Meet the IGEM Council

The 12-member IGEM Council is appointed by the Governor and responsible for vetting IGEM grant proposals to mitigate risk and maximize the return on investment for this publicly-funded grant program. Their work advances the program’s overall goal of economic through investments in technological advancements and innovation.

The IGEM council includes the following individuals from the private sector, public sector and state agencies.

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    Dr. David Hill
    Council Chairman
    State Board of Education

    Dr. David J. Hill is a technology and management consultant in Boise, Idaho. An internationally acknowledged expert on nuclear technology and policy issues, Dr. Hill has extensive experience in the area of international nuclear cooperation, working with the countries of both Western Europe and the former Soviet Union. From 2005 to 2012 Dr. Hill was deputy laboratory director for Science & Technology at the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory, responsible for the science and technology strategy for the lab and for about 1B dollars of R&D programs pertaining to nuclear energy, national and homeland security, and clean energy. In the State of Idaho, Dr. Hill was appointed to the IGEM council in 2012, where he is now the chair, and the State Board of Education in 2014. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a doctorate in mathematical physics from Imperial College, London University, and an MBA from the University of Chicago.


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    Senator Kelly Anthon

    Kelly Arthur Anthon is a seventh generation Idaho native raised on a family farm in Declo, Idaho.

    Senator Anthon, a licensed Idaho attorney, attended the University of Idaho’s College of Law where he was elected the College’s student body president and named the College of Law’s 2002 ‘Bistline Scholar’ by the Idaho Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

    Until 2012, Mr. Anthon, practiced law at the Rupert law firm of ‘Robinson, Anthon & Tribe’ where as a partner he focused on municipal law, debt restructuring, and large business reorganization. Mr. Anthon previously served as the appointed City Attorney for the cities of Burley, Rupert, Acequia, and Minidoka, Idaho. At the time of his first appointment, he was the youngest appointed city attorney in the State of Idaho. Mr. Anthon stepped away from his law firm to take the position of City Administrator in Rupert, Idaho. Under Mr. Anthon’s leadership, the City of Rupert has experienced a historic period of economic growth including new business attraction, residential growth, and an expanding annexed boundary. Fluent in Japanese, Kelly also works as an event coordinator and consultant for Japanese companies.

    In 2013, the Idaho Business Review and the Times News named Mr. Anthon one of Idaho’s 40 most accomplished and influential professionals under the age of 40. He currently serves as a board member with the Southern Idaho Economic Development Organization (“SIEDO”), as the chair of the South Central Idaho Chapter of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society, as a board member of the Mini-Cassia Economic Development Association, and as a board member of the Region IV Development Corporation. Mr. Anthon has served as an executive board member of the Idaho Municipal Attorney Association. He has also worked closely with hospitals in both Minidoka and Cassia Counties; he has served two terms as President of the Minidoka Healthcare Foundation and currently holds a seat on the governing board of the Intermountain Healthcare’s Cassia Regional Medical Center. He is a member of his local Rotary club and previously volunteered with the Idaho Department of the American Legion to operate the Gem Boys State program.

    In 2014, Mr. Anthon worked on behalf of the City of Rupert with SIEDO and the Idaho Department of Commerce to successfully recruit the Frulact Group – a fruit processing company based in Portugal. The company plans on building a factory in Rupert, Idaho in the coming years; the project represents the first foreign direct investment of its kind in Idaho’s history.

    In 2015, Mr. Anthon was appointed by Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter to fill a vacancy in the Idaho State Senate where he now serves on the Senate Judiciary & Rules and Education Committees. Senator Anthon was also appointed to represent the Idaho State Senate as a member of the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission.

    Mr. Anthon is married to Joelle (Rogers) Anthon from Rupert. Together the couple has five children.


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    Representative Paul Amador

    Bio coming soon.


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    Tom Kealey
    Director, Idaho Commerce

    Tom Kealey is the Director of Idaho Commerce. Director Kealy is responsible for leading the state’s economic development efforts, fostering a business-friendly environment to aid in job creation, support existing companies, strengthen communities, and market Idaho domestically and abroad.

