Meet the Speakers

K E Y N O T E • S P E A K E R S

Geraldine (Geri) Richmond

Department of Energy

Geraldine (Geri) Richmond is the Under Secretary for Science and Innovation at the Department of Energy (DOE). In this role she oversees DOE’s Office of Science, the nation’s largest federal sponsor of basic research in the physical sciences, DOE’s applied R&D areas of nuclear, fossil, and renewable energy, and energy system integrity, and the DOE national laboratories and their facilities. 

She is currently on leave from the University of Oregon where she holds the Presidential Chair in Science and Professor of Chemistry. Richmond’s research throughout her career has been on the use of laser-based and computational methods to understand the molecular, adsorption structure and dynamics at liquid surfaces that have relevance to environmental and technological interests. 

She is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been honored by numerous awards including the National Medal of Science (2016), the Priestley Medal from the American Chemical Society (2018) and the Linus Pauling Medal Award (2018). 

Her service to the nation includes serving two terms as a presidential appointee to the National Science Board (2012-2021) and as the U.S. State Department Science Envoy for the Lower Mekong River Countries (2015-2016). In addition to serving on many other national and international advisory boards, Richmond has been President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Sigma Xi, and the Scientific Research Honor Society.

Dr. Ester Caffarel-Salvador is a multidisciplinary scientist with a double degree in Biotechnology and Biochemistry, a M.Ed. in Physics and Chemistry from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, a PhD in Pharmacy from Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), and a mini MBA from Harvard University. For her post-doctoral research at QUB, Ester collaborated with world leading companies (L’ÓREAL, Lohmann Therapy Systems) in developing microneedles for transdermal drug delivery applications. In 2015 she joined the laboratory of Prof. Robert Langer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she developed a pill to administer insulin orally, now in clinical trials, which led the MIT Technology Review to recognize her as one of the 35 Innovators Under 35 in 2019. Her work at MIT also resulted in several international patents and publications in high-impact journals including Science and Nature Medicine.

Later, Ester led the scientific strategy and business development of a biotech startup and consulted for international scientific laboratories and startups. In 2019, she joined LEO Pharma as the Associate Director of Regenerative Medicine, where she led various gene therapy projects aimed at treating rare skin diseases. Ester is now the Associate Director of Strategic Innovation for Rare Diseases at Chiesi USA, where she scouts and evaluates innovative therapeutic modalities that may provide long-term solutions for patients with rare diseases.

Ester is based in Boston where she remains a lecturer at MIT, speaks seven languages, and is passionate about advocating on career development for women in science.