The Institute for Pediatric Innovation is led by a team of experts with broad experience in research, development, marketing and licensing of medical devices and pharmaceutical products for pediatric healthcare. The staff are supported by graduate student interns. Learn more about our Internship Program.

Stephen Evangelista, CEO

Steve has spent his entire adult life working in the non-profit arena, which began in 1970, when he helped to start the Rhode Island Special Olympics at the request of Eunice Kennedy Shriver.  In the span of those 46 years, Steve worked to promote people with disabilities when he was asked to join the Dole Foundation for the Employment of People with Disabilities, was Vice Chair for Boys Town New England, where he raised close to $15 million to build a campus in Portsmouth, RI.  In 1994 he became the CEO of the National Kidney Foundation, New England and in 2001 was appointed as CEO for the Arthritis Foundation, New England Region. 

Steve has served as Chair of the Rhode Island Health Advocacy Forum since 2002 and continues to serve on several boards and committees.  He received his BA from Roger Williams University and his MA from Rhode Island College.

Steve and his wife, Arlene, live in Warwick, RI. They have four children and 8 grandchildren.


Donald Lombardi, President, Founder

Donald Lombardi is the founder and president of the Institute for Pediatric Innovation. Don’s passion for helping children and his realization that many medical products intended for pediatric patients were inadequate led to the founding of IPI. In the 10 years since, he has led the Institute in organizing a Consortium of leading pediatric institutions to develop medical devices and technologies to address critical unmet needs in pediatric care. He has also helped form an alliance of leading pharmaceutical companies to develop best practices and technologies for developing medicines for children. Don serves as consultant in intellectual property strategy for healthcare and research organizations and is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine.

The plan for the Institute was based on Don’sexperience piloting innovative practices for commercializing pediatric products at Boston Children’s Hospital. He established the hospital’s Intellectual Property Office and grew it over 15 years into a highly successful technology transfer organization. The department generated tens of millions of dollars in license revenue from six licensed medical products now on the market and twelve more in clinical development.

Prior to his position at Children's, Don founded the Chitin Company, Inc.,to develop marine biopolymer applications. He later sold the company to Ducon, a DuPont ConAgra joint venture. Before working in the biomedical industry, Don's career was in education. After developing innovative undergraduate science programs at MIT, he founded a non-profit outdoor education center on a Boston Harbor island that became a leading community resource for curriculum improvement and aided in the desegregation of Boston public schools. He earned a BA in Biophysics from Amherst College and an MS in Life Sciences from MIT.

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Jack Malley, Director of Finance

Jack Malley is a Partner at Rucci Bardaro & Falzone PC.  This consulting firm provides accounting, tax and business advisory services to companies in a variety of industries.  In his role as a part-time or interim CFO for his clients, Jack provides financial and operational consulting services to life science, non-profit and high-technology companies at various stages of growth. Prior to co-founding the firm in 1998, Jack was responsible for accounting, operations and financial systems with firms in the advertising, financial services and construction fields. Jack began his career as a CPA in the Emerging Business Services Division at Coopers & Lybrand.  He is a member of the Mass. Society of Certified Public Accountants, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Holy Cross Entrepreneurship Group and the Medical Development Group, as well as a team executive for Ciocca Office for Entrepreneurial Studies at Holy Cross.

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Celine Sanborn, Executive Assistant and Office Manager

Celine Sanborn joined the IPI team in April 2017. She holds a Bachelor degree in Communications and Media Arts from Simmons College. Celine has interned at WGBH Boston, the Boston Jewish Film Festival, and This Star Won’t Go Out, an organization dedicated to supporting kids with cancer. In each of these positions she used her love of media to help these nonprofits succeed online, and she looks forward to doing the same for IPI.



Lea Karnath is currently serving as one of IPI’s two program associates. Currently, she is a Master of Science Candidate in Health Communication at Tufts University. After earning her Bachelor of Arts in English and Communication, she wanted to apply her educational background to the public health field. Lea is interested in utilizing digital platforms to bring needed awareness to underrepresented health issues, and she is excited to contribute her skills to IPI.




Erika Gute is a second year Master of Public Health student at Boston University (BUSPH). Prior to BUSPH, she attended Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies and Global Development Studies. Since completing her undergraduate degree, Erika lived in Toronto, Ontario working in the commercial sector before switching gears to begin her MPH. She is interested in the intersection between pharmaceuticals and public health as a means of impacting health outcomes. 



Kelsey Macapagal is a Healthcare Management Master's student at Boston University School of Public Health. She graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a double major in Public Health Policy and Sociology. Upon completing her MPH degree, she hopes to work with hospitals and healthcare providers to implement large-scale quality improvement measures to increase positive patient outcomes, without substantial financial burden.  

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Jeff Hovis, Innovation Strategy Consultant

Jeff Hovis is Managing Principal at Product Genesis, an MIT spinout strategic innovation consulting firm. Jeff is responsible for executive-level interface for global innovation strategy client programs on six continents. He serves as a senior advisor to Global 2000 CMOs and CTOs on strategic innovation and new business creation activities. Before moving into strategic consulting more than 15 years ago, Jeff served as Senior Vice President at Thermo Electron (now Thermo Fisher Scientific), where he managed multi-continent business units, and created strategic, technical and marketing partnerships in North and South America, Europe and Asia.

Jeff has extensive experience in strategic marketing and technology landscape projections for advanced materials, industrial, commercial, medical, life sciences, and consumer products.


Marion Pierson, MD, Clinical Advisor

Dr. Pierson is a pediatrician in Prairie Village, Kansas. 

As a 17-year-old medical student, she discovered early on that hard work and determination are only the beginning of achieving your goals. Persistence, team-building and networking are also extremely important. Dr. Pierson has been involved in the field of pediatric device innovation since completing her residency at Georgetown University Children's Medical Center in 1996. Her work with fragile neonates requiring intubation fueled her passion to improve infant endotracheal tube securement. AccordinglyDr. Pierson founded EM Medical Products in 2007. She has collaborated with several organizations including the Institute for Pediatric Innovation to further develop her securement concepts and was even recently recognized by the Central Exchange of Greater Kansas City as a Rising Trendsetter, in part for her work with medical device development. 

She remains active in her local medical community and has volunteered on hospital Quality Control committees, in Pediatric Department Chair positions as well as service as Medical Staff President. Dr. Pierson served two terms as a Gubernatorial appointee to the Missouri Health Facilities Review Committee. 

Dr. Pierson has dedicated her career to discovery and innovation.