SRI International, an independent, nonprofit R&D organization, has announced the hiring of two new executives. Greg Kovacs, M.D., Ph.D. has joined as president of SRI's Biosciences Division and Erin Andre has joined as SRI's chief people officer.
SRI Biosciences is focused on bringing new medicines and devices to market through basic research, pharmaceutical discovery, preclinical development and clinical translation. In his new role, Kovacs will work with Biosciences Division colleagues and the SRI executive team to align a vision and strategy that engages the full potential of SRI's research, development and commercialization strengths. SRI's bioscience facilities are located at SRI's Menlo Park headquarters, SRI Shenandoah Valley in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and the phase I clinical trial facility in Plymouth, Michigan.
"Greg will contribute vision, scientific depth and entrepreneurial spirit to further strengthen the capabilities and impact of the Biosciences Division," said William Jeffrey, Ph.D., chief executive officer of SRI International. "In addition, he'll be a catalyst for developing new programs and opportunities across SRI by leveraging the tremendous capabilities of our research talent."
Kovacs joins SRI from Stanford University, where he has been a professor of Electrical Engineering, and by courtesy, Medicine (Cardiovascular Division) for 25 years and where he co-founded the Bioengineering Department. His areas of research span a wide array of biomedical topics, including the development of non-invasive instrumentation for biomedical, aerospace, and biotechnology applications; miniaturized sensors, actuators and fluidic systems; analog circuits, visualization software for physiological signal analysis and cell-based systems for drug discovery and testing of stem-cell cardiac therapies.
For more than 30 years, Kovacs has been actively involved in technology development and entrepreneurship. He co-founded Cepheid, a molecular diagnostics company that develops molecular tests and systems for organisms and genetic-based diseases. He has been involved in the founding of a variety of companies and advises several start-ups, generally in the biomedical technology area.
Kovacs also has a long history of government service. He has made significant contributions at DARPA, serving as the director of their Microelectronics Technology Office and as investigation scientist for NASA during the Columbia space shuttle accident investigation.
As chief people officer, Erin Andre will lead the global human resources function across all SRI locations and its world class and diverse employee base. This role includes recruiting and professional development of talent, instilling collaborative and inclusive culture and expanding SRI's total rewards, wellness and benefits programs.
Andre brings to SRI extensive experience in human resources and employee development, accompanied by familiarity with a range of service industries.
"With more than 30 years of expertise in facilitating organizational excellence in varied corporate environments and across multiple industries, Andre has a strong reputation for developing innovative solutions and best practices that deliver top and bottom line results, navigating diverse stakeholder needs and improving employee engagement, retention and performance," added Steve Ciesinski, SRI's president.
Prior to joining SRI, Andre was chief human resource officer with the Convergys, which primarily sells customer and information management services. She led the global human resources function, managing activities in diverse geographies around the world.
Previously, Andre was senior vice president of human resources for ABM Industries, one of the largest facility management services providers in the U.S. There, she managed all human resource functions for the company, modernizing that role and leading the organization's excellence initiative.
Earlier in her career, Andre led human resources and labor relations as vice president of human resources for National Energy & Gas Transmission, where she designed creative compensation programs and established competitive recruiting and internship programs. Before that, Andre had held senior human resources positions at PG&E and its various subsidiary companies for nearly 20 years, where she was responsible for leading executive and leadership development strategies including succession planning, on-site assessment center and strategic coaching.