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Chief Communication Officer
Prior to joining bluebird, Sarah served as Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the world’s leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis. She also spent more than a decade at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) where she was Vice President for U.S. Pharma and Corporate Communications, with responsibility for communications, corporate brand and reputation, and philanthropic giving in the US. Sarah holds a B.S. in public relations from the University of Texas at Austin and lives outside of Washington, DC with her husband and three children.
Senior Vice President, Research
Jason F. Cole, Esq.
Chief Strategy and Financial Officer
Rich Colvin, MD, PhD
Chief Medical Officer
Senior Vice President, General Counsel
Senior Vice President, Technical Development and Operations
Chief Commercial & Operating Officer
Chief Executive Officer
A biotech business leader who is passionate about improving the lives of patients and their families, Andrew has dedicated his career to advancing therapies for rare diseases. He joined bluebird in 2016 as head of Europe and then served as President, Severe Genetic Diseases before being appointed to CEO in 2021. Today, Andrew is a champion for bluebird’s lentiviral vector gene therapy platform, as the company as the company prepares to launch three first-in-class therapies.
Prior to bluebird bio, Andrew served as general manager of France and Benelux at Shire where he was responsible for a portfolio that included seven rare disease products. Andrew spent eight years at Genzyme and Sanofi and held roles in business development, marketing and global commercial operations in both the US and Europe.
He began his career working with small biotech companies first as a consultant and then as a venture capital investor. He received his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in 2004 and his B.A. in genetics, cell and developmental biology from Dartmouth College.
Senior Vice President, Quality
Chief People Officer
Prior to bluebird, Andrea served in HR roles at Nestle, Target, and Coca-Cola, as well as e-learning service providers 2U and, most recently, Edmentum, where she served as Chief People & Culture Officer. Andrea received her GED at age 19 and followed that quickly with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a MBA in Business Administration, both from the University of Phoenix. A native of Pasadena, CA, Andrea now resides in the DC metro area and has two daughters and one son.
Vice President, Head of Regulatory Science
Prior to joining bluebird, Leslie held regulatory positions at Alexion, Synageva, and Genzyme. While at Genzyme, Leslie was a founding member of the Molecule Steward Team, where she provided technical oversight for post-approval lifecycle management of an enzyme replacement protein, an experience that she considers her MSAT sabbatical. Leslie is a graduate of Union College, from which she holds BS, MS degrees in Biology with extensive coursework in Chemistry.
Board of Directors
Chairman; Formerly of GE
John O. Agwunobi, M.D.
Agwunobi previously served as co-president and chief health and nutrition officer, directing the company’s nutrition philosophy. Since joining the company in 2016, Agwunobi has worked closely with Herbalife Nutrition independent distributors and customers, ensuring that the company continuously innovates in the areas of product development, technology, marketing and distributor sales. He also led the Herbalife Nutrition Institute, the Herbalife Nutrition Advisory Board, and the Herbalife Dietetic Advisory Board and worked with the company’s Ph.D.s and scientists to integrate nutrition science into Herbalife Nutrition products.
Agwunobi brings a wealth of experience from both the public and private sectors to his role. Most notably, in the private sector, he served as senior vice president and president of health and wellness for the world’s largest retailer, Walmart, where he led a team of over 65,000 and grew the business from $25 billion to over $30 billion. In the public sector, Agwunobi served as Florida’s secretary of health and later as an admiral in the U.S. Public Health Services Commissioned Corps and the assistant secretary of health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In these roles, he was responsible for disease prevention and health promotion. He oversaw the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the office of the U.S. Surgeon General, and numerous other public health offices and programs.
Agwunobi has a broad educational background that includes a master's degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University and a master's degree in business administration from Georgetown University. He completed his pediatric residency at Howard University and is currently a licensed physician in Florida and Maryland. He serves on numerous boards, including the U.S. African Development Foundation and bluebird bio.
Charlotte Jones-Burton, M.D.
Charlotte Jones-Burton, MD, MS is Senior Vice President, Product Development and Strategy at Chinook Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company discovering, developing and commercializing precision medicines for rare, severe chronic kidney diseases. With more than 20 years of experience as a clinical development leader, internal medicine and nephrology physician and academician, Dr. Jones-Burton is dedicated to creating healthier communities through drug development, patient advocacy and people engagement.
Dr. Jones-Burton earned a medical degree and Master of Science degree in Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, with a concentration in Clinical Research, from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Charlotte’s postgraduate training included an internal medicine residency and a nephrology fellowship at the University of Maryland Medical Systems. Immediately prior to her current role at Chinook Therapeutics she was VP, Global Clinical Development Head, Nephrology at Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc.
Dr. Jones-Burton is active in numerous professional associations and organizations and founded Women of Color in Pharma (WOCIP), a non-profit professional society focused on transforming the pharmaceutical landscape with women of color. In 2021, she was recognized as one of the industry’s top 100 inspiring people by PharmaVoice and awarded the 1st ever Global Icon Award by WOCIP.
Lis Leiderman, M.D.
Dr. Leiderman has over 20 years of experience in finance, strategy and business development in the life sciences industry. Before joining Decibel, she served as Chief Business Officer for Complexa, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on life-threatening fibrosis and inflammatory diseases. Prior to Complexa, Dr. Leiderman was Senior Vice President, Head of Corporate Development at Fortress Biotech. Earlier in her career, Dr. Leiderman developed her transaction and capital markets expertise in the healthcare investment banking groups at Nomura, Credit Suisse, Jefferies and UBS. She began her career in medical affairs at AstraZeneca, where she analyzed product and industry trends related to the central nervous system. Dr. Leiderman earned an M.D. from the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University, an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. from The University of Pennsylvania.
Chief Executive Officer, bluebird bio
Prior to her role at Logitech, Ms. Tita-Reid was Global Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Board Member for Hero-AG, a family-run healthy food company, where she developed the organization’s marketing function and brand strategy and built the first global innovation pipeline while overseeing the R&D, innovation, sustainability and quality functions. Ms. Tita-Reid previously held leadership positions at Bayer PLC, where she served as Vice President-Country Division Head for Consumer Care in the UK in Ireland and led the turnaround of the consumer care business; and Merck & Co, Inc where she served as General Manager for Western Europe.
Ms. Tita-Reid spent 19 years at Procter & Gamble where she managed a number of consumer brands in the baby and feminine care categories. At P&G, Ms. Tita-Reid spearheaded multi-cultural marketing strategy across 15 billion-dollar brands and led the multi-brand business unit for Hispanic and African American consumers. During her tenure, Ms. Tita-Reid trained and developed the P&G marketing function on ethnic marketing, and created breakthrough marketing strategies, including “My Black is Beautiful,” which stands as a template for multi-cultural campaigns across industry today.
Ms. Tita-Reid graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Spelman College and holds an MBA from Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.