- Peter Beetham, PhD
Chief Executive Officer & President
- Greg Gocal, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer &
Executive Vice President
- Jim Hinrichs
Chief Financial Officer
- Kay Kuenker
Executive Vice President, Strategy
- Bradley Castanho, PhD
Senior Vice President,
Commercial and Business Development
- Sean O'Connor, PhD
Senior Vice President, Cibus
President & CEO, Nucelis
- James Radtke, PhD
Senior Vice President,
- Tony Moran
- Noel Sauer, PhD
Vice President, Research
- David Sippell, PhD
Vice President and North America
General Manager Canola
Peter Beetham, PhD
Chief Executive Officer & President
As a key part of Cibus’ founding team, Peter took a lead role in developing the core technologies associated with the Rapid Trait Development System (RTDS™). He led the research and product development teams at Cibus before taking on the role of CEO in July 2014.
Possessing a passion for moving technology to commercial application, Peter has over 30 years of experience in agriculture. Prior to joining Cibus,... Peter was Research Director of the Plant and Industrial Products Division at ValiGen. Part of his extensive research experience was at the Boyce Thompson Institute at Cornell University, where he was a postdoctoral scientist and one of the pioneers of the early work that led to the Cibus RTDS technology.
During his eight-year tenure at the Victorian Department of Agriculture (Australia), Peter led a team that provided clean planting materials for root crops for many countries in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. His efforts helped increase crop yields and improve farmer economics.
Peter received a PhD in Plant Molecular Virology from Queensland University of Technology and a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Botany/Plant Biology Zoology from Monash University.
Greg Gocal, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer & Executive Vice President
Greg Gocal, PhD is a co-founder and serves as Chief Scientific Officer & Executive Vice President. In 2000, Dr. Gocal joined an innovative cross disciplinary team at ValiGen, Cibus’ predecessor, as the lead molecular biologist. Within the Plant and Industrial Products Division, his team began developing the RTDS suite of technologies in plant and microbial systems in what was then the nascent field that has become gene editing. Continuing this focus and enabling our... technologies and product pipeline, at Cibus, Dr. Gocal has held various research management positions. Dr. Gocal has studied many aspects of plant biology.
He was awarded undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Calgary. He worked at CSIRO Plant Industry in Canberra, Australia where he received his PhD in Plant Molecular Biology from the Australian National University, then continued studying in this field as a postdoctoral scientist at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California.
Chief Financial Officer
With more than 25 years of finance and investor relations experience, Jim joined Cibus in 2018, bringing a wealth of knowledge from both large and small financial organizations.
Prior to joining Cibus, Jim was the CFO at Alere, Inc., a publicly-traded, global rapid diagnostics company, where he initiated finance transformation projects to improve controls and lower costs. Previous... experience includes CareFusion Corp, a $4 billion hospital supply company. As controller and CFO, Jim expanded operating margins, divested eight companies and acquired six, and reduced financial department spending. Jim consistently provided strategic leadership through transformational periods, managed complex transactions, and reduced financial department spending while improving business processes. He also has ten years of experience in leading investor relations activities.
Jim received both a Master’s Degree, Industrial Administration and Bachelor’s Degree, Industrial Management from Carnegie-Mellon University. He was also a Chartered Financial Analyst (inactive).
Executive Vice President, Strategy
Kay joined Cibus in 2016 with extensive experience in agriculture related business. She came to Cibus after more than 29 years with the Dow Chemical company, primarily in the Dow AgroSciences business unit.
During her last 9 years at Dow AgroSciences, Kay served on its executive leadership team and held three different global Vice President positions: VP Business Development, Business VP Europe, Middle East and... Africa, and VP Government Affairs, Public Affairs, and Sustainability.
