Promoting research partnerships 

to improve veterans’ health

NAVREF Board of Directors

NAVREF continues its tradition of strong voluntary leadership through the involvement of all NPCs. Each member NPC has the opportunity nominate candidates for election to the board. Each board member must be associated with a different NPC or affiliated VA medical center. Board member terms are three years and an individual may be elected for up to two consecutive terms. For details of NAVREF’s expectations of board members as well as board operations and logistics for meetings, please see "NAVREF Board Policies Expectations and Practices." Individuals interested in serving on the NAVREF board are encouraged to contact the NAVREF office.

NAVREF Board Members and VA Liaisons

As of September 2018

Name, Board Category, and Title

Organization, City, and State

Robin Rusconi, JD
Executive Director
Midwest Biomedical Research Foundation
Kansas City, KS
Ron Hakes, CPM, CSSBB
Executive Director
Vice Chair
Cincinnati Education and Research for Veterans Foundations
Cincinnati, OH
Shelley Cobb
Executive Director
Portland VA Research Foundation                  
Portland, OR
Robert Forrester
US Navy Veteran
Belmont, MA
Danielle Fleumer, MPA
Executive Director
Seattle Institute for Biomedical and Clinical Research
Seattle, WA
Scott Gruber, MD, PhD, MBA
Chief of Staff
John D. Dingell VA Medical Center
Detroit, MI
Jeffrey Moore, PhD
Executive Director
Cleveland VA Medical Research and Education Foundation
Cleveland, OH
Cindy Reutzel, MPA
Executive Director

Chicago Association for Research and Education in Science
Hines, IL
Paul Russo, MHSA, FACHE, RD
Medical Center Director
Bay Pines VA Medical Center
Bay Pines, FL
Mary Sano, PhD
ACOS Research & Development
James J. Peters VA Medical Center
Bronx, NY

VA Liaisons:

Rachel Ramoni, DMD, ScD
Chief Research and Development Officer
Department of Veterans Affairs
Office of Research and Development
Washington DC
Karen Sanders, MD
Deputy Chief Academic Affiliations Officer
Department of Veterans Affairs
Office of Academic Affiliations
Washington DC
Maryam Azarion, JD
Deputy Chief Counsel, Health Law Group
Specialty Team Advising Research
Department of Veterans Affairs
Office of General Counsel
Washington, DC


To reach any board member, please contact the NAVREF office by sending an email to or call the NAVREF office at 301-656-5005


Board Meeting Schedule

FY 2020



Winter Dec 9 (2019)
New Orleans
Spring Mar 9  TBD
Summer Jun 15 TBD
Fall Sep 9 Washington, DC

NAVREF board meetings are typically hosted by a member NPC. To host a board meeting, please contact the NAVREF office at

1717 K ST NW Suite 900

Washington, DC 20006

P: 301-656-5005  |

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