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.


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    Dr. Noël Bakhtian
    Director for the Center for Advanced Energy Studies 

    Dr. Noël Bakhtian is the Director of the Center for Advanced Energy Studies, a research consortium between Idaho National Laboratory, Boise State University, Idaho State University, University of Idaho, and University of Wyoming.

    Dr. Bakhtian most recently served as a Senior Policy Adviser for environment and energy in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Prior to OSTP, she served as the inaugural Energy-Water Nexus lead at the DOE Office of International Affairs, worked as technical lead on numerous innovative grant programs for DOE’s Wind and Water Power Technologies Office, consulted on energy R&D and investment for DARPA, and served as an energy and environment Fellow in the U.S. Senate.

    Dr. Bakhtian earned her engineering doctorate at Stanford University’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics; holds masters degrees from Stanford University and the University of Cambridge, where she was a Churchill Scholar; and completed her bachelors degree in mechanical engineering and physics at Duke University.


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    Dr. Janet Nelson
    Vice President for Research and Economic Development, University of Idaho

    Janet Nelson is the Vice President for Research and Economic Development at the University of Idaho. Serving as the principal point of contact for the university in all research-related matters, Nelson represents the regional, national, and international research interests of the institution to major research funding agencies and foundations, to regional and national research consortia, to national laboratories, to federal and state agencies, and to the private sector. Nelson works closely with faculty to catalyze, encourage and support research and scholarly activities. Nelson has sought to focus the university’s research enterprise on established and emerging areas that have impact for Idaho and beyond, to connect students to research and scholarship, and to communicate the value of university research and economic development activities.

    Nelson has a doctorate in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, and over 30 years of experience in scientific research, scientific review and research portfolio administration, complex and multi-disciplinary program/project management, business development science policy implementation and academic administration. Before joining the University of Idaho, she most recently served as associate vice chancellor for research development at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.


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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.


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    Dr. Scott Snyder
    Vice President for Research and Economic Development, Idaho State University

    Dr. Scott Snyder is currently the Dean of the College of Science and Engineering at Idaho State University (ISU), a position he started in June 2018. In December 2018, Dr. Snyder was appointed ISU’s interim Vice President for Research. Before moving to ISU, Dr. Snyder served as Chief Research Officer and Associate Vice Chancellor at the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO) for nearly eight years. In 2013, Dr. Snyder was appointed Interim Executive Director of the Peter Kiewit Institute, a teaching and research institute comprised of UNO’s College of Information Science and Technology and the University of Nebraska Lincoln’s College of Engineering in Omaha. Prior to rejoining UNO in an administrative capacity, Dr. Snyder served as a Program Director in the Division of Environmental Biology at the National Science Foundation. Dr. Snyder first joined UNO in 2001 as a faculty member in Biology where he became a full professor in 2008.

    Dr. Snyder previously held a faculty position at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and was an NSF/Alfred P. Sloan Postdoctoral Fellow in Molecular Evolution at the University of New Mexico. He earned his Ph.D. in parasitology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he also earned his B.S. in biology. His M.S., also in parasitology, comes from Wake Forest University. Dr. Snyder’s research interests lie in parasite biodiversity and in exploring the evolutionary relationships of parasites, particularly those that live in and on reptiles and amphibians. He has conducted field research around the world, with a special focus on NSF- funded work in in Australia, where he has spent considerable time in the Outback, collecting turtles, crocodiles and their parasites. Dr. Snyder has extensive teaching and mentoring experience in the classroom, in the field, and in the research laboratory.

    Dr. Snyder was chair of UNO’s Athletics Committee and served as ex officio on the Board of Directors of the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s technology development corporation (UNeMed). He spent time on the Board of Directors for the National Strategic Research Institute, which works closely with U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) on research central to their mission of combatting weapons of mass destruction. Scott also serves as an advisor to the USSTRATCOM’s Strategic Advisory Group.


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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.


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    Mike Wilson
    Corporate Financial Management Consultant / Start-Up Mentor and Investor

    Mike Wilson serves as a consultant and advisor to small privately owned companies. He was a founding board member and treasurer of the University of Idaho Laboratory of Applied Science & Research, a non-profit entity that enables universities and the private sector to facilitate technology transfer and research driven economic development.

    Previously he served as Executive Director of Connect Northwest, a Spokane based non-profit organization that supports entrepreneurs and early stage companies by providing access to coaching, mentoring and capital. Connect Northwest managed the activities of the Delta Angel Group, a Spokane based angel investor group.

    His background has been in corporate and financial management primarily in privately held businesses and includes experience in both startups and turnarounds. Some recent experiences include Interim Executive Director of the University of Idaho Foundation where he managed a turnaround involving troubled assets and CFO of Vivato, a Spokane and San Francisco based startup.

    Prior to that he spent 12 years at Advanced Input Systems in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho where he participated in the turnaround, leveraged buyout and eventual sale to Esterline Technologies in Bellevue. He began his career with Price Waterhouse in Seattle after graduating from the University of Idaho with a degree in accounting.

    He currently is a member of and is a past chairman of the Idaho Health Facilities Authority and previously served on the University of Idaho College of Business and Economics Advisory Board, University of Washington Tech Transfer Launch Pad Advisory Board and the University of Idaho Alumni Association including one year as president.


Read IGEM Meeting Minutes