Kay joined The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) in 1986 as a math modeler primarily focused on reactor design, pharmacokinetics and environmental risk assessment. She became part of Dow’s agricultural business in 1988 with roles focused on manufacturing plant optimization for agricultural chemicals, R&D Modeling and Information Sciences Lab, and Licensing Leader for corn traits, global business leader for corn and sorghum, and President of Dow AgroSciences Canada. In 2007, she returned to Indianapolis and was named Global Vice President, Business Development. In 2011 Kay relocated to Europe where she held the position of Business VP Dow AgroSciences Europe, Middle East, and Africa. She returned to the US in mid 2014 and was named Global VP of Government Affairs, Public Affairs and Sustainability.
Kay has served on several boards including BioCrossroads, AgriNovus Indiana, IN State Workforce Innovation Council, Women in Agribusiness Advisory Board, Executive Committee of National FFA Foundation, Food and Ag Governing Board for Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), and Purdue University Burton Morgan Entrepreneurial Center. Internationally, she served on the Executive Committee of the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) and CropLife Canada. Kay has also served as adjunct faculty for the Butler University MBA program and has served as Ag Entrepreneur in Residence at Purdue University.
Kay received a Master’s degree in mathematics from Central Michigan University and a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Michigan. She earned her Results Certified Coach credential through the NeuroLeadership Institute and her Associate Certified Coach credential through the International Coach Federation.
Bradley Castanho, PhD
Senior Vice President, Commercial and Business Development
Brad joined Cibus in 2016 with over 40 years of experience in biotechnology. Brad’s expertise includes technological and business development in commercializing new chemical, biotechnology, and biological products within the plant and life science industries.
Prior to joining Cibus, Brad spent 20 years leading... sales and marketing, commercial development, and research efforts in various business units in the United States, Europe, and Asia for Monsanto. He was also Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Cortex Innovation Community, the Midwest’s premier innovation hub of bioscience and technology research, development and commercialization.
Brad’s experience includes almost a decade as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research at Washington University in St. Louis, where he also served as Executive Director of Washington University’s Office of Technology Management (OTM). He also founded Statim Consulting, a technology and business consulting company specializing in the development and commercialization of innovative technologies in the plant and life science industries.
Brad received both a PhD in Plant Pathology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Davis.
Sean O'Connor, PhD
Senior Vice President, Cibus - President & CEO, Nucelis
Sean has 35 years of management and research experience in the specialty chemicals industry. Before joining Nucelis in 2012, he held several key leadership positions with Chemtura Corporation, including Vice President, Plastic Additives Group; Vice President, Strategy; and President, Petroleum Additives.
Sean’s impressive career includes a position at Adibis,... a subsidiary of BP Chemicals in the United Kingdom, which he held for several years before relocating in 1994 to join Witco at its U.S. World Headquarters. Afterwards, he worked at Crompton Corporation prior to its merger with Great Lakes Corporation (forming Chemtura).
He is an inventor with his name on over 25 US patents, and has authored countless scientific and product promotional papers.
Sean received a PhD in Organic Chemistry and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Bristol.
James Radtke, PhD
Senior Vice President, Product Development
With over 30 years of seed industry experience in both research and management roles, Jim oversees product development for Cibus. Prior to joining Cibus, Jim served as Global Temperate Corn Breeding Leader for Dow AgroSciences. He was also a member of the Mycogen Seeds management team, where he led the plant breeding programs of multiple crops.
Earlier in his career, Jim created a work plan for... Agrigenetics, leading the effort to develop the first corn Bt transgenic product sold in the United States. His career has included developing competitive corn inbred lines and commercially significant hybrids for Sungene Technologies.
Jim has been active in the American Seed Trade Association, and is a past president of the National Council of Commercial Plant Breeders (NCCPB).
Jim received a PhD in Plant Breeding and Genetics from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Science in Plant Breeding from the University of Wisconsin.
Vice President, International Development
Since joining Cibus in 2011, Tony has been responsible for product, business, and commercial development for non-US territories and regulatory interactions.
Before joining Cibus, Tony spent 7 years in portfolio management and project leadership for pharmaceutical multinational Pfizer. Prior to this he worked at Syngenta AG and Zeneca, where he held a range of technical and leadership roles.
Tony received a Master’s Degree in Natural Sciences - Applied Biology from the University of Cambridge.
