Tania Simoncelli

For the past twenty years, Tania Simoncelli has designed advocacy strategies and policy solutions to address complex issues at the intersection of science, technology, law and ethics. Last fall, she joined the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative as Director of Science Policy, where her work focuses on enhancing public trust in and support for science and building a first-of-its kind initiative to promote patient-driven disease research at scale.  Prior to this, Simoncelli worked for the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard as Senior Advisor to Eric Lander and Executive Director of Count Me In, an initiative that aims to accelerate biomedical research by facilitating patient-researcher partnerships. From 2010-2015, Simoncelli served in senior staff roles in the Obama Administration, including as Assistant Director for Forensic Science and Biomedical Innovation within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where she crafted a series of interagency forensic science reform efforts and helped to drive the creation and launch of the President’s Precision Medicine Initiative. From 2003-2010, Simoncelli worked for the ACLU as the organization’s first-ever Science Advisor, where she spearheaded the organization’s successful Supreme Court case challenging the patenting of human genes.  In 2013, Simoncelli was named by the journal Nature as one of “ten people who mattered this year” for her work in ending gene patenting.  She holds a BA in Biology & Society from Cornell University and an MS in Energy and Resources from UC Berkeley, and is co-author with Sheldon Krimsky of Genetic Justice: DNA Data Banks, Criminal Investigations, and Civil Liberties.