MassBioEd Foundation Names Peter Abair as New Executive Director

Jun 02, 2015

June 2, 2015 (Cambridge, MA) — The MassBioEd Foundation, Massachusetts’ leading nonprofit organization supporting STEM education with a focus on biotechnology, has announced that Peter Abair will join as Executive Director to continue driving innovative programing in biotechnology science education throughout the state and sharpen the focus on workforce development in the fast-growing life sciences industry.

“We are thrilled to welcome Pete to the MassBioEd team, particularly at a time when workforce development will be a critical factor to industry growth across Massachusetts,” said Renee Connolly, head of communications at EMD Millipore and the chairwoman of the MassBioEd Board of Directors. “Pete pairs his significant expertise in collecting and analyzing the industry’s needs with a passion for STEM education, and we look forward to bringing him on board for our cause.”

Abair joins MassBioEd from MassBio, the 650+ member trade association representing life sciences in Massachusetts and beyond, where he held the role of Director of Economic Development & Global Affairs. In that role, he initiated and grew the services offered by MassBio to companies interested in developing or fostering a presence in Massachusetts. He also handled the global partners programs, which connects local companies with potential partners or investors around the world. He led the development and publication of the Industry Snapshot, an annual economic analysis of the life sciences industry. 

He has also played a pivotal role in the Massachusetts Life Sciences Education Consortium, a joint MassBio and MassBioEd initiative to promote a coordinated approach to the development of the Massachusetts life sciences workforce by partnering the life sciences industry with higher education.

“Pete has truly defined MassBio’s economic development agenda, and I am confident he will drive MassBioEd’s educational and workforce programs and platforms to the next level,” said Robert K. Coughlin, President & CEO of MassBio.

Pete takes over for Lance Hartford who has stepped down, after almost nine years of serving as the Executive Director. Lance will be developing Dovetail Consulting focused on services for not for profit organizations.

“On behalf of the entire Board I would like to express our sincere gratitude to Lance for his dedication and leadership in establishing a strong foundation for science and biotechnology education in Massachusetts through school programs, and evolving our workforce training,” Connolly said. “We are confident Pete will be able to build upon the strong base set by Lance and the team.”

Prior to joining MassBio, Abair served the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in several economic development functions including Director of the Massachusetts Department of Economic Development, Massachusetts Office of Business Development, and Associate Director of the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development. He has served in the administrations of four governors and began his career on the Washington, D.C. staff of the late Congressman Silvio O. Conte. 

Abair holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and International Relations from Boston University and a Master’s in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.  A native of Pittsfield, MA, he now resides with his family in Sudbury, where he serves on several local boards.



About MassBioEd Foundation

The Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation (MassBioEd Foundation), founded in 2001, is a nonprofit charitable organization committed to supporting science and biotechnology education in Massachusetts through school programs, workforce training, and lifelong learning. Serving as a link between education, industry, and government, MassBioEd is working to ensure Massachusetts’ biotechnology sector has an appropriately trained workforce to meet growing employment needs. MassBioEd’s BioTeach program provides professional development to hundreds of teachers in their biotechnology curricula and provides grants and lab equipment to 204 schools across the Commonwealth. In addition, MassBioEd’s Biotech Learning Center offers professional development courses for employees in the biotechnology sector to advance their professional skills.


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