Management Team

Our leadership team has a strong track record in developing and commercializing drugs for the treatment of renal and metabolic disorders.

Management team

John Butler
President and Chief Executive Officer

John P. Butler joined Akebia as a director in July 2013 and was appointed as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Akebia in August 2013. Prior to joining Akebia, from 2011 until 2013, Mr. Butler served as the Chief Executive Officer of Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals, Inc (“Inspiration”), a company focused on developing products for patients with hemophilia. Mr. Butler led the transactions that resulted in the sale of Inspiration’s hemophilia assets to Cangene Corporation and Baxter International in early 2013, for a total aggregate consideration that could exceed $1 billion. From 1997 to 2011, Mr. Butler held various positions at Genzyme Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company, most recently serving as President of the company’s rare genetic diseases business. From 2002 until 2010, Mr. Butler led Genzyme’s renal division. Prior to his work at Genzyme, Mr. Butler held sales and marketing positions at Amgen and Hoffmann-La Roche. Mr. Butler currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Kidney Fund. Mr. Butler received a BA in Chemistry from Manhattan College and an MBA from Baruch College, City University of New York.

Jason Amello
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Jason A. Amello joined Akebia as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer in 2013. Prior to joining Akebia, Mr. Amello served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer of ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, from 2012 to 2013. From 2000 to 2011, Mr. Amello held various positions at Genzyme Corporation, most recently as Senior Vice President, Corporate Controller, and Chief Accounting Officer, and led the Strategic Financial Services group through which he served as a key advisor on all of Genzyme’s M&A and strategic transactions. Earlier in his career, Mr. Amello spent 10 years in the business advisory and assurance practice of Deloitte, serving in various roles of increasing responsibility through senior manager. Mr. Amello currently serves on the Board of Directors of the New England Baptist Hospital where he is the Chair of the Quality of Care Committee and a member of the Finance and Investment Committee; and serves on the Board of Directors of Acer Therapeutics Inc. where he is a member of the Audit Committee. Mr. Amello holds a BA from Boston College and is a Certified Public Accountant in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Nikki Hadas
Senior Vice President and General Counsel

Nicole Hadas joined Akebia in 2013 and is Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary. From 2011 to 2013, Ms. Hadas served as the Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., where she managed the successful sale of its hemophilia assets to Cangene Corporation and Baxter International in early 2013. From 2001 to 2011, Ms. Hadas worked at Genzyme Corporation, most recently as Senior Corporate Counsel. Prior to Genzyme, she was an associate at Foley Hoag, representing biopharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers in a wide variety of matters. Ms. Hadas received a BA from the University of Michigan and a JD from Boston College Law School.

Michel Dahan
Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer

Michel Dahan joined Akebia in 2013 and is Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer. Prior to joining Akebia, from 2010 to 2013, Mr. Dahan held various positions at Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., a company that filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in October 2012 prior to the successful sale of its hemophilia assets to Cangene Corporation and Baxter International in early 2013, most recently as Vice President, Commercial Development and Strategic Planning, and led the global marketing and commercial development in preparation for two global launches. Prior to that, from 2003 to 2010, Mr. Dahan served in various roles for Ipsen, most recently as International Product Director, working on global marketing and strategic planning for their hemophilia franchise, and Strategic Planning Director. Previously, he was in Global Business Development and Licensing for Ipsen. He began his career at BNP Paribas for the investment banking division in 2002. He earned his graduate degree in business administration at HEC Paris (France), his maitrise in mathematics from University Paris VI (France) and his executive education program (PLD) at Harvard Business School.

Rita Jain, M.D.
Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer

Rita Jain, M.D. joined Akebia Therapeutics as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer in May 2017. She brings more than 20 years of drug development experience spanning academia and industry. She has worked across a range of therapeutic areas and led activities for multiple global programs across all stages of development. Most recently, Dr. Jain led the successful completion of the Elagolix Phase 3 endometriosis and Phase 2 uterine fibroid programs.

Prior to joining Akebia, Dr. Jain was the Vice President of Men’s and Women’s Health and Metabolic Development at AbbVie. From 2003-2016 she held positions of increasing responsibility, with over 10 years as either a Divisional Vice President or Vice President in Pharmaceutical Development at Abbott, and after the split at AbbVie. In addition to her work in Men’s and Women’s Health, and Metabolic Development, she also led activities in Pain, Respiratory and Cystic Fibrosis Development. Before AbbVie, she held management positions in the Arthritis, Inflammation and Pain Group at Searle (acquired by Pharmacia and subsequently Pfizer).

Prior to joining Searle, Dr. Jain was a faculty member at North Shore University Hospital in NY, with an academic appointment as Assistant Professor of Medicine, NYU School of Medicine.
Dr. Jain received her M.D. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook School of Medicine, and completed her training in Internal Medicine at Staten Island University Hospital followed by a Fellowship in Rheumatology at North Shore University Hospital and a Clinical Research Fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas.

