Our Mission

The Ellison Institute Research Foundation is a multidisciplinary organization that brings together experts in diverse fields to move cancer care and wellness forward. Aligned with the mission and spirit of the Ellison Institute of Technology, the Foundation leads public engagement, research, educational programs, and advocacy centered on improving the patient experience and changing how the world delivers health and medicine.

Board of Directors

The Foundation is governed and overseen by a five-member Board of Directors.

David Agus, MD

Dr. David Agus

Dr. David Agus leads a multidisciplinary team of researchers at the Ellison Institute of Technology, dedicated to the development and use of therapies and technologies to improve the care of patients and prevent disease.

Over the past twenty-five years he’s received acclaim for his innovations in medicine and contributions to new technologies, data analytics and therapeutics that change how all of us maintain optimal health and treat cancer.

His clinical responsibilities include the development of clinical trials for new drugs and treatments for cancer, supported by the National Cancer Institute and other private foundations (he has no financial ties to drug companies). He serves in leadership roles at the World Economic Forum, among other organizations.

He is a 2017 recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

Lisa M. Flashner, JD, CPA

Lisa Flashner

Lisa Flashner is the President & Chief Operating Officer of the Ellison Institute of Technology. Since she came to the team in 2009, she has put her leadership skills to work to pursue her passion for making a difference in healthcare.

Lisa oversees the financial and business operations of the group as well as personnel related matters, donor relations and strategic planning. She received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Illinois, a law degree magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center, and is a certified public accountant.

Prior to joining the Institute, she was a partner at New World Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on investments in early stage technology companies. She joined New World from the investment banking group at Robert W. Baird & Co., where she was a lead banker in the information technology and telecommunications industry. Prior to her work in investment banking, Lisa practiced corporate law and was a tax accountant at Arthur Anderson & Co.

Awo Ablo

Awo Ablo

Awo Ablo is Executive Director, External Relations as well as a Board member at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change. Awo is also Vice Chair of the Board for BBC Media Action and a Trustee of the Institute for Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex. She has over 20 years’ experience across the not-for-profit, media and private sectors. Previous senior positions have included: Director, External Relations at the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, a UN collaborating partner, and Director of Business Development at the BBC World Service Trust. Awo held previous roles at the RSA (the Royal Society for the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, a multidisciplinary ‘think and do tank’), at Saferworld (an arms and security think-tank), at the Royal Geographic Society, and at the academic publishers, John Wiley & Sons. Awo has been on advisory groups and committees, such as the Chatham House Global Health Working Group, and chaired events at industry, development and media events. She has an MA from SOAS, London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies, and a BA in Philosophy and Theology from the University of Kent. She holds dual Ghanaian and UK citizenship.

Mila Kunis

Mila Kunis

Mila Kunis has established herself as one of Hollywood’s most sought after, vivacious and engaging actresses. Since beginning her career in acting, she has garnered an impressive body of work that includes both major motion picture and television roles.

Notable film and TV credits include Black Swan, Spy Who Dumped Me , Bad Moms, Jupiter Ascending, Oz, The Great and Powerful, Ted, Friends with Benefits, Date Night, The Book of Eli, Extract, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Blood Ties, Angriest Man in Brooklyn, Max Payne, Third Person and Hell and Back, That 70’s Show, Family Guy. In 2015, Kunis started her production company, Orchard Farm Productions, with Lisa Sterbakov and Cameron Curtis. And in 2021 launched an NFT company, Sixth Wall, and has since released “Stoner Cats” on the blockchain.

Dov Seidman

Dov Seidman

Dov Seidman is the Founder and Chairman of LRN and The HOW Institute for Society. He is also the author of the best-selling book “How: Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything”

Dov Seidman founded LRN, his for-profit business, 25 years ago with a powerful vision that the world would be a better place if more people did the right thing. Dov is now Chairman and under his leadership, LRN has grown into a successful technology and education company that provides ethics and compliance software, content, and advisory services to more than 700 companies across the globe.

Dov’s groundbreaking book “How: Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything” is a New York Times best seller that offers a philosophical framework for individual and organizational behavior in a world that is increasingly interconnected and interdependent. His ideas on outbehaving have been used to impact how businesses operate, cities are run, soldiers are trained, school systems prepare their students and staff, and professional sports franchises use values for competitive advantage.

In 2018, Dov founded the global non-profit The HOW Institute for Society to scale the HOW philosophy and build and nurture a culture of moral leadership and principled decision-making that enables individuals and institutions to meet the profound social, economic, and technological changes of the 21st Century. Dov is the Executive Chairman of The HOW Institute for Society’s board of directors, which also includes Angela Ahrendts DBE, Ajay Banga, Chip Bergh, Nancy Gibbs, Dennis Nally, Paul Polman, Admiral James Stavridis and Darren Walker.

Dov and The HOW Institute have carefully designed programs such as the NXT-GEN Fellowship and HOW Conversations; conducted original research projects on the State of Moral Leadership; and cultivated a community of common cause – including diverse leaders from varied fields and all generations – that convenes to stimulate and inspire fresh thinking and concerted actions to help answer the most vital questions we face as a society.

Led by a lifelong pursuit and passion for ethical leadership, he became the exclusive partner of the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity Prize in Ethics in 2008, as the institution was in its 20th year of celebrating ethical decision making among America’s youth. Dov has since partnered with the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity to ensure Elie Wiesel’s legacy lives on by offering the Prize as part of the work of The HOW Institute.

Dov has been named a “Groundbreaker” by The New York Times, a “Game Changer” by Time Magazine and one of the “Top 60 Global Thinkers of the Last Decade” by The Economic Times. He was also called “the corporate whisperer” by Fortune Magazine because of his “ability to take the challenges that CEOs and other leaders face in their day-to-day roles and place them in a broader context of decision-making.”

Pulitzer Prize winner and weekly columnist for The New York Times, Thomas L. Friedman, has called Dov his teacher and featured Dov’s HOW philosophy as one of the nine rules for companies to embrace in Thomas L. Friedman’s seminal book, “The World is Flat.” Dov’s ideas have also been featured prominently in Friedman’s best-selling “Hot, Flat and Crowded,” “That Used to Be Us,” “Thank You for Being Late.”

Dov’s views on business behavior, leadership and corporate culture have been quoted in hundreds of media and been at the center of legislation. Dov testified in 2004 before the U.S. Sentencing Commission arguing that corporations must move from a check-the-box, compliance-only approach to instead focus on fostering ethical cultures and behaviors. His proposals were adopted and today are the very standards by which companies, cultures and programs are judged.

Dov is a member of the board at Planet Word Museum and at the 92nd Street Y. He was honored with the 2014 Corporate Organizational Excellence in Organizational Development Award winner for demonstrating a 10+ year commitment to organizational development and effectiveness.

Dov is frequently invited to speak at leading industry events, and to senior corporate managers and boards of directors. Speaking engagements include The UN Global Compact, The World Economic Forum, The World Business Forum, The National Press Club and The Aspen Ideas Festival. He has also been the keynote speaker at University of California Los Angeles’s annual commencement and has received an honorary doctorate from Hebrew Union College. Dov’s views on sustainable business helped to shape Sustainable Development Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

Sometimes called “a philosopher in a suit,” Dov earned simultaneous bachelor’s and master’s degrees, summa cum laude, in philosophy from UCLA. He later earned a B.A. with honors in philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford University. He graduated with honors from Harvard Law School. He lives in New York City with his wife Maria and their son and daughter.