JDRF Announces the Appointment of New Board Leadership
Longtime Volunteers Take the Helm to Lead Global Type 1 Diabetes Non-Profit Organization
New York, NY-April 11, 2022—JDRF, the leading global type 1 diabetes (T1D) research and advocacy organization, announces the appointment of Grant Beard and Michelle Griffin as Chair and Vice Chair of the International Board of Directors, respectively. As leaders of JDRF’s highest governing body, Beard and Griffin will ensure the continuance of accelerating the organization’s mission progress.
“As a volunteer-driven organization, JDRF relies on the support and leadership of the T1D community to help drive toward our ultimate goal of curing T1D,” said Aaron Kowalski, Ph.D., JDRF Chief Executive Officer. “We are fortunate to have two remarkable and caring new leaders in Grant Beard and Michelle Griffin, who will help JDRF advance to our next chapter.”
Grant Beard, his wife Susan, and family first joined JDRF following their daughter Emily’s T1D diagnosis in 2006. As a member of the JDRF Metro Detroit/Southeast Michigan Chapter (now the Michigan and Northern Ohio Chapter), Beard served as President of the Chapter’s Board of Directors, later joining JDRF’s International Board of Directors, where he chairs the Audit & Risk and Finance committees. He also sits on the Board of Directors for the JDRF T1D Fund, JDRF’s innovative venture philanthropy fund. Professionally, Beard is Executive Operating Partner, LP, and Co-investor at Blue Point Capital Partners.
“Working with my colleagues on JDRF’s International Board of Directors to drive mission impact has been a deep honor,” said Beard. “Michelle and I, in partnership with our fellow JDRF leaders, will continue to move our mission forward. Today, given where the science is, we have an unprecedented opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those living with T1D–here and around the world.”
Michelle Griffin and her husband Tom Parker have actively been involved in JDRF since their son Cameron was diagnosed with T1D in 2007. Throughout the years, Griffin has become a pillar in the Northern California T1D community, holding leadership roles within JDRF’s Northern California Chapter, including Vice President of Volunteer Engagement and Chair of the Nominating and Board Development Committee. In addition to her localized work, Griffin was appointed to JDRF’s International Board of Directors and later joined the Global Mission Board. Griffin is a management consultant and currently serves as Vice Chair of the California Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association.
“I have been a JDRF true believer ever since our son Cameron participated in a JDRF funded clinical trial two months after diagnosis in 2007. It is an incredible honor to be asked to serve as Vice Chair, especially when we see the fruits of the JDRF community’s longtime support of our mission to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs. I am very excited to partner with Grant, our talented staff, and passionate volunteers to keep the momentum going as we get closer to making cures a reality,” said Griffin.
Since 1970, JDRF International’s transformative research funding, advocacy, and community engagement programs have changed the landscape of T1D therapies, reducing the day-to-day burden of managing the disease, and ultimately, helping people with T1D live longer, healthier lives.
JDRF’s mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $2.5 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, policymakers, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout the United States and our five international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement, and our vision of a world without T1D. For more information, please visit jdrf.org or follow us on Twitter (@JDRF), Facebook (@myjdrf), and Instagram (@jdrfhq).
About Type 1 Diabetes (T1D)
T1D is a chronic, life-threatening autoimmune disease that can strike children and adults at any age. It requires rigorous 24/7 monitoring of blood glucose levels—even overnight—to avoid potentially lethal highs and lows in blood sugar, as well as other devastating complications like kidney, eye, and nerve diseases. While its causes are not yet entirely understood, scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved. Its onset is sudden and is not related to diet or lifestyle. In T1D, the body’s immune system destroys cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, meaning the body produces little to no insulin to regulate blood sugar and get energy from food. There is nothing you can do to prevent T1D, and—at present—nothing you can do to get rid of it.