Sutro CEO, Bill Newell appointed Chair of the California Life Sciences Association.

May 31, 2018

California Life Sciences Association Elects New Board Chair, Vice Chair and Adds New Board Member

California Life Sciences Association Elects New Board Chair, Vice Chair And Adds New Board Member

SAN FRANCISCO, SACRAMENTO & SAN DIEGO, Calif., May 30, 2018 – California Life Sciences Association (CLSA), the trade association representing California’s life sciences sector, today announced a new Chair and the addition of a new member to its Board of Directors. William J. Newell, Chief Executive Officer of Sutro Biopharma, Inc., transitioned from Vice Chair to Chair of the Board. Jared L. Watkin, Senior Vice President, Diabetes Care, Abbott, has joined the Board of Directors. In addition, Melinda Richter, Global Head, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS, formerly CLSA’s Treasurer, was appointed as the new Vice Chair of the organization.

“California’s life sciences industry has seen robust growth in the last year, and as the trade association representing the sector in California, CLSA will continue to drive that momentum in 2018 with Bill Newell as our new Board Chair, Melinda Richter as Vice Chair and Jared Watkin joining as a Board Member,” said Sara Radcliffe, President & CEO, CLSA. “The leadership and experience of these members will further our collaboration with officials in Sacramento and Congress to enhance the strength and growth of the state’s life sciences economy. I also want to extend my deepest thanks to Don Bobo of Edwards Lifesciences, who has served as the association’s Board Chair over the past year, for his strong leadership and commitment to CLSA at a time of extraordinary growth for the organization.”

“I look forward to continuing the impactful public policy and business leadership efforts the CLSA board has supported under Don Bobo’s leadership and working with my colleagues in the sector to sustain life sciences research, investment and innovation statewide,” said William Newell, Chair, CLSA Board of Directors and CEO, Sutro Biopharma, Inc.

About William Newell, Sutro Biopharma, Inc.

William J. Newell joined Sutro Biopharma as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors in January 2009. Previously, he served as the President of Aerovance, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on respiratory diseases.  Mr. Newell has also served as the Chief Business Officer and Senior Vice President at QLT Inc., in several senior management positions at Axys Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and has experience as a corporate lawyer. He currently serves on the board of directors of two private biotechnology companies, Biotechnology Innovation Organization’s Health and Emerging Companies Sections and the California Life Sciences Association, where he also serves as a Chair and as a member of the executive committee. Mr. Newell received an A.B. in Government from Dartmouth College and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. View full biography.

About Jared Watkin, Abbott

Jared Watkin is Senior Vice President, Diabetes Care, at Abbott, providing strategic guidance and operational management to Abbott’s diabetes business. Prior to assuming this role in June 2015, Jared served as Divisional Vice President, Technical Operations, Diabetes Care, at Abbott. Mr. Watkin joined Abbott in 1996, when Abbott acquired Medisense, Inc. Since then, he’s held a number of key positions in Abbott Diabetes Care, including Senior R&D Director and Divisional Vice President, Research and Development. Mr. Watkin earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, United Kingdom. View full biography.

About Melinda Richter, JLABS

Melinda RichterAs Global Head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS, Melinda Richter fosters the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies external R&D engine and supports the innovation community by creating capital-efficient commercialization models that give early stage companies a big company advantage. Prior to joining JLABS, Melinda was Founder and CEO of Prescience International, an award-winning firm dedicated to accelerating research to the patient. Prior to starting Prescience, Melinda held posts across a variety of functional areas with a global corporation, Nortel Networks, in numerous locations across the globe. View full biography.


  • Learn more about California’s life sciences industry
  • View CLSA’s Legislative Action Center
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About California Life Sciences Association (CLSA)

California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) is the state’s largest and most influential life sciences advocacy and business leadership organization. With offices in Sacramento, San Diego, South San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington DC, CLSA works closely with industry, government, academia and others to shape public policy, improve access to innovative technologies and grow California’s life sciences economy. CLSA serves biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostics companies, research universities and institutes, investors and service providers throughout the Golden State. CLSA was founded in 2015 when the Bay Area Bioscience Association (BayBio) and the California Healthcare Institute (CHI) merged. Visit CLSA at, and follow us on Twitter @CALifeSciences, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Media Contact:
California Life Sciences Association (CLSA)
Will Zasadny | Director, Communications | 619-961-8848