NAVREF is proud to recognize Cohen Veterans Bioscience as our Champion Sponsor
Chief Executive Officer
Rick Starrs joined NAVREF as Chief Executive Officer in January 2016 after concluding his US Army career as a Colonel. Rick enjoyed more than 25 years of leadership experience in the military health system ranging from leading troops in combat to working on Capitol Hill to overseeing the day-to-day operations of a multi-billion dollar military medical research, acquisition, and logistics enterprise. He has a background as a health services comptroller with extensive expertise in congressional affairs and a history of successful performance in a range of high visibility positions that required daily interaction at the most senior levels of the Army, Pentagon, and Capitol Hill. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Georgetown University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin. Rick is passionate about serving his country and enhancing the lives of veterans.
Association Operations Officerhtran@navref.org
Hawk Tran joined NAVREF in 2014 with a background in military health affairs, epidemiology, and public health administration. After his service in the United States Army Medical Service Corps, Mr. Tran worked in public health focusing on STD/HIV Epidemiology where his main activities included disease investigation and intervention, as well as providing community health education. A short-term assignment at the Pentagon within the Office of the Secretary of Defense brought Mr. Tran to Washington, DC where he resides today. Mr. Tran holds a Master of Public Health degree from American Public University, a B.A. in International Relations from Florida International University, and a graduate certificate in Infectious Disease Epidemiology from the University of South Florida. He is also a graduate of the Health Administration Officer Program at Ft. Sam Houston, TX, and the Tropical Medicine Course at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, MD.
Clinical Trials Facilitatornroberge@navref.org
Nicole Roberge joins our team as a Clinical Research Facilitator who will work closely with Krissa Caroff and the VHA Office of Research and Development to better enable our VA system to engage in extramural research with outside collaborators.
Ms. Roberge is an efficiency-focused leader with 15+ years of experience driving the clinical and operational project management activities of government and industry-sponsored clinical research studies. She has expertise in managing the coordination and execution of all phases of studies and projects from low enrolling oncology treatment trials in the US to multi-national high-enrolling HIV prevention research in low-resource settings. She has lived and worked with a diversity of populations and settings including those in Africa, with Native American tribes, US Academia and VHA research.
Most recently, Nicole was working with the Durham VA’s Institute for Medical Research where she engaged in problem-solving of barriers to research that affect the entire VA system. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from the University of California, San Diego and a Master of Public Health from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Clinical Trials Facilitatorkcaroff@navref.org
Krissa Caroff joins NAVREF after a 10 year career with VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS), working first as their Research Compliance Officer and then transitioning into a unique role as their Research Education and Policy Coordinator, where she was responsible for developing, implementing, and overseeing the VAPHS research education program for investigators, staff, and committee members. Ms. Caroff also served as the regulatory expert regarding VA and other Federal requirements governing the conduct of human subjects research, and utilized her knowledge to ensure that regulatory and policy updates were disseminated to the VAPHS research community in a timely manner. Her knowledge also allowed her to the serve as the Human Research Protection Program accreditation coordinator for VAPHS. Before working for VA, Ms. Caroff worked at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for 6 years, working on numerous clinical trials focusing on genitourinary cancer, grief, and anxiety. Ms. Caroff received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and her Master's Degree in Professional Leadership from Carlow University in Pittsburgh, PA. She is also a Certified Professional Coach and Master Practitioner of the Energy Leadership Index Assessment.