Bio veteran Kristen Swingle steers C-Path’s rapid growth

November 2, 2022

By Jessica Vaile

The Critical Path Institute was established in Tucson in 2005 under a partnership with the Food and Drug Administration, just three years after the Flinn Foundation introduced Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap.

The independent, nonprofit organization, with Arizona roots and an expanding presence both locally and globally, plays a key role in accelerating drug development through consortia that includes more than 1,600 scientists from government and regulatory agencies, academia, patient organizations, foundations, and biotech and pharmaceutical companies.

Kristen Swingle is the president and chief operating officer of the Critical Path Institute. A Tucson native and Northern Arizona University graduate, with expertise in medical and molecular sciences, she joined the organization three years ago and has already overseen a 50% staff increase and 90% increase in revenue.

The company’s headquarters are in a Tucson corporate park at the base of the Catalina Foothills. As you drive by the complex, the mission of C-Path may not be obvious, nor the impact the company has had on Arizona and the world. 

With offices in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and Dublin, Ireland, a steady presence in Washington, D.C., and workers around the country, C-Path is truly a global organization. Yet it has remained true to its Tucson roots, continuing to expand its presence in southern Arizona. And its work has a direct impact on the lives and health of Arizonans young and old.

The Arizona Bioindustry Association, or AZBio, supports and advocates for the bioscience industry throughout Arizona. Kristen Swingle has served on the board of directors since 2015 and as chair since 2018.

Critical Path Institute was founded by Dr. Raymond Woosley, dean of the University of Arizona College of Medicine at the time; Woosley served seven years as CEO. Martha Brumfeld had the organization’s second longest leadership tenure, at six years, and presided over substantial expansion. And on Oct. 1, Dr. Daniel Jorgensen commenced his tenure as chief executive officer.  

The Critical Path Institute, nearing its own 20th anniversary, was one of Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap’s early success stories. And the nonprofit’s impact and success, with the help of its numerous partnerships, continue to accelerate as it heads toward its next 20 years.