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, applied intervention, as well as community health education. A short-term Army 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.
Robin Rusconi, JD
Clinical Trials Liaisonrrusconi@navref.org
Robin Rusconi served as Executive Director of the Midwest Biomedical Research Foundation in Kansas City from 2014-2019 and as a member of the NAVREF Board of Directors from 2016-2019. Prior to joining MBRF, Robin worked at Children’s Mercy Hospital in KC for 13+ years—in development for seven years before moving to research administration. Prior to entering the non-profit world, Robin practiced law for 10 years focusing on commercial litigation and bankruptcy. She earned her BSB and JD from the University of Kansas. Robin currently serves as COVID Vaccine Site Director for Wyandotte County.
Derwood Haskell, JD
Woody Haskell joined NAVREF as General Counsel after retiring from more than 30 years’ service in VA’s Office of General Counsel (OGC). During his VA career, Woody provided legal advice and services to agency officials at the highest level and in virtually every segment of VA operations, including several years of service on OGC’s Specialty Team Advising Research. He has an impressive record representing VA in employment law and intellectual property rights litigation. He served in the United States Marine Corps infantry reserve and U.S. Army JAG Corps reserve. Woody is a graduate of Bates College and New England Law.