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.

Linda Accime

Linda Accime, Director of Innovation Services

Linda Accime, a Development Practitioner with more than 10 years of experience working with marginalized and low income populations domestically and internationally, has managed health related projects within corporate and non-profit environments. 

Linda's previous academic and professional experiences in public health management and community engagement/development began shortly after graduating from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with her Bachelor of Arts in Social Thought and Political Economy, where she worked for the Department of Youth Services designing youth program’s goals and objectives, and later at Children's Hospital's Division of Adolescent Medicine Boston HAPPENS (HIV Adolescent Provider and Peer Education Network for Services) Program. Linda and her team expanded both programs’ outreach to more than 100 at-risk youth, increasing youths’ access to health services as well as social, vocational and academic resources.

After receiving her Masters degree in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Policy and Management Linda became the Program Manager of Hospice St. Joseph, Guests (Patients) From the Provinces (GFP) Program in Port-au-Prince Haiti where she oversaw and developed new and existing community health initiatives for more than 40 live-in patients from various provinces. Linda's experience in program conceptualization, management and implementation allowed for identifying patients’ and service providers’ evidenced-based needs, while also leading her team in conducting effective and efficient public health base-line and end-line surveys, beneficiary interviews, and project site visits that resulted in achieved program performance goals and objectives, as well as long-term financial sustainability.

As a recent member of AstraZeneca's Project Management Team on the BACE Project (AZD3293), a disease-modifying treatment to Alzheimer's Disease patients, Linda continued achieving notable project success throughout her career while doing what she is most passionate about, helping those most in need.

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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.

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CAITY BERNARDS, health communications intern

Caity Bernards is currently serving as one of IPI’s two program associates. She is in her first year working towards a Master of Public Health at Boston University. Since earning her Bachelor of Science in anthropology with an emphasis in medical anthropology in 2013, Caity has focused on working with non-profits to empower marginalized populations to bridge the gaps they face in access to healthcare, education, and other social and economic resources.

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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.