Mary O’Reilly named new Flinn Foundation Vice President, Bioscience Research Programs

June 28, 2018

By Matt Ellsworth

PHOENIX—Mary O’Reilly, Ph.D., a philanthropy executive with extensive industry and laboratory experience, has been named the new Vice President, Bioscience Research Programs at the Flinn Foundation, where she will help implement grantmaking programs and other activities designed to advance Arizona’s bioscience sector.

O’Reilly will succeed William A. Read, Ph.D., who is retiring after nearly 30 years with the Flinn Foundation. She begins on Aug. 13.

O’Reilly comes to the Phoenix-based, philanthropic grantmaking organization from Science Foundation Arizona, where she served as a senior executive. In her six years at SFAz, O’Reilly developed and managed a portfolio of research investments, worked across the academic, industry, government, and philanthropy sectors, and built out the Bisgrove Scholars Program, which supports post-doctoral and early-career faculty establishing research portfolios in Arizona.

In addition, O’Reilly brings experience in research and development and product commercialization. A native of Ireland who moved to the United States in 2002, O’Reilly also has worked for a Scottsdale-based renewable energy startup, a multinational electronics-manufacturing company in Ireland and Chicago, and as a scientist at Tyndall National Institute in Cork, Ireland. She also has served as a reviewer for the Arizona Governor’s Annual Innovation Awards, mentor for Social Venture Partners Fast Pitch competitions, and technical advisor to the Arizona Commerce Authority.

“Mary brings to Flinn essential knowledge and direct experience with research, commercialization and the critical partnerships necessary for Arizona’s continued advancement in the biosciences,” Flinn Foundation President and CEO Tammy McLeod said. “Her past collaborative work with Arizona’s research organizations, hospitals and universities has prepared her superbly for her new role.”

O’Reilly earned her doctorate in chemistry/materials science from Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland and the Joint Research Center, Petten, the Netherlands. She received a Master of Science in technology management from the Smurfit Business School at University College Dublin, and her Bachelor of Science in chemistry from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology in England.

Bioscience is the Flinn Foundation’s primary area of grantmaking. The foundation also supports the biosciences by coordinating Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap, a comprehensive strategic plan released in 2002 and updated in 2014 to guide the growth and development of the state’s bioscience sector through 2025, and specific programs such as the Flinn Foundation Bioscience Entrepreneurship Program that provides funding and services to benefit several competitively selected startups each year.

The Flinn Foundation, a private, nonprofit organization, was established in 1965 by the late Dr. Robert Flinn and his wife, Irene, with the mission of improving the quality of life in Arizona to benefit future generations. In addition to advancing the biosciences, the foundation supports the Flinn Scholarship, a merit-based college scholarship program, arts and culture, and the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership.