Chief Executive Officer
Jeffrey W. Chell, M.D
Chief Executive Officer, National Marrow Donor Program Executive Director, CIBMTR (Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research)
Jeffrey W. Chell, M.D., became the National Marrow Donor Program's Chief Executive Officer in 2000. He has led the NMDP through transformational growth. The Be The Match Registry® has more than doubled to more than 12 million and the number of transplants facilitated has grown four fold to over 6,400 annually. During his tenure, the emerging use of umbilical cord blood for transplant has established the NMDP as the global leader in facilitating cord blood transplants.
Chell also serves as Executive Director of CIBMTR®, the leading research program in the field, established in 2004. CIBMTR is a joint effort between the NMDP and the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Prior to joining the NMDP, he served as president, Allina Medical Clinics; was in private-practice physician of Internal Medicine in Minneapolis; and before that served in the U.S. Air Force Medical Corps.
He is currently the Vice-Chair on the board of directors of the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Minnesota, the nation's largest wish-granting organization.
Chell received his M.D. from the University of Minnesota.
Chief Strategy Officer
Michael Boo, J.D.
Michael J. Boo is the NMDP’s Chief Strategy Officer. He joined the NMDP in 2001.
His contributions have included the redesign and implementation of a new strategic planning process that has helped guide substantial growth at NMDP, guided the creation of the Center for Cord Blood in 2003, and expanded NMDP growth in cord blood in the United States from 15 percent of the market to 90 percent. Boo has identified and developed new products and services that have had significant bottom-line revenue impact, developed new relationships within the extensive NMDP network of national and international partners that have added new registries to the NMDP. He has provided leadership and oversight for legislative activities, has helped establish a new federal funding program for cord blood inventory growth, which has provided more than $85 million to date, and pursued other strategies to continue and expand government funding sources. More recently, he has led a number of initiatives to address deficiencies in reimbursement for transplant related-costs by both the public and private payers
Prior to joining the NMDP, he served as Vice President of Strategic and Corporate Development, Allina Health System; Associate General Counsel, Health Central, Inc.; and General Counsel, American Redevelopers, Inc.
Boo received his Juris Doctor at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Bachelor of Arts, Urban Studies, at the University of Minnesota Duluth.
Chief Medical Officer
Dennis L. Confer, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer, National Marrow Donor Program
Associate Scientific Director, CIBMTR
Dennis L. Confer, M.D. is the chief medical officer of the National Marrow Donor Program. He also holds appointments as associate scientific director of the CIBMTR and clinical professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota. He is board certified in internal medicine, hematology and oncology. For more than 25 years, he has worked in blood and marrow transplantation, immunobiology and clinical research. Confer became the NMDP's Chief Medical Officer in 1999.
As CMO, Confer oversees several NMDP departments and the CIBMTR Minneapolis office. His experience as a practicing transplant physician includes 10 years at the University of Minnesota and five years as Director of Bone Marrow Transplantation with the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. He is the co-principal investigator for the Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network data coordinating center. He has led the NMDP Phase III study of PBSC vs. Marrow transplants and is experienced with FDA regulatory matters. He has been the author or co-author of six book chapters and more than 60 publications.
Confer published the NMDP's evidence-based donor-patient matching guidelines (2008, 2003) and supported development of a new donor-patient matching algorithm, HapLogicSM (2006), to rapidly identify matched donors. He also established the research agenda of the CIBMTR (2004) and the Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network (2003), to advance the science of transplant, improve patients' lives and share research results with the medical community.
He serves as Principal Investigator for development of A Growable Network Information System® (AGNIS®, 2006) to improve standardized clinical data exchange worldwide, and serves as World Marrow Donor Association Vice President, North and South America.
Confer received his M.D. in 1977 from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, where he also served as a resident from 1977-1979 and Chief Resident from 1979-1980. He served a fellowship in hematology/oncology from the University of Minnesota Medical School from 1980-1983. He became Interim Medical Director of NMDP in 1991, and served as Medical Director from 1993-1999, while serving as Associate Professor and Director of Bone Marrow Transplantation at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Chief Operations Officer
Karen Dodson, B.S. CHTC
Karen Dodson, B.S., CHTC, joined the National Marrow Donor Program in 1991 as a search coordinator. In 1998 she was promoted to special projects manager, and from 2004-2010 served as director, then vice president, of NMDP's Case Management Department.
She was promoted to the position of Chief Operations Officer in October 2014. In this capacity, she oversees the daily operations and strategic development of scientific services, repository services, case management, adult donor management and cord blood operations. Dodson also serves on multiple Information Technology steering committees and is an executive sponsor of the business transformation project called the Phoenix Initiative.
Prior to joining the NMDP, Dodson worked in the field of unrelated transplantation as a junior scientist at the University of Minnesota, where she worked on research into graft-versus-host disease.
