The role of the Shaw Innovation Fellows Advisory Board (and its members) is to serve as the selection committee during the competitive application process, lend expertise and guidance to the selected Fellows’ project execution.

Advisory Board Members

The Shaw Innovation Fellows Advisory Board is comprised of eight prominent, and innovative University and community leaders. The members of the board include:

David Shaw headshot

A prominent American business and social entrepreneur with extensive global leadership experience in science-based companies, investment management and social impact NGOs, David Shaw has helped build more than a dozen successful technology companies as a CEO or board member. These companies, employing more than 15,000 people worldwide, harness modern science to address important needs in healthcare and other markets. Early in his career, Shaw helped build a leading consulting firm in food and agriculture.

Shaw’s career has included extensive public service in science, arts, conservation and public policy.  He has served on the faculty of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the advisory board of the Center for Public Leadership with interests in leadership, corporate governance and business social responsibility. He is a founding director of the US Olympic and Paralympic Museum, Chair-emeritus of The Jackson Laboratory and Treasurer emeritus, trustee and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has been a global leader in science-based conservation of nature, both marine and terrestrial, as a trustee of the National Park Foundation during the US national park centennial, as founding chair of the Sargasso Sea Alliance and Aspen High Seas Initiative, as a Patron of Nature to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, as a member of Ocean Elders, and as founder of Second Century Stewardship for America’s national parks.  

Shaw was appointed by President Clinton to the executive committee of the US-Israel Science and Technology Commission. He has served on the board of Maine Medical Center, Hurricane Island Outward Bound, the scientific advisory board of Discovery Communications, the advisory board of Just Capital, and a Fellow of The Explorers Club, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Leadership Council of the Service Year Alliance. Shaw supports his advocacy interests with the production of short form films, and is a resident of the State of Maine.

Abigail Wark is a scientist, educator and service leader from Portland, Maine. She holds a BA from Stanford University, a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Washington and a postdoctoral fellowship in Genetics at Harvard Medical School. Abby has served as a Public Service Leadership Fellow at Stanford, a Sand Hill Fellow in Philanthropy at the Haas Center for Public Service, and a chapter president for Habitat for Humanity. She currently serves on the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Commission for Substance Use Prevention and on the governing board of the Maine College of Art. Her experience as an educator includes public school science enrichment programs in Seattle, San Francisco and Massachusetts along with graduate- and undergraduate-level courses in neurobiology, genetics, and evolution at Harvard College, the University of Washington, Simmons College and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole. Abby is passionate about creating happier, healthier communities through public engagement in science, arts and education.

Benjamin Shaw is a passionate entrepreneur and investor with a proven track record in healthcare and technology ventures. 

Shaw is a Partner at Borealis Ventures, a healthcare investment fund seeking to partner with exceptional entrepreneurs to build market defining companies. Shaw has also been a Partner at Black Point Group since 2002, a private investment partnership. 

Shaw is the Founder and former President and CEO of Covetrus, a global animal health technology and services company dedicated to empowering veterinary practice customers to drive improved health and financial outcomes. The company is one of the largest animal health companies in the world with over $4 billion in revenues, 5,500 team members and 110,000 customers in 100 countries. 

Shaw was the Founder, President and CEO of Vets First Choice prior to its sale to Covetrus for ~$1.8 billion in 2019. Vets First Choice is a leading provider of cloud-based prescription management software for equine and companion animal veterinary practitioners. 

Shaw has been honored as an EY Entrepreneur of the Year New England, Goldman Sachs 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs, Maine Governors Award for Business Excellence and the NEVY award in Healthcare. He has served as a Founding Director for Maine Huts & Trails and on the Corporation of The Jackson Laboratory. He is also an active member of Young Presidents Organization and an alumni advisor to Bates College, where he graduated with a triple B.A. in biology, political science and environmental sciences.

Eliza Shaw Saldals headshot

Eliza Shaw Sandals is a native of Portland, Maine. Her career has focused on ecommerce and marketing in a variety of private sector companies. She spent more than a decade building and managing teams in independent and venture-backed start-ups in Boston, including RueLaLa, Fashion Project, and Dancing Deer. Since returning to Maine in 2015, Eliza has established herself as a leading supporter of arts and education in the Greater Portland area. She currently serves on the Collections Committee and Contemporaries Steering Committee at the Portland Museum of Art and is the President of the Cape Elizabeth Education Foundation. She holds degrees in visual arts and education from Bowdoin College. 

