As we look ahead to 2024, we celebrate leadership developments and staff promotions.

The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation is pleased to announce advancements among our devoted staff. We celebrate and thank our team for their exceptional service, and eagerly anticipate a bright future for the Foundation.

Pictured at the 2023 Dreyfus Prize Award ceremony held at Harvard University: Retiring Executive Director Dr. Scott A. Siegel, Senior Program Manager Ali Chunovic, Administrative Assistant Chloe Rickert, and Managing Director Gerard Brandenstein

Matthew V. Tirrell, Ph.D.
Senior Scientific Advisor

On January 1, 2024, Dr. Matthew V. Tirrell joins the staff as Senior Scientific Advisor, a newly established part-time advisory role at the Foundation. “Matt’s extensive history with our organization, from grant recipient to Director and Chair of the Scientific Affairs Committee, and his deep commitment to our mission, make him the perfect fit for this vital advisory role,” says H. Scott Walter, Foundation President. Dr. Tirrell will oversee the Foundation’s scientific grant programs and grant reviews, and play a key role in advisor/reviewer selection. Dr. Tirrell’s history with the Foundation began when he received a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award in 1980 for his project “Polymer Dynamics and Polymerization Reactor Engineering.” In 2002, Dr. Tirrell became an advisor to the Board; and in 2012, he was appointed to the Board. In 2016, Dr. Tirrell took on a leadership role on the Board as Chair of the Scientific Affairs Committee. Dr. Tirrell has an extensive and impressive resume outside of his work with the Foundation. Among his accomplishments, he is the D. Gale Johnson Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago, where he served as the founding dean of the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering from 2011 until 2023. Dr. Tirrell has also served as Deputy Laboratory Director for Science at Argonne National Laboratory from September 2015 to April 2018 and again June 2022 to September 2023. From 2009-2011, he was Professor and Chair of Bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Tirrell was Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara from 1999-2009. From 1977-1999, he was on the faculty of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota, where he served as Head from 1995-1999. Dr. Tirrell earned his Bachelor of Science at Northwestern University and his Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering at the University of Massachusetts.

Scott A. Siegel, Ph.D.
Retiring Executive Director

The Foundation’s Executive Director, Dr. Scott A. Siegel, retires at the end of 2023, after serving the Foundation for the past 3 years. President Walter emphasizes that “Scott has been an impactful leader who has made significant contributions to the Foundation during his tenure. We extend our heartfelt gratitude for his dedication, vision, and unflagging efforts in advancing our mission.” Dr. Siegel previously spent more than 35 years as a scientific and business leader in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector, working in companies ranging from start-up to large multinational, before turning his attention to the non-profit sector. He also served in several academic teaching roles. Dr. Siegel’s earlier research career is highlighted by his co-invention of Remicade®, a breakthrough anti-TNF therapeutic that has transformed the lives of millions of patients. Dr. Siegel earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from SUNY Downstate Medical Center and completed postdoctoral studies in Pharmacology at the Yale University School of Medicine.

Dr. Siegel has been working closely with the team to ensure a seamless transition of leadership responsibilities. Our best wishes go with him.

Gerard Brandenstein
Managing Director

With over 30 years of dedicated service to the Foundation, Gerard Brandenstein steps into the role of Managing Director effective January 1, 2024. “Gerry’s steadfast commitment to our mission and values has been evident throughout his tenure,” says President Walter. “In his role as Associate Director, Gerry adeptly managed our operational, financial, events, and administrative functions. His passion for our mission, leadership acumen, and strategic vision make him the ideal candidate to guide us into the next chapter of the Foundation’s work.” Mr. Brandenstein is also a member of Touro University’s Institutional Review Board. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Stony Brook University, an M.B.A. from Dowling College, and a master’s degree from New York University. He has continued his post-graduate education with studies at Harvard Business School and Cornell Law School.

Ali Chunovic
Senior Program Manager

Ali Chunovic is promoted to Senior Program Manager effective January 1, 2024. Ms. Chunovic oversees the Foundation’s core grantmaking activities and communications efforts, shaping and leading these pivotal areas. President Walter underscores that “Ali’s unwavering dedication to the Foundation has already yielded positive change during her time here.” Ms. Chunovic joined the Foundation in 2022 having served formerly as Program Associate, Science & the Arts, for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and Public Affairs Associate at The Dana Foundation. Ms. Chunovic earned her bachelor’s degree at Boston University.