Dr. Suzet McKinney joins Sterling Bay to head new life sciences division

Dr. Suzet McKinney

Sterling Bay announced that Dr. Suzet McKinney has joined as principal and director for Sterling Bay’s life sciences division. In her role Dr. McKinney will oversee Sterling Bay’s relationships with the scientific, academic, corporate, tech and governmental sectors involved in the life science ecosystem, as well as manage the experience and facilitate the growth of life science tenants in Sterling Bay developments.

“I’m thrilled to join Sterling Bay as we seize this opportunity to pioneer the future of life sciences in Chicago and around the world,” said Dr. McKinney. “I look forward to bringing together groundbreaking healthcare and life sciences organizations that improve social and health outcomes throughout the city, creating jobs and community wealth for our communities—and putting Chicago on the map as the country’s top life sciences city.”

Dr. McKinney is a nationally recognized public health expert who brings decades of experience and qualified medical expertise to the company. Throughout her career, she has been at the forefront of emergency response efforts including this year when she was appointed by Governor J.B. Pritzker as operations lead for the State of Illinois’ Alternate Care Facilities, a network of alternate medical locations designed to decompress the state’s healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of this role, she worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and multiple construction, architecture and project management teams to prepare five facilities to open for overflow patient care. She previously led Chicago’s 2014-2015 Ebola response; the operational response to the 2009 H1N1 outbreak; the Chicago Department of Public Health’s participation in the 2012 NATO response and the 2010 Haiti Earthquake response.

“Dr. McKinney’s new role with Sterling Bay’s life sciences division solidifies our commitment to advancing the growth of this critical sector across Chicago and in new markets around the country,” said Andy Gloor, CEO of Sterling Bay. “Under her guidance and with the impressive power of her scientific and leadership experience, Sterling Bay will create new jobs, generate new economic revenue and increase diversity in the biotech community.”

Dr. McKinney will lead the strategy to expand Sterling Bay’s footprint in life sciences nationwide, pursue grant programs for laboratory incubation and graduation space, advance the work of various Sterling Bay life sciences initiatives including Prysm Institute, and will serve as an integral part of the vision and execution for Sterling Bay’s life sciences developments.

“Dr. McKinney is an ideal and exciting choice to lead the Life Sciences Division at Sterling Bay, which will simultaneously spur new lab locations across our city, support cutting-edge innovation, attract talent nationwide and unlock the wealth of potential right in our own backyard,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “Her combined experience, energy and expertise will help burnish Chicago’s status as a global life sciences leader and expand our city’s equitable recovery as we rebuild and move forward from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Prior to joining Sterling Bay, Dr. McKinney was CEO and executive director of the Illinois Medical District (IMD) where she managed medical research facilities, labs, a biotech business incubator, universities, four hospitals and more than 40 healthcare-related facilities.

Before her time at IMD, Dr. McKinney served as the deputy commissioner of the Bureau of Public Health Preparedness and Emergency Response at the Chicago Department of Public Health where she oversaw the department’s emergency preparedness efforts and coordinated those efforts within the larger spectrum of the city of Chicago’s public safety activities.

“Dr. McKinney brings an incredible depth of experience with more than 20 years working to create innovative solutions to some of society’s most pressing challenges,” said Bruce Katz, founding director of the Nowak Metro Finance Lab at Drexel University and a board member of the Global Institute on Innovation Districts. “I’m convinced that with her proven leadership and vision, Sterling Bay can design and deliver the next generation of Life Sciences campuses, thereby driving both innovative as well as inclusive growth in cities in the United States and beyond.”

Beyond her professional accomplishments in the field of public health, Dr. McKinney serves on numerous boards and advisory committees and has had an extensive career in academia, serving as an Instructor in the Division of Translational Policy and Leadership Development at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and as an adjunct assistant professor of Health Policy Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health.

Dr. McKinney holds a doctorate degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health and a bachelor of arts in biology from Brandeis University. She received a master of public health degree and certificates in managed care and health care administration from Benedictine University.