Advisory Council

William J. Rutter, PhD

Co-Chair, UCSF Leadership Council for Global Health
Chairman and CEO, Synergenics, LLC

William J. Rutter, PhD is Chairman and CEO of Synergenics, LLC. Dr. Rutter co-founded and acted as chairman of Chiron Corporation, a biotechnology company. In addition, Dr. Rutter has served on boards of several Biotech /Pharmacompanies such as Novartis, Cytokinetics, and Sangamo Biosciences. Dr. Rutter is a senior trustee of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Rutter has published nearly 400 scientific articles and holds more than 25 patents and patent applications. Previously, Dr. Rutter served as Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at UCSF and his lab made key contributions to biotechnology and recombinant DNA technology, including the cloning of insulin and the development of a vaccine against Hepatitis B.

Haile T. Debas, MD

Director Emeritus, University of California Global Health Institute
Maurice Galante Distinguished Professor of Surgery, Emeritus

Haile T. Debas, MD is the Director Emeritus of the University of California Global Health Institute and the Founding Executive Director of Global Health Sciences at UCSF, where he has held a variety of leadership positions, including Dean of Medicine, Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs, and Chancellor. A gastrointestinal surgeon by training, Dr. Debas was chair of the UCSF Department of Surgery and is the Maurice Galante Distinguished Professor of Surgery, Emeritus. A native of Eritrea, he received his MD from McGill University and completed his surgical training at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Debas served as a member of the Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy of the National Academy of Sciences and on the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health. He was the founding Board of Directors chair of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health, and is a current member of the Board of Trustees of the Aga Khan University.

Harvey Fineberg

Co-Chair, UCSF Leadership Council for Global Health
President of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Harvey V. Fineberg is the president of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which fosters path-breaking scientific discovery, environmental conservation, improvements in patient care and preservation of the special character of the San Francisco Bay Area. He previously held the Presidential Chair for 2014-2015 as visiting professor at the University of California, San Francisco. Prior to that, he served as president of the Institute of Medicine from 2002 to 2014 and as provost of Harvard University from 1997 to 2001, following 13 years as dean of the Harvard School of Public Health.

He has devoted most of his academic career to the fields of health policy and medical decision-making. His past research has focused on the process of policy development and implementation, assessment of medical technology, evaluation and use of vaccines, and dissemination of medical innovations.

Fineberg chairs the board of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and serves on the boards of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the China Medical Board. He helped found and served as president of the Society for Medical Decision Making and also served as consultant to the World Health Organization. Fineberg is co-author of the books Clinical Decision Analysis, Innovators in Physician Education and The Epidemic That Never Was, an analysis of the controversial federal immunization program against swine flu in 1976. He has co-edited several books on such diverse topics as AIDS prevention, vaccine safety, understanding risk in society and global health. He has also authored numerous articles published in professional journals.

Fineberg is the recipient of several honorary degrees—the Frank A. Calderone Prize in Public Health, the Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research and the Harvard Medal, awarded by the alumni association of the university from which he earned his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees.

Sandra R. Hernández, MD

President and CEO of California HealthCare Foundation

Sandra R. Hernández, MD, is the president and chief executive officer of The California Healthcare Foundation. Formerly the CEO of The San Francisco Foundation, she is also assistant clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. She maintains an active clinical practice at San Francisco General Hospital in the AIDS clinic. Dr. Hernández is a graduate of Yale University, Tufts University School of Medicine, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She has served as the director of public health for the City and County of San Francisco and currently serves on the boards of Blue Shield of California and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. She is also a trustee of the Western Asbestos Settlement Trust and serves on the UCSF Advisory Councils of Pediatric Leadership for the Underserved, Clinical and Translational Science Institute, Lesbian Health and Resource Center, and the Program in Medical Education for the Urban Underserved.

Jeffrey (Jeff) Hessekiel

Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Exelixis, Inc.

Jeff Hessekiel is an experienced biopharmaceutical attorney, currently serving as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Exelixis, Inc. Prior to joining Exelixis, he practiced law at Arnold & Porter FDA and Healthcare group. His clients include a variety of emerging growth and public companies, primarily in the life sciences sector. Prior to joining Arnold & Porter, Mr. Hessekiel held senior legal and operational roles at Gilead Sciences, Inc. At Gilead, he advised on matters ranging from pharmaceutical sales and marketing practices to product distribution, channel management, and government price reporting; he oversaw consolidation of the company's global compliance team, corporate quality managers, and the internal audit group within a risk management framework. At Gilead and in prior law firm positions, Mr. Hessekiel has practiced both litigation and corporate law. Mr. Hessekiel is a director of the Mt. Zion Health Fund and a director of the Sarlo Family Foundation.

