Children’s National Research Institute | Academic Annual Report 2017-2018

Innovation Through Collaboration


Three Research Administrators Rise to Vice President

Three longstanding administrators at Children’s National were recently promoted to the role of vice president.

These newest leaders are tasked with moving the institution forward in the areas of innovation, research and finance. “I’m extremely pleased to see these three outstanding individuals in their new roles,” says Mark L. Batshaw, M.D., physician-in-chief and chief academic officer at Children’s National. “With long histories of exceptional contributions to this institution, I look forward to the parts each of them will play to continue advancing Children’s National into the future.”

“Each of these new appointments hold extraordinary promise in helping Children’s National’s research footprint continue to grow in prestige and recognition around the world,” says Vittorio Gallo, Ph.D., chief research officer at Children’s National.

Kolaleh Eskandanian, Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer

Kolaleh Eskandanian, Ph.D., MBA, PMP, joined Children’s National a decade ago after positions with Intelsat, Accenture and Georgetown University. Across her career, she’s made innovations in the market space used by millions. For example, she is the lead inventor of the first-ever adverse event reporting system, initially deployed in a research academic environment. She has also been a key contributor in securing over $40 million in government funding for two large research enterprises.

Before her promotion to vice president and chief innovation officer, she served as executive director of the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation. In this capacity, she managed a $10 million per year portfolio of over 40 medical devices, therapeutics and health software projects in various stages of development.

In her new role, Dr. Eskandanian is collaborating with research and clinical leadership and the entire hospital staff to build and apply innovative medical products and processes to improve pediatric care delivery and promote commercialization. In addition she serves as executive director of the FDA-funded National Capital Consortium for Pediatric Device Innovation, focused on accelerating the path to market for pediatric devices. She also continues to oversee the tech transfer operations for Children’s National and serves as the administrative director for the Sheikh Zayed Institute.

Kerstin Hildebrandt, Vice President of Research Administration

Kerstin Hildebrandt, MSHS, joined Children’s National in 2001 after serving as the administrator of the division of Hematologic Malignancies and Bone Marrow Transplantation at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and as the administrative director of the Georgetown University General Clinical Research Center.

As the new vice president of research administration, she is responsible for the operations of the current research facilities at the hospital campus and is involved in the planning of the future research and innovation campus at Walter Reed, in collaboration with Charles Weinstein, chief real estate and facilities officer and Irene Thompson, project manager. Her role encompasses strategic planning, administration and operations, facility development and construction, health and safety, the research animal facility, regulatory affairs, human resources, IT and communications, with a focus on LEAN research infrastructure development, integration and optimization.

Her current efforts are focused on laboratory densification based on new lab space metrics and innovative ideas to support three to five years of growth prior to the transition of research programs to Walter Reed.

Carmen Mendez, Vice President of Finance and Academic Administration

Carmen Mendez has been promoted to vice president of finance and academic administration. In her new role, she will primarily report to the chief financial officer, and secondarily report to the chief academic officer.

In addition to her current responsibilities, Ms. Mendez will take on a leadership role in financial decision-making that affects CRI, and will provide strategic and financial input to the executive vice presidents of the institution. Ms. Mendez is responsible for negotiation and development of CRI’s operational budget and five year financial strategic operational and capital plan.

She has played a key role in improving compliance of federally funded programs and conduct of research, and has been successful in increasing CRI’s unrestricted revenue, facilitating the continued growth of CRI. Prior to joining Children’s National, Ms. Mendez held positions at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School.

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