Chordoma Foundation

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Board of Directors

Joel Beckman – Vice Chairperson

Joel Beckman is a Managing Partner of Greenbriar Equity Group LLC, a private equity fund. Prior to founding Greenbriar, Mr. Beckman spent 18 years at Goldman Sachs, where he was a Managing Director and Partner. He is also a Director of Hexcel Corporation and Western Peterbilt, Inc., a Senior Trustee and member of the Investment Committee of the University of Rochester, a Director of Stepping Stone Day School for handicapped children, UJA-Federation of New York, and Metropolitan Council on Poverty, and a member of the Board of Advisors of the Yale Law School Center for the Study of Corporate Law. Mr. Beckman was diagnosed with chordoma in 2009.

Hans Keulen

Hans Keulen

With a background in physics, Hans Keulen has been working in information and communications technology (ICT) for most of his life. As co-owner of a mid-size ICT company (DataBalk, now Cegeka NL), he served as CTO and was responsible for business development. In 2008, he retired due to health issues. In 2009, after several misdiagnoses, he was finally discovered to have a clival chordoma that was surgically removed. In 2011, Hans had a recurrence that is currently being treated in a clinical trial. He co-owns a few small firms where he is involved in strategy, innovation and product evangelism. Hans dedicates a considerable amount of his time to the European expansion of the Chordoma Foundation and serves as the European Liaison for the Foundation. He lives with his wife Marja and three children in in the rural village of St. Oedenrode in the The Netherlands.

Heather Lee

Heather Lee, PhD, SPHR

A certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), Heather Lee is a principal in the nonprofit and public sector consulting firm, Developmental Associates, LLC. She spent 13 years as Associate Professor of Human Resources and Psychology at Peace College in Raleigh, NC and, prior to that, served for eight years as VP for Human Resources at Easter Seals of NC, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities. In 2008, Heather lost her 13 year old son, Justin Straus, to chordoma after a seven-year battle with the disease. She is dedicated to the mission of the Chordoma Foundation so that other families will not have to endure the loss of a loved one to this relentless disease.

Andrew Schoelkopf – Chairperson

Andy Schoelkopf is a partner at Menconi & Schoelkopf Fine Art, a leading private art dealer located in New York City that specializes in American paintings, drawings and sculpture of the eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and early twentieth-centuries. Andy was raised in a family of art dealers, the son of Robert and Jane Schoelkopf, who ran the prestigious Robert Schoelkopf Gallery in New York until the Robert’s death in 1990. Working at the gallery until its close in 1991, Andy then joined Christie’s, where he rose to head of the American Paintings Department. Andy is a past board member of the Private Art Dealers Association, of which his gallery is a member. Andy holds a Bachelor’s degree from Denison University and a Masters of Business Administration from Fordham University Graduate School of Business.

Chandra Sen, MD

Chandra Sen, MD

Dr. Chandra Sen is professor of neurosurgery at NYU Langone Medical Center and is a pioneer in the field of skull base surgery. He is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, a founding member of the North American Skull Base Society, and a current member and former president of the New York Society of Neurosurgery. Since treating his first chordoma patient in 1987, Dr. Sen has made chordoma a primary focus of his practice, and throughout his career has become one of the most experienced chordoma surgeons in the world. He has published several papers and book chapters on skull base and cervical spine chordomas, and frequently lectures on chordoma at international conferences. Dr. Sen cares deeply for his chordoma patients and describes improving the treatment of chordoma as one of his life goals.

kerry shad

Kerry Shad – Secretary

Kerry is a partner with Smith Anderson, focused on representing employers in all types of employment-related litigation and counseling. She also handles complex commercial litigation matters. Kerry has been recognized as a leading employment lawyer by Chambers USA, Best Lawyers, Legal Elite and Super Lawyers. Within Smith Anderson, Kerry serves on a number of leadership committees, including the Compensation and Recruiting Committees, in addition to serving as the Co-Chair of Smith Anderson’s Diversity Committee. Kerry is a graduate of Florida State University and received her law degree from UNC Chapel Hill.

Josh Sommer

Josh Sommer is Executive Director of the Chordoma Foundation, which he co-founded to speed the pace of chordoma research after he was diagnosed with a skull-base chordoma in 2006. Following his diagnosis, Josh spent two years studying chordoma in the lab of Dr. Michael Kelley at Duke University. In 2008, Josh left the lab to lead the Chordoma Foundation after receiving an Echoing Green Fellowship for social entrepreneurship. To complement his work with the Foundation, from 2008 to 2011 he served as a Fellow in Strategic Philanthropy and Health in Duke’s Program on Global Health and Technology Access, where he studied models for sharing of scientific data and biological materials. He currently serves a member of the National Cancer Institute Director’s Consumer Liaison Group, the Moffitt Cancer Center Total Cancer Care External Advisory Board, and the Board of Advisors of the Fibrolamellar Cancer Foundation. For his efforts to advance chordoma research, Josh was honored by ABC News as a Person of the Year in 2008.

Paula Song


Paula Song, PhD – Treasurer

Paula H. Song, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining the faculty at UNC-CH, she was an Associate Professor at the Ohio State University. Dr. Song’s research interests and publications focus on financial aspects in healthcare management and policy and their effects on the delivery and utilization of healthcare services. Dr. Song received her Ph.D. in health services organization and policy from the University of Michigan. She also holds a Master of Health Services Administration as well as a Masters of Arts in Applied Economics, both from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Arts in Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania.