June 2020

Michelle Groman, JD, Will Succeed Bernard Lo, MD, as Foundation President and CEO

The Greenwall Foundation, the nation’s only philanthropy dedicated exclusively to funding and infusing bioethics research throughout all aspects of society, has named current Chief Operating Officer Michelle Groman, JD, its new President and Chief Executive Officer, effective July 1.

Groman, a lawyer, was Associate Director of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues during the Obama administration, overseeing staff work on diverse topics, including neuroscience and related ethical issues, pediatric medical countermeasure research, and human subjects research protections. Prior to that, she practiced law in Washington, DC, after clerking for the Hon. Bruce M. Selya on the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

“Michelle is an outstanding choice to lead the Foundation into a new era,” said James Tulsky, MD, Chair of the Foundation’s Board. “She possesses a unique combination of experience, talents, and skills that will advance the Foundation’s mission of making bioethics integral to decision-making everywhere.”

Tulsky noted that the Foundation conducted an international search and considered dozens of highly qualified candidates for the position. “We kept winnowing down the list and Michelle kept rising to the top,” he said. “There is no one who brings everything to the table that she does.”

She will succeed Bernard Lo, MD, who has led the Foundation since 2012 and was Founding Director of its flagship Greenwall Faculty Scholars Program, established in 2001. At the time, Groman was a research assistant at the University of California, San Francisco, where she worked with Lo as the new Faculty Scholars Program’s coordinator. Years later, in 2015, Groman joined The Greenwall Foundation as Director of Bioethics Grants, Strategy, and Special Projects, becoming COO in January 2018.

Groman graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and served on the Harvard Law Review. She has published articles on a range of legal issues and topics in bioethics, including end-of-life decision-making, research ethics, and emerging genetic technologies.

“I am incredibly honored by the confidence the Board has placed in me to lead the Foundation,” Groman said. “The Greenwall Foundation is a special place, with a laser focus on bioethics in the real world. Having first been involved with the Foundation almost 20 years ago, working with Dr. Lo to launch and develop the Faculty Scholars Program, I feel like I have come full circle. I am excited to work with the Board to expand the Foundation’s work so that bioethics has a seat at every table.”

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the discussions it has spawned around vaccine development and testing, health disparities, congregate care, and more, Tulsky said that Groman will help the Foundation navigate new territory while making best use of its resources and networks.

“From her deep understanding of bioethics and law to her strong sense of how bioethics intersects with public policy to her extraordinary leadership and organizational skills, Michelle is the right person to lead the Foundation right now, when bioethics needs to be at the forefront of not only public policy but everyday conversations,” Tulsky said.

He also thanked Lo for his many years of service to the Foundation. “Under Dr. Lo’s leadership, the Greenwall Faculty Scholars Program has advanced the careers of a generation of bioethics scholars who have made extraordinary contributions to the field,” Tulsky said. “As President, he has led the Foundation through a number of changes as it developed its exclusive focus on bioethics. We are truly grateful to him.”