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David Shoultz Joins Washington Research Foundation (WRF) as Director, Grant Programs

Former PATH and Gates Foundation leader will spearhead WRF’s grant-making and evaluations

SEATTLE, WA, USA, May 14, 2020 / -- David Shoultz, Ph.D., MBA, has joined Washington Research Foundation (WRF) as the director of grant programs. He succeeds Beth Etscheid, Ph.D., who earlier this year announced she will retire at the end of June.

WRF’s grants focus on accelerating the development of technologies in Washington’s nonprofit research institutions that will deliver public benefit locally and beyond. WRF has provided more than $106 million in grants to date, the majority supporting projects in the life sciences.

“David was our choice from a highly talented, diverse and thoughtful group of applicants from a national search. He’s a great fit for us. We want our grant-making to be high impact and reduce the time from innovative idea to public use. There’s never enough money to fund all proposals, so our pre-grant diligence is a vital part of enabling us to make smart choices that help us to get the most out of every dollar we give. David will look at new ways to assess and advance that. He will also lead us in systematizing our impact evaluations and creating narratives that help our research partners raise additional funds for the steps that come after our grants,” said Ron Howell, WRF’s CEO.

Shoultz served for six years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where as director he led engagement with the foundation’s major grantees and funding partners. While at the Gates Foundation, he also provided guidance for drug, vaccine, and diagnostic development programs for infectious diseases including malaria, tuberculosis and HIV, and was instrumental in establishing the $108 million Global Health Investment Fund to help finance product development for diseases in developing countries.

Shoultz later became PATH’s director of drug development, heading programs in infectious disease, maternal health and pediatrics. In addition, he served on the Geneva Foundation’s board of directors for more than a decade and was the founding chair of its scientific advisory board. He has also held leadership positions with several companies in the private sector and was most recently the vice president and global head of the PPD Consulting division of PPD, a global drug development company with 24,000 employees worldwide.

“I am very excited to join WRF and have long admired the work that Ron, Beth, and the team here have done. The opportunity to build on the existing relationships and form new relationships that allow us to benefit the people living in Washington state is, by itself, incredibly compelling. The chance to foster collaborations between institutions in Washington that impact the health and lives of people living around the world is honestly unparalleled,” said Shoultz.

Shoultz holds a doctorate in epidemiology from the University of Washington and an MBA from the Albers School of Business and Economics at Seattle University.

About Washington Research Foundation:

Washington Research Foundation (WRF) supports research and scholarship in Washington state, with a focus on life sciences and enabling technologies.

WRF was formed in 1981 to assist universities and other nonprofit research institutions in Washington with the commercialization and licensing of their technologies. WRF is recognized as one of the foremost technology transfer and grant-making organizations in the nation, having earned more than $445 million in licensing revenue for the University of Washington and providing over $106 million in grants to the state's research institutions to date.

WRF Capital, the Foundation’s venture investment arm, has funded 105 local startups since 1994. Returns support WRF’s grant-making activities.

For additional information, please visit

Dale Wadman
Washington Research Foundation
+1 206-336-5600
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