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MassBio Taps Kendall Square's State Senator For CEO Role

Joe Boncore

The  Massachusetts Biotechnology Council has tapped the sitting state senator for the area at the heart of the state's life sciences industry as its new CEO.

MassBio named state Sen. Joe Boncore as its new leader, the organization announced Wednesday. His selection ends a nationwide search that considered more than 150 candidates, MassBio said, to replace longtime president Robert Coughlin, who was hired by JLL as life sciences managing director.

“I spent more than four months in the (newborn intensive care unit) with my twins where I saw every day the power of this industry and the hope that innovation can provide,” Boncore said in a statement. “I understand how to advocate for policies that incentivize innovation, improve patient outcomes, and seek enhancements to healthcare delivery.”

Boncore was named by the organization as its “2020 Legislator of the Year” and is the State Senate chair of the Massachusetts Biotech Caucus. He said he will resign from his legislative position next week and begin his MassBio role later this month. 

Boncore, who was elected in 2016 to represent parts of Cambridge, Kendall Square, downtown Boston and Revere, will manage MassBio’s federal and governmental relations and lead initiatives related to economic competitiveness, the organization said. He will share a leadership role with MassBio President and Chief Operating Officer Kendalle Burlin O’Connell, who will oversee the organization’s 1,400-member body and MassBio Edge, its purchasing consortium.

MassBio, established in 1985, sits at 700 Technology Square in the heart of Kendall Square and operates on an annual budget of $12M with 25 full-time employees. The organization, among other member services, releases annual reports on the health of the industry, recently projecting an influx of 20M SF of lab space in Massachusetts by 2024 and 40,000 new workers.