Aaron J. Kowalski, Ph.D.
President and CEO
As President and CEO of JDRF, a global leader in type 1 diabetes (T1D) research and advocacy, Dr. Kowalski drives strategies to accelerate progress toward cures and turn breakthroughs into technologies and therapies that help people stay healthy until then.Dr. Kowalski’s scientific expertise, his personal experience of living with T1D for over 35 years, and his ability to engage the T1D community enable him to advance JDRF’s mission to cure, prevent, and treat T1D and its complications. He joined JDRF in 2004 and most recently served as Chief Mission Officer.
As an internationally recognized scientific expert, he was pivotal in the transformation of JDRF’s role as the leading global organization funding T1D research, from an organization funding primarily academic research to a highly engaged strategic funder influencing the research and development pipeline. Under his leadership, JDRF is known for collaboration across the international T1D community – working closely with senior industry executives and leaders in academia, clinical care and government.
Dr. Kowalski has authored numerous articles on T1D research, including his artificial pancreas roadmap that was adopted by the diabetes industry to significantly accelerate commercial systems, and a landmark New England Journal of Medicine study demonstrating the effectiveness of continuous glucose monitors.
Dr. Kowalski has served as a policy leader for JDRF, regularly advising Congress and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ensure access to T1D therapies and regulatory frameworks that promote innovation. He is a champion for coverage, affordability and choice of therapies.
While living with T1D, he has completed 20 marathons. Dr. Kowalski was diagnosed with T1D at the age of 13 following a similar diagnosis for his brother Stephen at the age of 3. He earned his doctorate in microbiology and molecular genetics from Rutgers University.