    Director Kealey received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and B.A. from the University of Washington. He has held numerous senior business roles in Fortune 500 companies and is a long-time Idaho business owner and investor. Director Kealey was appointed by Governor Brad Little in January 2019.

    Director Kealey lives in Boise, Idaho, with his wife of more than 40 years, Joy. Their three grown sons were raised in Idaho where the family enjoys skiing, fishing, camping, boating, hiking, hunting and all that outdoor Idaho has to offer.


  • Marianne Walck

    Dr. Marianne Walck
    Deputy Laboratory Director for Science and Technology and Chief Research Officer, INL

    Dr. Marianne Walck provides strategic leadership, direction, and integration for research, science and technology at INL in her role as deputy lab director for cience and Technology and Chief Research Officer. Prior to joining INL in January 2019, she was vice president of Sandia National Laboratories’ California laboratory and the vice president in charge of Sandia’s Energy and Climate Program. She has more than 30 years of DOE national laboratory technical leadership experience, including technical program leadership, research leadership, and line, personnel, and site management.

    Dr. Walck serves on several advisory boards for universities and technical institutes, including the Texas A&M Energy Institute, and is a Senior Fellow of the California Council on Science and Technology. She earned Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in geophysics from the California Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree in geology/physics from Hope College. She holds memberships in the American Geophysical Union, the Seismological Society of America, the Association for Women Geoscientists, the American Nuclear Society,
    and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


  • Chris Nomura

    Dr. Christopher Nomura
    Vice President for Research and Economic Development, University of Idaho

    Dr. Christopher T. Nomura is Vice President for Research and Economic Development and holds an academic appointment as Professor of Biochemistry in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Idaho. Prior to his current role at the University of Idaho, he served as the Vice President for Research and Professor of Biochemistry in the Department of Chemistry at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF). He received his BA in Biology with honors from the University of California at Santa Cruz, where he studied immunology and physiology of elephant seals, and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology at The Pennsylvania State University for his research on cyanobacterial electron transport proteins and gene regulation. From 2001 to 2006, he worked in the internationally recognized Natural Polymer Chemistry laboratory of Prof. Dr. Yoshiharu Doi at the RIKEN Institute in Japan. Dr. Nomura has a multi-disciplinary research group whose interests span the fields of molecular microbiology, microbial physiology, metabolic engineering, synthetic biology, protein engineering, biochemistry, synthetic chemistry, and polymer chemistry with a focus on understanding gene regulation in bacteria and producing sustainable materials. Throughout his academic career, he has published and co-authored more than 70 original articles in refereed scientific journals and book chapters, and holds 4 U.S. Patents. In 2011, he received the SUNY ESF Exemplary Researcher Award for his contributions to the field of biopolymer production and has received special recognition for his mentorship of student researchers. While at SUNY, Dr. Nomura worked with researchers across the SUNY system through the SUNY Networks of Excellence to foster collaborations between SUNY faculty and industry partners. Dr. Nomura’s research programs have been sponsored by NIH, NSF, DOE, USDA, and NYSERDA.

    As Vice President for Research and Economic Development (VPRED) at the University of Idaho, Dr. Nomura leads, highlights and works to advance the research programs and economic impacts of university research by leading initiatives to identify research opportunities and ensure that faculty and staff members have access to the resources needed to compete at a high level for extramural funding, and build external collaborative partnerships. As VPRED, he is the Chief Research Officer of the institution and oversees the Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED) which is an umbrella for administrative and technical support functions for the research enterprise at the University of Idaho.


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    Dr. Harold Blackman
    Vice President for Research and Economic Development, Boise State University

    Before joining Boise State in 2012, Harold Blackman served as the director of research for the Materials and Fuels Complex at the Idaho National Lab (INL) in Idaho Falls. For more than 34 years, he has contributed to research and education initiatives in the West, with an emphasis on research management and human reliability analysis.

    In addition to his leadership role in Boise State’s division of research and economic development, Blackman led the Initiative Leadership Office, as well as completion of the Taleo and Oracle Financial Cloud implementations at the university.