Noel Sauer, PhD
Vice President, Research
Noel is responsible for leading the Research and Development team towards the development of non-transgenic traits in commercially relevant crops through advancements in the field of precision plant breeding.
Noel was a Postdoctoral Fellow studying host-pathogen interactions at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Noel received a PhD in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from Harvard University and a... Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Southern California.
David Sippell, PhD
Vice President and North America General Manager Canola
David joined Cibus in 2017 and brings over 30 years of experience in the field of agriculture as an entrepreneur, CEO, General Manager, and scientist. David has extensive expertise in seed business start-up and growth, strategic planning, and commercial and research management. Prior to joining Cibus, David was Head Diverse Field Crops at Syngenta responsible for leadership of a broad range of biotechnology, crop... protection, and seed businesses across North America. His experience also includes 10 years as President and CEO of Canterra Seeds and its sister company Meridian Seeds, taking the company from start-up to publicly traded with a ROI of over 25%. He also worked for a decade with Pioneer Hi-Bred in research management and as Worldwide Canola Marketing Manager.
David received both a PhD in Canola Plant Breeding/Plant Pathology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences from University of Guelph.
Board Of Directors
Mr. Riggs is a co-founder and board member of Cibus; CEO & founder of Locus Analytics LLC and Syntax LLC; chairman and co-founder of Royalty Pharma, the largest investor in revenue producing intellectual property (principally royalty interests in marketed and late stage development biopharmaceutical products); and co-founder and board member of Fibrogen. In addition, he is a board member of Intra-Cellular Therapeutics, Inc., Nuredis, GeneNews and eReceivables. He is the former president and board member of Biomatrix, Inc., a NYSE-listed biotechnology company that developed and launched Synvisc®, an injection used to treat knee pain caused by osteoarthritis and a partner in New... Ventures, LLC.
Mr. Riggs received an MBA from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts from Middlebury College.
Mr. Finn serves as an independent director on the Legg Mason Partners Fund Board. He is a member of the advisory board for Auven Therapeutics, a private equity fund focused on life sciences. Mr. Finn is also a co-founder of New Ventures Select LLC, a fund focused on royalties, and New Ventures LLC and New Ventures III, both early stage venture capital funds. New Ventures LLC is a lead investor in Cibus.
Mr. Finn served as a Trustee of the Virginia Retirement System and Chairman of its Investment Advisory Committee and as Chairman of the Investment Operations Advisory Committee for the State of Alaska. He was also a member of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s Advisory Committee on Managed Futures.
Mr. Finn has taught investments at the University of Virginia Darden Graduate School of Business and lectures on investments at the Mason Graduate School of Business at the College of William and Mary, where he received an MBA.
Mr. Lehmann has been a private investor for most of his professional life. He oversees a diversified portfolio in venture capital projects, hotels, and commercial and residential real estate in the United States. Prior to becoming a private investor, in 1992 Mr. Lehmann resided in Geneva, Switzerland, where he managed portfolios for Morval Bank and its holding company. He previously oversaw a diversified holding for Edmond de Rothschild.
Mr. Lehmann received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Science from Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales.
A widely-respected speaker and environmental writer, Mr. Linden has presented to the Library of Congress, the Woodrow Wilson Institute, the United Nations General Assembly, and the US State Department, as well as many international conferences, universities and other forums. In the course of his career, Mr. Linden has published nine books, his most recent being The Ragged Edge of the World: Encounters at the Frontier Where Modernity, Wildlands and Indigenous Peoples Meet, and contributed to many publications including Time, National Geographic, Foreign Affairs, Fortune, The New York Times, Financial Times, and The Wall Street... Journal.
Over the years, Mr. Linden has become more involved in the business world. Since 2005 he has served as chief investment strategist for Bennett Management, a hedge fund company that invests in distressed situations. In addition to Cibus, Mr. Linden has served on several other corporate and not-for-profit boards, including The Polymer Group, Haights Cross, and RARE, a global conservation organization.
