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DC Power Moves: Fast-growing EV company selects Prince George’s County for global HQ

Plus, an NIH alum will spearhead cancer research at Virginia Tech, American University appoints its 16th president and more.

Gov. Wes Moore Speaking on stage during an event announcing Blink Charging Co.'s new PG County HQ. (Courtesy Maryland Governor's Office)
Power Moves is a column where we chart the comings and goings of talent across the region. Got a new hire, gig or promotion? Email us at dc@technical.ly.

It’s been a busy few weeks in DC’s tech and business community, especially in higher education. Virginia Tech announced the new director of its Cancer Research Center in DC and American University hired a new president.

Continue reading for all of the details, including announcements from Cloudforce, Hawkeye 360 and Blink Charging Co.

Physician-scientist appointed to lead cancer research at Virginia Tech in DC

Christopher Hourigan, a globally renowned blood cancer researcher and physician, is joining Virginia Tech to lead an oncological research institution.

He will serve as the director of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute’s Cancer Research Center in DC’s Takoma neighborhood. The institute has had research labs in DC since 2021, but with Hourigan’s arrival, it’s now organized into a center. He will also work as a professor at the institute and the Department of Internal Medicine with the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.

Previously, he was a senior investigator and chief of the Laboratory of Myeloid Malignancies at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. His research primarily concerns acute myeloid leukemia, which is a high-risk form of blood cancer.

“We have the opportunity to build a new cancer research center from the ground up, focusing on getting talented and highly motivated teams working in innovative new ways to reduce the burden of suffering from cancer in the United States,” Hourigan said in an announcement. “It’s clear we’re not doing well enough for people who are dealing with cancer, and this is our chance to come up with new ways to do better.”

Ultimately, he wants to put cancer researchers out of work.

“I don’t want there to be a need for cancer research anymore, whether that happens in my lifetime, or the lifetimes of those individuals I train,” Hourigan said. “The ultimate objective is not to have an industry of cancer research.”

EV charging company relocates headquarters to Maryland, names new CMO

Blink Charging Co., an electric vehicle charging equipment provider, is moving its HQ from Miami to Prince George’s County. Blink is also expanding its manufacturing capacity, and the production facility is expected to produce more than 50,000 charging units each year.

The new 30,000-square-foot facility, based in Bowie, will be LEED Gold-certified. Blink’s new facilities were announced during a launch event featuring Maryland’s Gov. Wes Moore.

“Blink Charging is proud and excited to be establishing our global headquarters and production facility in Maryland, marking a pivotal moment in our journey toward a greener future,” said Brendan Jones, Blink president and CEO, in a press release. “We are committed to implementing innovative technology and manufacturing processes to enhance efficiency, capability, and output speed while maintaining quality standards and are excited to be doing it here.”

The company also appointed a new CMO. Jenifer Yokley, who most recently served as the SVP of marketing and head of government affairs at Blink, previously led marketing efforts at the property technology provider, Allbridge.

American University announces its 16th president

Jon Alger, the former president of James Madison University (JMU), has been appointed as American University’s new president.

Alger will assume the position in July when Sylvia Burwell completes her tenure after seven years. He has more than 30 years of experience in higher education. While at JMU, he created a scholarship program for first-generation students and led several philanthropic initiatives.

He also has an intimate tie to the area: He and his wife were married at National Presbyterian Church, down the street from American University’s campus.

“Encouraging students to dream big is the heart of higher education, and the opportunity to join American University is a dream come true for me and my family. AU’s stellar academic profile and global impact reflect the unique and inspiring characteristics of the faculty, staff, students, and alumni,” Alger said in a statement. “Returning to the Washington, DC, region where our family has deep ties and collaborating with the AU community to create the next chapter of this great institution is an unparalleled opportunity.”

More Power Moves:

  • Cloudforce, the National Harbor-based IT consulting company, was honored by Microsoft as the “2024 Showstopper of the Year: Commitment to Community.”
  • George Washington University recently announced the launch of a new “Trustworthy AI Initiative.” The school is partnering with SAIC, a Fortune 500 tech company headquartered in Reston, Virginia, to research AI deployment.
  • Dennis Kelly was appointed as Tyto Athene’s new CEO. Kelly will lead the Herndon, Virginia digital services company’s strategic growth efforts.
  • Defense technology company HawkEye 360 Inc. appointed three new members to its advisory board.
  • Cartesian Therapeutics Inc. is moving from Montgomery County to Frederick County after a reverse merger.
  • The biotech company Northwest Biotherapeutics, based in Bethesda, appointed Pat Sarma to its board of directors. Sarma will serve as the chairman of the Audit Committee and a member of the Compensation and Conflicts Committees.
Companies: HawkEye 360 / George Washington University / American University / State of Maryland
Series: Power Moves
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