PRESS RELEASE: Coughlin picked to head Mass. Biotech Council


Patrick Administration Official Blends Government, Business Experience

BOSTON, MA (August 13, 2007) – Robert Coughlin, a former state representative and businessman now serving as undersecretary for business development in Governor Deval Patrick’s administration, will become the new president of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MBC), the council announced today.

“Bob is the perfect person to lead the MBC. His blend of business and public policy experience will help us position the industry and the organization for growth,” said Mike Webb of Ascent Therapeutics, chairman of the MBC board of directors.

“Bob Coughlin has shown tremendous leadership and produced continuous results for the Commonwealth in his capacity as undersecretary of business development,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Daniel O’Connell. “We are happy to see that the MBC has recognized his skill in seeking to fill this critical position.”

“In my role as undersecretary for business development, I have worked closely with the biotechnology and life sciences industry,” said incoming MBC President Robert Coughlin. “This community is dedicated to developing new therapies, and serves as a great economic engine for the state and nation. As the new president of the MBC, I am proud to support the energy and commitment of all of the individuals who make up the Massachusetts life sciences super cluster.”

Mark Leuchtenberger of Targanta Therapeutics, head of the search committee and vice chairman of the MBC board of directors, said “Bob impressed the panel with his knowledge of the industry and combination of business and political skills. He really is the perfect choice for our needs,” he said.

“Having worked with Bob when he was in business, I had the chance to watch him close up and found him to be a committed, energetic, and savvy executive. He’ll make a great leader for the biotech industry,” said Jack Connors, Jr., founding partner and chairman of Hill Holliday Connors & Cosmopoulos, Inc.

Joe O’Donnell, chief executive officer of Boston Concessions, added, “Over the past five years, I have gotten to know Bob very well through his efforts to raise money for cystic fibrosis. His dedication to the community along with his considerable business and political skills, make him an ideal choice for the biotech industry.”

As undersecretary of business development in the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, Coughlin oversaw agencies tasked with developing Massachusetts businesses, including the Office of Business Development, the International Office of Trade and Investment and the Office of Travel and Tourism.

Prior to being tapped by Governor Patrick, Coughlin served three terms in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and was vice chairman of the Joint Committee on Revenue, where he worked on tax code stability, economic stimulus legislation and streamlined permitting for business.

His business experience includes serving as a principal at MC Solutions, a corporate consulting and capital management firm, and Susquehanna Capital, where he managed a portfolio of five companies. He spent many years working in business development, including as regional sales and marketing manager for Clean Harbors Environmental Services.

A graduate of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and lieutenant in the United States Naval Reserve, Coughlin has also been active in the community, serving on the boards of the Academy and Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, as honorary chairman of the Great Strides Cystic Fibrosis Walk, and as a member of the National Volunteer Leadership Board, among other organizations.

He lives with his wife, Christine, and three children in Dedham.

Coughlin will take over his new duties by October.