Wendy Holcombe

Radio Producer and Philanthropist

Wendy Holcombe is a producer for City Visions, a public affairs show on Bay Area NPR-affiliate 91.7 KALW. She is on the board of San Francisco Day School and the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Additionally, she is an advocate for criminal justice reforms and is an active supporter of the Criminal Justice and Health Program at UCSF.

Nasi Jazayeri

Chief Technology and Product Officer,

Nasi and his extended team are responsible for’s global product vision, design and development, and go-to-market strategy.

Nasi Jazayeri is a 30-year industry veteran with extensive experience across CRM, Social Applications, and Business Intelligence. He has developed, taken to market, and significantly grown revenues of large-scale, high performance enterprise software products. His proven track record in developing initial stage products at Salesforce and helping build them into billion-dollar businesses includes his work with Service Cloud and Sales Cloud. In addition, he developed the Community Cloud go-to-market strategy, building a hundreds-of-million dollar business in less than three years.

Sanford R. “Sandy” Robertson

Co-Founder and Partner emeritus, Francisco Partners

Sandy Robertson is a Founding Partner of Francisco Partners. He was the founder and Chairman of Robertson, Stephens & Company and was also the founder of Robertson, Coleman, Siebel & Weisel, later renamed Montgomery Securities, another prominent technology investment bank. He graduated with a BA and MBA with Distinction from the University of Michigan.

Jaime Sepulveda, MD, MPH, MSc, DrSc

Executive Director, Institute for Global Health Sciences
Haile T. Debas Distinguished Professor

Dr. Jaime Sepulveda is the Executive Director of UCSF Institute for Global Health Sciences, and Professor of Epidemiology, at the University of California, San Francisco. From 2007 to 2011, Dr. Sepulveda was a member of the Foundation Leadership Team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He served at the foundation in various roles: as Director of Integrated Health Solutions, Director of Special Initiatives and Senior Fellow in the Global Health Program. Sepulveda worked for more than 20 years in a variety of senior health posts in the Mexican government. After graduating from Harvard University where he obtained his Doctorate, he became Mexico’s Director-General of Epidemiology. At age 36, he was appointed Vice-Minister of Health. From 2003 to 2006, he served as Director of the National Institutes of Health of Mexico. He was for almost a decade Director-General of Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health and Dean of the National School of Public Health.

Ariel D. Stern

Poronui Associate Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

Ariel Dora Stern is an Associate Professor of Business Administration in the Technology and Operations Management Unit at Harvard Business School. She co-teaches Transforming Health Care Delivery in the MBA elective curriculum.

Ariel's research focuses on the management of innovation in health care, with a focus on the medical device and pharmaceutical industries. Her projects seek to understand the drivers of innovation among firms and the determinants of how medical technologies are adopted and used in practice. Ariel is particularly interested in the intersection of the regulation, firm strategy, and economics of health care. She also researches the digital transformation of medical technology and health care delivery, investigating the policy and managerial questions raised by the growth of “digital health.” Her research has been cited by Bloomberg, The New York Times, and National Public Radio.

Michael (Mickey) Urdea

Founder and Partner Halteres Associates

Dr. Urdea has devoted his career to human diagnostics. He has been involved in the discovery of new biomarkers, the development of new technologies for biomarker discovery, validation and commercialization, diagnostic test development, manufacturing and marketing, and the management of companies involved in these activities. He serves on the scientific advisory boards and boards of directors of a number of biotechnology, diagnostics, venture capital and philanthropic organizations; he was a member of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Diagnostic Forum. Dr. Urdea is an author on nearly 200 peer-reviewed scientific publications, nearly 300 abstracts and international scientific presentations, and more than 100 issued and pending patents. He received his BS in Biology and Chemistry from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff and his PhD in Biochemistry from Washington State University in Pullman.

Diede van Lamoen

Company Founder and Start-Up Investor

Diede is the Chief Executive Officer at Commure, a company focused on developing tools to help doctors provide better care to patients. He has previously founded companies and led organizations in the technology industry.

Phyllis Whiteley, PhD

Venture Partner, Wildcat Venture Partners; Co-founder & CEO of Didimi

Dr. Whiteley has more than 25 years of experience spanning academia, biotech industry, business, and portfolio management, and has significant international experience, having established affiliates in Japan and Europe. Her work in Pharmacology, Immunology, and Inflammation has resulted in multiple new chemical entities and publications. While an Executive-in-Residence at Mohr Davidow Ventures, Dr. Whiteley provided hands-on leadership in building and creating multiple companies in diagnostics and personalized medicine including Verinata Health (acquired by Illumina). Dr. Whiteley serves on multiple boards, including The Personalized Medicine Coalition (emeritus) and UCSF T1 Catalyst Program. She received her BA in Chemistry and PhD in Pharmacology from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.