JBBioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI) and Montgomery County are pleased to announce Jennifer R. Butler as the first Montgomery County “Executive in Residence”—a pilot project dedicated to providing 1:1 technical assistance to Montgomery County-based biotech startups.  

This is a year-long collaboration between the county government, which is funding the work as part of its mission to grow the local life sciences cluster, and BHI, a regional innovation intermediary supporting technology commercialization throughout Maryland, D.C., and Virginia.

As a part-time Executive in Residence, Butler will spend six months working closely with life sciences startups and growth-stage companies to prepare them to enter the market. In addition, BHI expects to add at least one more expert to the Montgomery County bench as the workload expands.  

“We are pleased to provide support, resources and leadership for companies to succeed in Montgomery County,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich. “Our regional bio and life sciences industry is the 4th largest in the nation, and the 2nd best for workforce talent. We need a bio-evangelist dedicated to this industry and committed to providing personal assistance for businesses to grow and expand their footprint in the County. I am proud to announce Jennifer Butler as our first “Executive in Residence” and confident that she will do a great job representing BHI, our region, and Montgomery County.”  

Montgomery County and BHI created the position as an offshoot of BHI’s well-regarded National Institutes of Health Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) program, which features 12 experts in various disciplines throughout the United States. The EIRs mentor innovators and help de-risk the technical and business elements of their product development.

Butler’s work will be very similar to those roles, and she will tap into the EIRs’ expertise and networks to assist Montgomery County’s CEOs.

“I'm honored to be selected as the first Executive in Residence to work closely with leaders and executives across the biotechnology ecosystem to cultivate companies locally,” said Butler.  “I'm dedicated to ensuring that the necessary resources for life sciences companies, may it be financial, infrastructure, talent or otherwise, from incubation to commercialization, are robust and meet their growing needs within Montgomery County and BioHealth Capital Region.”

Butler’s biotech and pharmaceutical career spans nearly 20 years, with experience at large, multi-national commercial stage companies and pre-clinical startups—all of which have been in Montgomery County. Her experience includes over a decade with MedImmune/AstraZeneca. She also established the first US operations (Rockville, MD) for the French company Innate Pharma (NASDAQ: IPHA). She is currently working with a local CEO to grow a pre-clinical stage company in Gaithersburg. 

“We are pleased to evolve our long-standing partnership with Montgomery County. This new initiative will maintain a pipeline of commercially relevant technology that will improve lives and grow the local economy,” said Rich Bendis, CEO of BioHealth Innovation, Inc.