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Washington Research Foundation announces Brooks Simpson as new chairman of its board of directors

Washington Research Foundation (WRF)

Simpson becomes WRF's third board chair after taking over from C. Kent Carlson, who had led since 2011

Brooks will be an exceptional leader as the new chair. He brings experience, enthusiasm and vision to his new role.”
— C. Kent Carlson, outgoing chair
SEATTLE, WA, USA, January 13, 2021 / -- Brooks Simpson has been named chairman of the Washington Research Foundation (WRF) board of directors. He takes over from C. Kent Carlson, who has stepped down after leading the board since 2011.

Simpson has over 40 years of experience in the medical industry and has served on the Foundation's board since 2006. He is the son of late co-founder W. Hunter Simpson and becomes only the third board chair since WRF's creation in 1981. Simpson is president of the Medic One Foundation, a Washington state nonprofit that has ensured the education and training of over 750 paramedics in King Country and provides research and equipment grants to improve pre-hospital care and patient outcomes. Previously, Simpson held senior positions over 20 years with portable defibrillator manufacturer Physio-Control (now Stryker), and in 1999 founded cardiovascular device distributor Pacific Rim Medical Systems. In addition to WRF, Simpson's active board roles include the University of Washington Foundation and the Resuscitation Academy.

“I am delighted and look forward to my new role leading the board of this great organization as we enter our 40th year of service in the region,” said Simpson.

Outgoing chair Carlson, senior of counsel with global law firm K&L Gates, joined WRF's board in 2006 after providing legal guidance to the Foundation since 1993. He was elected chair in 2011 following co-founder and inaugural chair Thomas J. Cable's decision to leave the position after 30 years. Carlson and Cable remain active board members with WRF.

During Carlson's tenure as chair, WRF made its largest grant pledge to date of $31.2 million to enable the University of Washington to hire faculty and enhance facilities at four of its institutions working on solutions to urgent scientific challenges. WRF's single-largest grant of $10 million to UW Medicine's Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine to support its Heart Regeneration Program also came under Carlson's leadership.

“WRF is a unique organization which serves as an important catalyst in the scientific education, research, discovery and commercialization ecosystem in the state of Washington. It has been my privilege and honor to have served as board chair for the last 10 years. Brooks will be an exceptional leader as the new chair. He brings experience, enthusiasm and vision to his new role,” said Carlson.

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 founded in 1981 to assist universities and other nonprofit research institutions in Washington with the commercialization and licensing of their technologies. WRF is 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 $112 million in grants to the state's research institutions to date.

WRF Capital, the Foundation’s venture investment arm, has funded 108 local startups since 1994. Returns from these investments support grant-making activities at WRF.

For additional information, please visit

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