Arizona executives named to lead statewide bioscience committee

January 26, 2021

By Matt Ellsworth

A medical-technology executive and a former state legislator have been named the new leaders of Arizona’s statewide committee overseeing the advancement of the state’s bioscience ecosystem.

Eve Ross

Eve Ross, a retired W.L. Gore & Associates executive, is serving as chair and Heather Carter, executive vice president of Greater Phoenix Leadership, as vice chair of Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee, a body of more than 100 leaders from the private and public sectors in science, research, health care, business and industry, academia, policy, and workforce development.

The committee, which receives staffing support from the Flinn Foundation, works to pursue the goals of Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap, the long-term strategic plan to guide the growth and development of the state’s bioscience sector.

Heather Carter

“Eve Ross and Heather Carter are two of Arizona’s most dynamic leaders, with expertise in health, commercialization, education, and public policy,” said Tammy McLeod, Flinn Foundation president and CEO. “Their experience, enthusiasm and desire to partner and collaborate across our expanding ecosystem will lead to significant gains both for the committee and the biosciences in Arizona.”

Ross has served as vice chair over the past two years and has been a steering committee member since 2003. Carter joined the committee in 2015 while serving in the Arizona Legislature.

“Members of the steering committee are eager to deploy strategies to support bioscience entrepreneurs, attract risk capital, develop talent, and advance public policy that will improve health outcomes and strengthen Arizona’s economy,” Ross said. “I am thrilled and honored to be chosen to lead this group for the next two years.”

Ross, a retired global medical-technology executive and attorney, is experienced in the commercialization of new technologies, a public-policy advocate for the value of medical technology, and a statewide civic leader.

She led public-policy and strategic initiatives for the Flagstaff-based medical-device division of W.L Gore & Associates, Inc. until her retirement from the company in 2017. The global company has a large presence in Flagstaff, where it first expanded in the western United States more than a half-century ago, and a north Phoenix campus likewise dedicated to medical devices.

Carter began her role as executive vice president of Greater Phoenix Leadership in October. She is a former Arizona state senator and representative from north Phoenix who held legislative leadership roles on health and human services, higher education, and workforce development committees. She most recently served as associate director of the Arizona Center for Rural Health and assistant professor of practice in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona. Previously, she served as assistant dean of health and education policy at Arizona State University’s Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation and was a longtime clinical associate professor with Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at ASU.

For the past two years, the committee was led by Mark Slater, vice president for research at HonorHealth and chief executive for the HonorHealth Research Institute. Slater, who joined the committee in 2007 and previously served as vice chair, remains a committee member.

The steering committee, formed in the early 2000s, is broadening its membership to a more inclusive range of organizations, companies, and individuals with critical roles in the state’s bioscience ecosystem.

In April, the Flinn Foundation will host its annual Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap event highlighting the progress of Arizona’s bioscience sector. Data on key bioscience metrics, which the Flinn Foundation has tracked for nearly two decades, will next be released in spring 2022.