John Shaw headshot

Mr. Shaw leads the corporate and commercial development of Itaconix plc as CEO, Co-founder, and a member of the Board. He has over 30 years of experience in developing the commercial success of industrial and medical technology companies.  John began his career at McKinsey & Company, founded Kensington Research, and held senior roles at SmithKline Beecham, Westaim Biomedical, and Mitek Systems. He has a BA in Economics from Pomona College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Firooza Pavri headshot

Firooza Pavri serves as Associate Dean of the Muskie School of Public Service and is Professor of Geography at the University of Southern Maine. Prior to joining USM, she lived in the Midwest and received her M.A. in Geography & Planning at the University of Toledo and Ph.D. in Geography at the Ohio State University.  Firooza’s teaching and research is in the area of environmental geography, with a focus on society-environment interactions, natural resource conservation & policy, sustainable development, and geospatial technologies, including satellite imaging. Most recently, her work has focused on changes to sub-Arctic and Arctic environments in Iceland and Greenland. She uses satellite data to monitor landscape changes to the Hofsjökull icecap in the central highlands of Iceland over the past twenty-five years and examine vegetation shifts across the Kujataa UNESCO World Heritage site and its surrounding in south Greenland.  Firooza’s research has been supported by NASA and NSF, among others. She is co-author of two books, articles, and reports in her areas of expertise.

Rachel Bouvier headshot

Dr. Bouvier earned her PhD in Economics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where she focused on the relationship between economic development and environmental quality. She also holds a Master’s degree in Resource Economics and Community Development from the University of New Hampshire. In addition, Dr. Bouvier is founder and principal consultant at rbouvier consulting, an economic and sustainability consulting firm, and is on the Board of Directors at GrowSmart Maine. Her research interests include economic resilience, sustainability, and community economic development. Dr. Bouvier was Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Southern Maine from 2005-2014 and has returned after a brief hiatus. She lives in Portland with her husband (Joel), daughter (Sylvia), and dog (Willie).

Daniel Barton headshot

Daniel Barton serves as the Coordinator of the Promise Scholarship Program, which is a cohort-based program that combines substantial financial awards with wrap-around services to help Maine’s first-generation, limited-income college students thrive at USM. He has served students at USM since 2011 through the TRIO Upward Bound Program, Academic Advising and now Promise. As an advisory board member, he connects undergraduate Promise Scholars to the Shaw Innovation Fellows’ research projects to promote the involvement and connection of underrepresented students to research. Prior to joining USM, he earned his Master’s degree in Sport Management from Ithaca College and his Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from the University of New Hampshire. 

Rebecca Nisetich headshot

Dr. Rebecca Nisetich is an Associate Professor and Director of the Honors Program at the University of Southern Maine. She serves as co-chair for the Intercultural and Diversity Advisory Council to the President, and leads antiracist practice groups for faculty, staff, and USM leadership. She co-leads USM’s Summer Antiracist Institute with Dr. Vaishali Mamgain. She is a member of the National Collegiate Honors Council’s Diversity Committee.

Her scholarship is based in Race and Ethnic Studies, and her published work concerns representations of identity in American literature and culture. Her articles have appeared in African American Review, the Faulkner Journal, Studies in American Naturalism, and a collection of essays on Kate Chopin. Her current work explores representations of racial indeterminacy in 20th century American literature, and interpellations of legal discourse in twenty-first century African American literature and popular culture.

Faculty Coordinator

Jamie Picardy headshot

Jamie Picardy serves as the faculty coordinator for the USM Shaw Innovation Fellows Program. In addition to Shaw Fellows, she is an Assistant Professor within the Food Studies and Honors Programs. Jamie integrates community-engaged, applied research into her undergraduate and graduate courses within the areas of regional seafood/meat value chains, food waste recovery, food security, racial equity, and economic development of food businesses. As a curriculum developer, she has established food studies, geography and agricultural literacy programs. Jamie earned her PhD in Agriculture, Food and Environment from Tufts University, Masters in Geography and Bachelors in Biosystems Engineering, both from Michigan State University.