About

Team

Tom Skalak, Ph.D.

Executive Director | toms@alleninstitute.org

Tom Skalak is the founding Executive Director of The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group, launched in 2016. The Frontiers Group seeks to explore new frontiers, re-invent fields in ways that reflect major societal challenges and fundamental scientific curiosity, and bring new knowledge to light with a broad array of partners, making a positive impact on the world. A major interest of the Frontiers Group is the wide and growing landscape of quantitative bioscience. Previously, Tom was Vice President for Research at the University of Virginia, where he led research and innovation programs spanning biosciences, environmental sustainability, physical sciences, engineering and technology, arts, design, and humanities. Tom led the launch of the OpenGrounds collaboration initiative, bringing people together across fields for ideation; the statewide i6 Virginia Innovation Partnership; and the Global Water Games, a participatory computer game that improves the health of watersheds worldwide. As a Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Tom’s personal research included biomechanics of the cardiovascular system, angiogenesis, computational modeling, systems biology, wound repair, and regenerative medicine. He is a past President of both the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES). Tom is a frequent speaker on innovation and creativity with Fortune 500, venture capital, major art museum, and government partners, including The White House. He is a Council Member of the GUIRR Research Roundtable, a convening body of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in the U.S.  Tom was the founder of the UVA-Coulter Foundation Translational Research Partnership and other proof-of-concept funds with corporate partners such as Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca. One outcome was that the National Venture Capital Association ranked the Charlottesville region the #1 fastest-growing venture capital ecosystem in the United States between 2010-2015. Tom was educated as a bioengineer at The Johns Hopkins University (B.E.S. 1979) and at the University of California, San Diego (Ph.D. 1984), is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, and now enjoys exploring the deep waters of the Pacific Northwest with family and friends. 

Kathy Richmond, Ph.D., M.B.A.

Assistant Director | kathrynr@alleninstitute.org

Kathy Richmond is engaged with overall research portfolio strategy, listening tours, and all grant programs at The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group. In addition, she frequently serves as a reviewer with federal agencies and partner organizations for multidisciplinary ‘frontier’ research programs, and as an invited panel member on topics ranging from science philanthropy to technology development. Since joining the organization in 2012 as a Senior Program Officer for Science and Technology at the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Kathy has grown the bioscience portfolio, expanded the Allen Distinguished Investigator program and led funding in emerging bioscience and technology areas.

Her position at the Frontiers Group follows her role as the Director of Enabling Technologies at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, one of three Department of Energy funded biofuels Centers. In that position, she developed and oversaw a diverse portfolio of numerous technologies ranging from "omics" to plant transformation which supported the research needs of its 300 members. Prior to that, Kathy worked as a bench scientist, project lead and industry consultant, garnering two patents and multiple publications. Along with a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Kathy also holds a M.B.A. and attended Stanford University as an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow.

Katie Lillie

Chief of Staff | katieli@alleninstitute.org

Katie Lillie joined The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group in 2017 and serves as the Chief of Staff to the Executive Director, Tom Skalak. In this role, she helps execute the Frontiers Group mission and assists the Executive Director with special projects. Prior to joining the Frontiers Group, she served as Director of Press Advance at The White House and Deputy Chief of Staff at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. She also served as Global Outreach Director at Tina Brown Live Media/Women in the World before forming her own strategic consulting company. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Kenyon College.

Nicole Huber, Ph.D.

Program Manager | nicoleh@alleninstitute.org

Nicole Huber supports the implementation and management of the portfolio of grants in The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group, and conducts special projects. Nicole oversaw the design and installation of a unique patient care facility for ten major West Coast medical imaging clinics, easing the stress of cancer therapy for over 10,000 patients annually. Prior to joining the Frontiers Group, Nicole was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Washington, where she also earned her Ph.D. in Biology, with a focus on in vivo muscle mechanics paired with x-ray diffraction. She received her B.S. in Biology from the University of California, Berkeley.