Mary Woolley

President and Chief Executive Officer, Research!America

Ms. Woolley is the president of Research!America. Under her leadership, Research!America’s membership has more than quadrupled as it has earned the attention and respect of research, media, and community leaders with its signature public opinion surveys and advocacy resource materials.

Ms. Woolley serves on several boards and committees, including the Institute of Medicine Health Sciences Policy Board, the National Council for Johns Hopkins Nursing, the Board of Overseers of the Harvard School of Public Health, and is Vice Chair of the Board of the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute. She is a Founding Member of the Board of Associates of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Ms. Woolley has served as president of the Association of Independent Research Institutes (AIRI), as editor of the Journal of the Society of Research Administrators, as a reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation, and as a consultant to several research organizations.

Ms. Woolley has a 25-year editorial and publication history on science advocacy and research related topics. Her op-eds and letters to the editor are published in newspapers and magazines from coast to coast and she has been published in Science, Nature, Issues in Science and Technology, The New England Journal of Medicine, The Scientist, and other research-oriented periodicals. She is a sought-after speaker and is frequently interviewed by science, news and policy journalists.

For her work on behalf of medical research, she has been awarded the Distinguished Contribution to Research Administration Award from the Society for Research Administrators; the American Hospital Association Silver Touchstone Award for Public Affairs Programming; the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons Dean’s Award for Distinguished Service; the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Special Award for Science Advocacy; the Friends of the National Institute for Nursing Research Health Advocacy Award, and the Friends of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research Outstanding Public Advocacy Award.

A native of Chicago, Ms. Woolley received a Bachelor of Science from Stanford University and a Master of Arts from San Francisco State University. She studied advanced management at the University of California, Berkeley. Ms. Woolley in her early career served as San Francisco project director for the then largest-ever NIH-funded clinical trial, the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial (MRFIT). In 1981, she became Administrator of the Medical Research Institute of San Francisco, and in 1986 was named the Institute’s Executive Director and CEO. Ms. Woolley has served as President and CEO of Research!America since 1990.