research Excellence Fund.
Chief Operating Officer
Ken is a seasoned leader with over 20 years of experience in Director and Senior-level roles in the dynamic start-up landscape. He has been part of founding teams that have launched ecommerce sites, SaaS products, mobile apps, a documentary film, and has worked directly with award winning author, inventor, and futurist Ray Kurzweil on his start-up incubator.
At OpenBiome, Ken has implemented quality control and monitoring systems for the nonprofit’s investigational FMT access program, managed data storage for global research programs, and helped establish a microbiology laboratory. He is a graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in Business Administration.
Board of Directors
Chair of the Board
Now retired, Neil was formerly the Senior VP of Innovation for Schneider Electric where he established the technology direction for the world’s largest R&D budget devoted to power, cooling, and rack infrastructure for data centers. Neil holds 28 patents related to high-efficiency and high-density data center power and cooling infrastructure, and has published over 60 papers related to power and cooling systems. Neil is currently working to advance the science of high-efficiency, high-density, scalable data center infrastructure solutions and is a principal architect of the APC InfraStruXure system. He received his bachelors and masters degrees in electrical engineering from MIT.
Eric Alm, PhD
Professor of Biological Engineering, MIT
Eric is a Professor of Biological Engineering at MIT and an Associate Member of the Broad Institute. He holds degrees in Mathematics/Computer Science, Biology, and Biochemistry, and his current research covers diverse topics ranging from biofuels to human disease. He is passionate about using scientific discoveries and new technologies to solve real-world problems, and thrilled that OpenBiome provides an opportunity to translate human microbiome research into therapies that improve patients’ lives.
Jim Bildner, JD
CEO, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation
Jim is the CEO of the DRK Foundation, and he brings more than 30 years of experience in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. He is an Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, as well as a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Public Leadership and Hauser Center Institute for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University. Jim serves on the boards of numerous foundations and organizations, has served as CEO of two public companies, and is a member of the Bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Executive Director, Stanley Family Foundation
Stephen Jones serves as Executive Director of the Stanley Family Foundation, with the mission of reducing the burdens of Serious Mental Illness through basic scientific research for translation to therapeutics. He serves as a Trustee of the Stanley Medical Research Institute, is the Managing Partner of his law firm, Jones, LLP and has served on numerous nonprofit Boards of Directors. He attended Williams College, Exeter College, Oxford University and Fordham University School of Law.
Joanne Kamens, PhD
Former Executive Director, Addgene; Senior Director, Executive North Group
Joanne Kamens has advanced the leading edge of science in the academic, pharmaceutical, and nonprofit world. She earned her PhD in Genetics from Harvard University. After completing thesis work, Dr. Kamens spent nearly twenty years in the pharmaceutical industry as Senior Director of Research Collaborations at Abbott Bioresearch Center and RXi Pharmaceuticals Discovery respectively. She then became the Executive Director of Addgene, overseeing its expansion into a leading international research biorepository. Dr. Kamens is an advocate for inclusive and equitable workplace culture as well as health equity through open access to research reagents and resources. Under her leadership, Addgene was named #1 Place to Work in Massachusetts by the Boston Globe. She now serves as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) consultant for a variety of organizations.
General Counsel; Venture-backed healthtech startup
Ruchika Kumar has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry providing advice and counsel on biotech/pharmaceutical regulation & compliance, digital health, market access, privacy and clinical trial innovation. She is an experienced lawyer with a demonstrated history of working successfully in the biotechnology industry. Prior to joining N-Power Medicine (a venture-capital backed startup) as General Counsel, Ruchika spent 17 years at Genentech-Roche as Associate General Counsel. She has won many awards that recognized her strengths as an effective collaborator, a strategic thinker, a leader driving for results, and influencing through open and practical communications. Ruchika possesses a developed leadership interest in elevating individual and team capabilities and bringing others along to solve complex business issues. She has a keen interest in creating societal impact through science and technology.
Advisor, Nina Capital
Lisa Serwin has a 25+ year career leading start-ups and established organizations in the healthcare, consumer product and retail sectors. She is the co-founder of C-Sweetner—a nonprofit that matches senior women in the healthcare industry with mentors so they can thrive in C-suite leadership positions. She has also served as CEO and in other leadership roles at a wide variety of technology and healthcare companies where her responsibilities have ranged from strategic planning to closing on multiple rounds of financing. Lisa has an M.B.A. from Loyola Marymount University and B.A. from U.C.L.A.
Jane Williams, MD MPH
Vice President, Neuroscience and Rare Disease at Syneos Health
Jane has practiced family medicine for 14 years in Merrimack Valley and is now the Senior Medical Director for Syneos Health, a biopharmaceutical company focused on accelerating clinical research. She has also served as the medical director of both Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts and Parexel International. At the latter, she provided scientific and strategic guidance to clients and supported protocol development, regulatory submissions, evaluation of new technologies and safety monitoring. Jane earned her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College, her doctor of medicine at Albany Medical College of Union University and a master’s degree in public health from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Garabet Yeretssian, PhD
Science Program Manager, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
Garabet Yeretssian, PhD is an experienced executive and scientific leader in the non-profit, biotech and academic space. Currently, Dr. Yeretssian is a Science Program Manager at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, where he is responsible for managing initiatives related to inflammation and rare pediatric inflammatory diseases. Previously, he has worked as the Director for the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Crohn’s Disease Program, where he was responsible for providing the visionary leadership for a multimillion-dollar scientific and clinical portfolio, defining a long-term vision and establishing a strategy for the Crohn’s Disease Program. Prior to joining Helmsley, Dr. Yeretssian was an assistant professor in the Immunology and Tisch Cancer Institutes at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai where he led a research team investigating the implication of innate immune and cell death mechanisms in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, colorectal cancer and other gastrointestinal disorders.
Clinical Advisory Board
Jessica Allegretti, MD, MPH
Kanchana Amaratunga MD, MPH
Monika Fischer, MD
Rachel Ann Hays, MD
Colleen Kelly, MD
Neil H. Stollman, MD
Clinical Outreach Director
Imani Decaille Hodge
Sr. Clinical Outreach Associate
Manager of Legal Affairs
Human Resources Manager
Chief of Staff
Quality Supervisor/Lab Coordinator
Sr. Clinical Outreach Associate
Director of CMC Operations and Supply Chain Logistics