Mark De Rosch, PhD, FRAPS
Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Quality Assurance, and CMC

Mark De Rosch, PhD, FRAPS, joined Akebia as Vice President of Regulatory Affairs in August 2014. Dr. De Rosch brings to Akebia over two decades of experience guiding global regulatory strategies for clinical, nonclinical and chemistry, manufacturing and controls (CMC) in multiple therapeutic areas including renal, hemophilia, autoimmune, pulmonary and oncology/hematology, among others. Most recently, Dr. De Rosch served as Vice President, Regulatory Drugs/Biologics & Head, U.S. Operations for Voisin Consulting Life Sciences, where he served as the organization’s lead U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory expert. Previously, Dr. De Rosch served as Vice President, Head of Global Regulatory Affairs for Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., leading the development and implementation of global regulatory strategies for the hemophilia-focused company. He also served in multiple key roles at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., including Senior Director, Global Clinical Regulatory Strategy, where he led the regulatory strategy and submissions process for Kalydeco® in cystic fibrosis leading to approvals in the U.S. and E.U.

Tamara Dillon
Senior Vice President of Human Resources

Tamara Dillon joined Akebia as Vice President of Human Resources in August 2014. Ms. Dillon joins Akebia from Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, where she served as Head of Human Resources, Global Discovery Chemistry, responsible for all aspects of human resources across five sites and four countries. Previously, she held several key roles at Genzyme, a Sanofi Company, including Senior Director Human Resources, Global Research and Development. In this global leadership role, Ms. Dillon worked closely with the senior management team to ensure that overall business strategies were translated into impactful and effective human resources programs.

Theresa McNeely
Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations

Theresa McNeely is Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications and Investor Relations. Ms. McNeely has over 20 years of integrated corporate communications experience spanning investor relations, public relations, marketing communications, and patient advocacy in life sciences companies, including pharmaceutical and biotech, molecular diagnostics, tools, and service providers. She has counseled executive teams on communications strategies around key events, such as international product launches, clinical trial results, strategic redirection, executive transitions, financings, and regulatory decisions. Prior to Akebia, Ms. McNeely was Executive Vice President, Chief Communications Officer at OvaScience and before that, she was Vice President of Corporate Communications at Clinical Data, Inc., a company that was acquired by Forest Laboratories for $1.2 billion. Ms. McNeely has also held management positions at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, EXACT Sciences, and Pyrosequencing. Earlier in her career, Ms. McNeely worked on Wall Street for a boutique investment bank. She is an Advisory Board member for Cramer, a creative brand experience agency. Ms. McNeely received her B.S. in Business Administration from Providence College, and an M.S. in Business Communications and Healthcare Communications from Simmons College.

Gavin Malenfant
Vice President, Corporate Operations

Gavin Malenfant joined Akebia as Vice President of Corporate Operations in 2016. An industry veteran with over 25 years of experience in biotechnology. Mr. Malenfant has held leadership roles at both large and established organizations, as well as dynamic and rapidly-growing companies. He has provided operational leadership across multiple functions, including development, strategy and portfolio management. Mr. Malenfant has led product development teams, bringing commercially successful products to market and through commercial expansion phases. Mr. Malenfant most recently served as Head of Operations at Sarepta Therapeutics and was a member of the executive team, with accountability for manufacturing and a portfolio that led to an approved treatment for Duchenne Muscular Disease. Prior to Sarepta, Mr. Malenfant served as Head of Operations for R&D, Portfolio Strategy, and Program Management at Genzyme, a Sanofi Company. He received a B.S. in Biology from the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Karen Tubridy, PharmD
Senior Vice President, Chief Development Officer

Karen Tubridy, PharmD joined Akebia as Senior Vice President, Chief Development Officer in November 2016. Prior to joining Akebia, Ms. Tubridy served as Chief Development Officer at Eleven Biotherapeutics. Prior to joining Eleven Biotherapeutics,
Ms. Tubridy served as Senior Vice President, Clinical Development and Medical Affairs of Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., a company that sold its hemophilia assets to Cangene Corporation and Baxter International in early 2013.

Prior to joining Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals, Ms. Tubridy served as Executive Director, Clinical Operations and Regulatory Affairs, Translational Medicine of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, when Taligen Therapeutics was acquired by Alexion Pharmaceuticals, and previously as Vice President of Clinical Operations and Regulatory Affairs of Taligen Therapeutics. Prior to that, Ms. Tubridy served as Vice President of Clinical Operations, Hemophilia at Biogen Idec, Inc. Ms. Tubridy received a B.S. and a Pharm.D. from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences (MCPHS). Ms. Tubridy is a member of the Board of Trustees at MCPHS University.