Dodson received her Bachelor's of Science degree in Biology from the University of California, Riverside, and has a graduate studies background in cellular and molecular biology. She is currently working on a Master's in Leadership degree.
President, Be The Match Foundation®
Christine Fleming is President of the Be The Match Foundation, which works to raise funds to support the mission of the National Marrow Donor Program. She joined the organization in 2008.
She is responsible for extending the organization's reach to support critical areas of financial need, including research, financial assistance for patients, and adding new members to Be The Match Registry. She has expanded the national presence of the foundation, headquartered in Minneapolis, with offices in Charlotte and Atlanta, and bringing the Be The Match Walk+Run currently to 13 US cities. Additionally, Be The Match Foundation provides tools, training, support and services to Be The Match account executives across the country.
Fleming's experience prior to joining Be The Match Foundation, includes more than 20 years of political, academic and scientific fundraising experience as: vice president of TGen Foundation, Scottsdale, Ariz., where she raised funds for the Translational Genomics Research Institute, a nonprofit biomedical research institute; Assistant Dean of development at The University of Texas at Austin (UT) College of Natural Sciences; and Director, UT Business School Foundation.
Fleming received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from The University of Texas at Austin.
Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications and Community Engagement
Barry Huff is Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications and Community Engagement and has been with the National Marrow Donor Program since 2008.
He is responsible for developing and implementing strategic marketing communications that will result in comprehensive planning within the organization and effective marketing and communications to internal staff, external partners, as well as the engagement of diverse populations with the Be The Match Registry.
Prior to joining NMDP, Huff served in a number of leadership roles in sales and marketing in the consumer foods industry and marketing consulting, where he gained experiences in new product development, brand and product marketing, strategic planning and alliance building, communications and sales force management.
He has an impressive background of non-profit involvement at the Board of Directors and Advisory Committee level. His experience in this area demonstrates his passion for community service, particularly with organizations focusing on a multicultural audience.
Huff received his MBA in Marketing from the University of Iowa, a MA in Speech & Theater at the University of Michigan, and a BA in Theater at Grinnell College (Iowa).
Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel
Brian L. Lindberg joined the National Marrow Donor Program in 2005 and currently serves as Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel.
Since joining the NMDP, he established the in-house legal department and has implemented the organization's formal enterprise-wide risk management function. In addition to oversight of the Legal Affairs and Risk Management areas, Lindberg is also responsible for the Contracts and Procurement department and Internal Audit function.
Lindberg also serves as NMDP's Compliance Officer, as well as its Institutional Official. As Compliance Officer, he is responsible for NMDP's compliance with the full scope of legal, regulatory, and ethical requirements faced by the organization in its efforts to accomplish its mission. As NMDP's Institutional Official, Lindberg ensures that the NMDP's Human Research Protection Program functions effectively and that it complies with all requirements applicable to research involving human subjects.
Prior to joining the NMDP, he served as Assistant General Counsel (Clinical Advisory Counsel) for Allina Hospitals & Clinics. Prior to that, he was an attorney with Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP, during which time he served as outside legal counsel to NMDP.
Lindberg received his B.A. in Political Science and American Racial and Multicultural Studies from St. Olaf College, and his J.D. from Hamline University School of Law.
Chief Financial Officer
Amy L. Ronneberg joined the NMDP in July 2013. She is responsible for planning, implementing and directing the National Marrow Donor Program's finance, government contracts, internal audit, facilities, and tax management. In this role, Ronneberg assists the NMDP's executives and Board of Directors in developing and implementing a strategic business plan to meet the changing health care environment.
Ronneberg has nearly 20 years of experience in financial and operational leadership, most recently as Executive Vice President, CFO and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of North American Membership Group, a private equity-owned media company. Prior to that, she spent 12 years at Capella University, where she served as Vice President of Finance and led enterprise-wide operations and customer service. Ronneberg also worked for Ernst & Young for several years as an Audit Manager.
Ronneberg earned a Masters in Business Administration from Capella University, Minneapolis, Minn. and a B.B.A. in Accounting from University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
Senior Vice President, Human Resources
Tracy Schmidt is Senior Vice President of Human Resources and has been with the National Marrow Donor Program since 2010.
During her tenure at NMDP, Schmidt was instrumental in the transformation of human resources to a more strategic function. She is responsible for developing and implementing human resource strategies that strengthen the organization’s ability to achieve its goals and objectives.
Schmidt’s team provides strategic business partnership along with programs and processes that enhance organizational capabilities, effectiveness, development and management. Her leadership responsibilities extend to all aspects of human resources including total rewards, talent management, talent acquisition and volunteer services.
Schmidt has ten years of strategic human resources experience and eight years in information technology including two years in Germany. Prior to joining the NMDP, she served as the human resources leader for Johnstech, a Minneapolis based global engineering firm and held multiple HR leadership roles for Datacard Group.
Schmidt received her B.A. in organizational communication from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and her M.A. in human resources and change leadership from the University of St. Thomas.