    Prior to his work at the Materials and Fuels Complex, Blackman held various management positions at the INL and most recently built and directed the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES), a significant research collaboration between Boise State University, University of Idaho, Idaho State University and the INL.

    Blackman’s academic background includes a Ph.D. in educational psychology, a master of arts in educational psychology and a bachelor of arts in secondary education, all from Arizona State University.


  • Dr. Donna Lybecker
    Acting Vice President for Research, Idaho State University

    Donna Lybecker is the Acting Vice President for Research at Idaho State University. Prior to joining the Office for Research in 2020, Donna Lybecker served as the Chair for the Department of Political Science and the Assistant Dean for the Graduate School. In these roles, Lybecker has worked closely with faculty and students to encourage innovative research and creative endeavors.

    Lybecker has contributed to research and education within Idaho since 2007. She has focused on interdisciplinary endeavors to connect diverse researchers, with the aim of addressing issues in emerging areas that impact Idaho, the United States, and global communities. Her areas of focus include environmental and science politics in the Western U.S. and Latin America, economic development and the framing of political issues, and the politics of borders.

    Outside of ISU, Dr. Lybecker is a member of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) National Advisory Committee. Her academic background includes a PhD. in Political Science from Colorado State University and a Master of Arts in Political Science from Tulane University.


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    Rick Stott
    CEO, Superior Farms

    Rick is the President and CEO of Superior Farms and joined the company in May, 2013. He also previously and continues to serve as a member of the Board of Directors for the company.

    Superior Farms, founded in 1964 with headquarters in Davis, California, is celebrating its 50th year in business as North America’s largest processor and marketer of lamb. The company is the recognized leader in the retail and foodservice markets it serves, providing products and services to customers throughout the United States, Canada, and more than 10 countries. The company has approximately 500 employee-owners at its nationwide network of facilities and offices.

    Prior to joining Superior Farms, Rick was the Executive Vice President of Business Development of Agri Beef Co. headquartered in Boise, Idaho. During his 20 years at Agri Beef, the company grew from $150 million to over a $1 billion in sales and he served in a variety of roles. His responsibilities included deploying new opportunities, acquisitions, information technology, marketing, and regulatory and public policy of the company.

    Rick is a fifth generation rancher. He graduated with a Bachelors and Master’s degree in accounting from Brigham Young University. Currently he is serving on numerous civic and industry boards.


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    William Gilbert, Jr.
    Council Vice Chair
    Co-Founder and Managing Director, The CAPROCK Group, Inc.

    Bill is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of The CAPROCK Group, Inc., a multi-family office investment firm with offices in San Jose, Seattle, Newport Beach, Park City, and Boise. He is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the St. Luke’s Health Foundation. Bill is also a director of iVinci Health, LLC and Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC. He is a former Chairman of the Board and Emeritus Director of the University of Idaho Foundation. Bill graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Idaho, with a B.S. in Finance.


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    Von Hansen
    Executive Chairman, Konexus

    Von Hansen is Vice President and General Manager of the Future Technologies Organization in the LaserJet and Enterprise Solutions Group. Von is responsible for driving future technology strategy and product development to create new business opportunities in imaging and printing.

    Von has held key executive positions within HP including Vice President & General Manager of the Value Enterprise Products and of the Business InkJet Products & Technology, Vice President of Multi-function Products, and Director of Engineering for LaserJet Products.

    Von joined HP in1976 as an R&D engineer in the Boise Printer Division, and was the project manager of HP’s first LaserJet printer introduced in 1984.

    Von is Vice President of the Idaho Technology Council Executive Committee. Von also serves on the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry Board of Directors, Utah State University and Boise State University College of Engineering Advisory Boards, and Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce Advisory Board. Von is serving on the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission Council (IGEM), appointed by Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter.

    Von holds a Master’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University, and received his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Utah State University.


  • photo coming soon

    Councilmember Appointment Coming Soon

    Councilmember Appointment Coming Soon


Read IGEM Meeting Minutes