Entrepreneurs / Leadership

Power Moves: Graham Dodge is now president of a COVID-tracking nonprofit spun out of MIT

Plus, Hogan appoints a new head of commerce, 23-year biotech vet Fuad El-Hibri retires, and Workforce Genetics hires a new director of operations and workforce development solutions.

Graham Dodge. (Photo via LinkedIn)

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:

Graham Dodge is now the president of a nonprofit initiative tracking COVID-19, called the PathCheck Foundation.

Dodge is a technologist with experience deploying large consumer platforms and systems that use big data and prediction modeling. The Baltimore entrepreneur was the founding CEO of illness-tracking company Sickweather, where he led partnerships with the likes of IBM and GlaxoSmithKline.

“When I learned about PathCheck’s privacy-first, open source approach to contact tracing, vaccine verification and civic engagement, I knew right away that my experience from Sickweather could add value,” Dodge said of his move to the Boston-based MIT spinout via press release. “Since the pandemic, I believe the world is ready for the ideas and tools that we’re developing at PathCheck.”

Dodge became the executive director of the Mid-Atlantic Gigabit Innovation Collaboratory (MAGIC), a nonprofit that’s building a tech hub around the municipal fiber network in the Maryland town of Westminster, in fall 2019. He told he will be keeping this role and staying local.

Dodge has served on boards and workgroups for the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionNational Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s PACT: Helping Children with Special Needs. He was also part of a group that brought a 1 Million Cups chapter to Westminster.

“His leadership experience, vast network and expertise across various healthcare segments is a perfect fit to act on the mission, grow our organization and increase its impact,” said John Werner, board director of the PathCheck Foundation.

Hogan appoints new commerce and transportation leaders

A day before the start of the new year, Gov. Larry Hogan appointed Mike Gill as head of the Maryland Department of Commerce. Gill returns to position where he served from 2015 to 2018, replacing Kelly Schulz as Schulz makes a run at the governor’s office in 2022.

Hogan also appointed James Ports Jr., former director of the Maryland Transportation Authority, to secretary of the Department of Transportation. William Pines, MDTA’s chief engineer, is now succeeding Ports as the agency’s acting executive director.

“Mike Gill helped lead our economic turnaround for the first four years of our administration, and it is great to have him back to finish the job,” Hogan said in a statement announcing the appointees. “I also want to congratulate Will Pines, a talented engineer who has spearheaded some of our biggest projects, and is very deserving of the opportunity to lead MDTA.”

During the pandemic, the Department of Commerce has led biz-boosting initiatives such as highlighting unsung local companies through marketing, and the Maryland Business Innovation Challenge to provide an onramp for corporations to engage directly with the startup ecosystem.

Emergent BioSolutions’ longtime leader will retire

Fuad El-Hibri. (Photo via Wikimedia)

Fuad El-Hibri, the founder and executive chairman of Emergent BioSolutions, will retire in April. El-Hibri grew the Gaithersburg biotech company, founded in 1998, into a publicly traded company worth $2.66 billion. It counts more than 2,400 employees.

“Creating and leading Emergent has been the honor of my life, and it would not have been possible without the help of our incredible team,” El-Hibri said in a press release. “I want to thank everyone at Emergent, past and present, for helping advance our inspiring mission over the past two decades. I could never have imagined the number of lives we would impact, and I will forever be proud of our accomplishments.”

Emergent has a long history of producing vaccines at its Bayview plant in East Baltimore, including most recently the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. It paused production for several months last year after it was found that millions of doses of the vaccine were ruined after ingredients of the AstraZeneca and J&J vaccines were mixed up.

Check out a timeline of the company’s Baltimore operations.

Workforce Genetics hired a new director

Life sciences is an industry that continues to grow over the pandemic, especially in the DMV. It follows that life science companies will increasingly need new talent to support that growth.

As of January, Ezekiel Kelley is the new director of operations and workforce development solutions at life sciences recruiting firm Workforce Genetics. In his new role, he’ll be leading initiatives such as a new online community and talent marketplace and implementing efficient operating systems to drive growth across the Maryland-based org.

“For me, equity, specifically in Baltimore, is a must. I was born and raised in Baltimore, so I know that there is a large community of people in the City working towards democratizing labor across different sectors,” Kelley said in a statement. “When I was approached with the opportunity to be a part of a team with a mission of making sure that anyone with the work ethic, interest, and willingness to learn could get an opportunity to pursue a career in biotech, I knew that I had to jump at the chance to do my part.”

Ezekiel Kelley. (Photo via LinkedIn)

JMI Equity promoted from within

JMI Equity’s Sureel Sheth and Stephen Jones have been promoted from principal to general partner and VP to principal, respectively. Jones is based out of Baltimore and will continue to source investment and give strategic advice to portfolio companies. That includes the likes of ChurnZero’s $25 million raise led by JMI in March 2021 and the plethora of companies in JMI’s $1.7 billion growth funds for software companies.

“Stephen is a great teammate and thought partner on our investment teams — he really engages in the issues,” said Harry Gruner, founder and managing general partner at JMI, in a press release. “He has been instrumental in his work with Bloomerang, ChurnZero, Incident IQ, Level Access, RainFocus and others, and I look forward to seeing him grow into his new role as Principal. I’m also pleased to recognize Sureel for this terrific accomplishment; both promotions are excellent reflections of JMI’s commitment to developing and investing in our talented professionals.”

Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.
Companies: MAGIC / Maryland Transit Administration / Emergent BioSolutions / Sickweather
Series: Power Moves

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