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Senior Vice President, External Affairs
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.
Rich Colvin, MD, PhD
Chief Medical Officer
Senior Vice President, Technical Development and Operations
Chief Commercial & Operating Officer
Chief Financial Officer
Chris Krawtschuk joined bluebird bio as chief financial officer in November 2022. He brings over 25 years of experience in finance, accounting, tax, strategy, business development, and capital allocation for commercial execution. Prior to bluebird, Chris was CFO of Jubilant Pharma, a global integrated pharmaceutical company and MorphoSys US, where he established the US-based finance and business operations team. Chris also served as VP, Lead Divisional Controller for Pfizer Inc., where he was responsible for accounting advisory and financial reporting support to all global businesses and support functions. Chris began his financial career at PwC, where he was a Managing Director in the Capital Markets and Accounting Advisory Practice and spent 15 years advising clients on a range of financial needs including accounting and financial reporting related to acquisitions, divestitures, initial public offerings, capital markets transactions, and complex accounting and reporting issues, including strategic alliances and research and development financing.
Chris received his BS in Accounting from William Paterson University and is a licensed as a CPA.
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 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 Business and Legal Officer
He previously served as Chief Business and Legal Officer at Finch Therapeutics, where he guided the company’s initial public offering in 2021, raising $130.8 million in capital, and led the company’s legal, business development and quality teams. Prior to joining Finch in 2020, Joe was the General Counsel and Chief Business Officer for AMAG Pharmaceuticals, where he led the company’s legal and business development initiatives, including oversight of the successful sale of the company to private equity investors, multiple out-licensing and partnership collaborations; and multiple therapeutic product launches. Prior to AMAG, Joe held leadership roles at Flexion Therapeutics, AVEO Pharmaceuticals, and Oscient Pharmaceuticals Corporation. He began his career as a corporate associate at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo PC where he represented public biotechnology and technology companies in numerous areas, including securities, M&A and healthcare licensing collaborations. He currently serves on the American Cancer Society’s Eastern New England Board of Directors and is on the Board of Advisors for Life Science Cares.
Joe has a BA in international relations from Tufts University and a JD from Northeastern University School of Law.
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.
Formerly of Herbalife Nutrition
John Agwunobi is the former chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Herbalife Nutrition, a premier global nutrition company that serves customers in 94 countries. Agwunobi joined Herbalife Nutrition in 2016 as its chief health and nutrition officer. In March 2020 he was appointed chief executive officer, where he was responsible for overseeing all aspects of the company’s growth, with a keen focus on initiatives that can positively impact issues affecting global society, including overweight and obesity, healthy aging, and a business opportunity.
During his tenure, Agwunobi worked closely with Herbalife Nutrition independent distributors and customers, to ensure continuous innovation 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.
Prior to joining Herbalife, Agwunobi 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. In addition to the Board of Directors for bluebird bio, Agwunobi also serves on the Board of the Ensign Group, Inc. and the Board of the U.S. African Development Foundation.
Charlotte Jones-Burton, M.D.
Former, Chinook Therapeutics
Charlotte Jones-Burton, MD, MS most recently served as 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.
Former Chief Financial Officer & Chief Business Officer at Atsena Therapeutics
Chief Executive Officer, bluebird bio
President and Chief Executive Officer at Karyopharm Therapeutics Inc.
Mr. Paulson previously worked at Amgen for 10 years holding varying leadership positions across Europe and North America, including Vice President and General Manager of Amgen’s U.S. Oncology Business Unit, and prior to that served as the Vice President of Marketing for Amgen’s U.S. Oncology Business, General Manager of Amgen Germany, and General Manager of Amgen Central & Eastern Europe. Prior to Amgen, Mr. Paulson held a number of global leadership positions at Pfizer Inc., including serving as General Manager of Pfizer South Africa and Pfizer Czech Republic. Mr. Paulson also previously held a variety of sales, marketing, and market access roles at GlaxoWellcome in Canada.
Mr. Paulson has an MBA from the University of Toronto, Canada and an undergraduate degree in commerce from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada.
Chief Brand and Experience Officer, Mars Petcare
Najoh Tita-Reid was appointed Chief Brand and Experience Officer, Mars Petcare in November 2023 to lead brand, experience, digitalization and technology to drive business transformation.
Najoh previously served Global Chief Marketing Officer for Logitech, a global manufacturer of computer peripherals, software, and services with headquarters in Switzerland and California, where she led the global marketing function and creation of the company’s digital-first, and data-driven consumer and customer omnichannel experience strategy. A multi-faceted executive with global marketing expertise, she has a record of strategic and operational ingenuity and transformation across complex organizations and a breadth of experience across the US and Europe.
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 and 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.