Mr. Linden is also well-respected as a journalist, and has received several honors for his writing. His book, Winds of Change: Climate, Weather and the Destruction of Civilizations won the Grantham Prize Special Award of Merit in 2007. He is also the previous winner of the American Geophysical Union's Walter Sullivan Award; The Overseas Press Club Citation for Excellence; two Genesis Awards; The Harry Chapin Media Award; and The Population Institute's Global Media Award. Mr. Linden's Time Magazine article “Lost Tribes, Lost Knowledge” was a finalist for a National Magazine Award.
Mr. Linden received a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University.
Alain Pompidou, PhD
After 30 years as a professor of histology, embryology and cytogenetics in the medical faculty of the University of Paris, and former president of the European Patent Office, and honorary president of the National Academy of Technologies of France, Professor Pompidou spent 10 years as a member of the European Parliament with a particular concern for the EU framework programs for research, preparation of the Directive on the Legal Protection of Biotechnological Inventions, and bioethical issues. Professor Pompidou also acted as Special Adviser to the French Prime Minister, the French Minister of Research and Higher Education, and the French Minister of Health.
Dr. Pompidou received a PhD and Master’s Degree from the University René Descartes and a Doctor Honoris Causa from Beijing University.
Gerhard Prante, PhD
Dr. Prante has been a strong proponent for the integration of biotechnology into agribusiness. He has served as a member of several industry associations including the German Crop Protection and Fertilizer Association, the European Crop Protection Association, the Global Crop Protection Federation, and the Global Plant Science Industry Federation. Since 2002, he has been an active consultant to the industry.
Dr. Prante began his career in 1970 with Hoechst AG and was eventually named head of the agricultural division in 1985. This was a leadership role he held until 1994, when he formed and became CEO of AgrEvo, a company of Hoechst and Schering. AgrEvo was... merged into Aventis CropScience at the end of 1999, of which he was the deputy CEO until the company was acquired by Bayer AG and became part of Bayer CropScience. Dr. Prante served as a member of the SVB of Bayer CropScience until 2012.
Dr. Prante received a PhD in Agricultural Sciences from the University of Kiel.
Keith Walker, PhD
With over 40 years in agricultural biotechnology, Dr. Walker’s career spans the development of the field. This veteran of the gene editing industry was instrumental in transforming the Plant and Industrial Products Division of ValiGen, which he headed, into what is now Cibus. Retiring as Cibus CEO in 2014, Dr. Walker started Valley Oils to focus on delivering healthy, non-GMO oils and meals for the food, feed, and industrial products industries.
Prior to starting Cibus, Dr. Walker worked at Agrigenetics before it was acquired by Mycogen, after which he held a variety of management positions at Mycogen. He was also a co-founder, director, and vice... president of research at Plant Genetics, Inc. (PGI). Before founding PGI, Dr. Walker served in a variety of research roles with Monsanto.
Dr. Walker is former chairman of the Gordon Conference in Plant Cell and Tissue Culture and was also associate editor of Plant Cell Tissue and Organ Culture Journal. He received a PhD in Biology from Yale University and a Bachelor of Arts from the College of Wooster.
Mr. Lu brings almost 35 years of experience in business operations to the Cibus board. He founded several companies in pharmaceutical formulation and bulk drugs; plant protection; nutrition; wholesale food; retail; specialist packaging; and international trading. In addition to managing over 2,500 employees across several continents, Mr. Lu has significant experience operating in both the private and government-supported business communities.
Mr. Lu currently serves as Chairman of Rotam Global AgroSciences Ltd.; Vice Chairman of Kunshan Rotam Reddy Pharmaceuticals Ltd.; Director of Swiss Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.; Director of Chong Dah... Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.; and is a former Chairman of JRB Packaging Co. Ltd. and past Director of Canada’s T&T Supermarket Chain.
Rotam Global AgroSciences Ltd., which he founded, has a strong presence in China, Latin America, Europe, Canada, the United States, Taiwan, Africa, and the Middle East and was listed on the Taiwan Stock Market in 2012.
Mr. Lu received a Bachelor of Commerce from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.