Ronald Howell

Ronald Howell joined Washington Research Foundation (WRF) in 1989 to execute the Foundation’s licensing strategy on Ben Hall’s platform technology expressing heterologous proteins in yeast. Becoming CEO of WRF in 1992, he led the WRF team through an expansion of the organization and its licensing programs. WRF licensing has earned more than $442 million for the University of Washington. The team’s licensing success puts WRF among the top-ranked technology-transfer organizations in the nation, supporting WRF’s grant-making activities and its startup investments through WRF Capital. 

WRF grant-making has provided over $94 million to Washington’s research institutions for the development and commercialization of STEM-based solutions to important areas of public need. WRF’s assets grew from $13 million to around $250 million under Mr. Howell’s leadership. 

Mr. Howell holds a bachelor of science in biochemistry from Washington State University. Prior to joining WRF Mr. Howell was in medical sales and operations. He has served on a number of boards at the University of Washington and is a current member of the Innovation Roundtable. Additionally, Mr. Howell has held board roles with Washington State University, Fred Hutch and The W Fund. In 2019, Mr. Howell received the Dean’s Award at the University of Washington College of Engineering’s Diamond Awards ceremony and was inducted into the Washington Life Science Hall of Fame.