Elyse I. Summers, J.D., President and CEO
Ms. Summers is AAHRPP's second President and CEO. She provides strategic and substantive leadership and oversight on all aspects of AAHRPP's operations and is looking forward to leading AAHRPP well into the 21st century as the indispensable global organization for the accreditation of human research protection programs.
Ms. Summers was most recently the Director of the Division of Education and Development at the Office for Human Research Protections, a position she had held since January 2008. Ms Summers began working for OHRP and its predecessor, the Office for Protection Research Risks (OPRR), in 1998 in the Division of Compliance Oversight before moving to the Division of Education. Prior to joining OPRR/OHRP, Ms Summers practiced law pertaining to food, drugs, and other medical products. She offered guidance and counseling on Federal regulations and ethical issues related to the conduct of biomedical research. Ms. Summers spent five years before that time in the Office of the Commissioner at FDA, as Special Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner for External Affairs, and later as an original staff member of FDA's Office of Women's Health.
Ms. Summers has spoken extensively and published several articles and book chapters on biomedical and behavioral research and human research protections. She has also practiced the law of tax-exempt organizations, and has spoken and written on that topic as well. At the start of her professional career, Ms. Summers represented research universities at the Association of American Universities. She earned a J.D. from the George Washington University National Law Center and a B.A. from the University of Michigan. She is a member of the Bar of the District of Columbia and of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Michelle Feige, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.-C, Executive Vice-President
As a member of AAHRPP's senior management team, Ms. Feige assists the President and CEO of AAHRPP by providing strategic and substantive contributions to all aspects of AAHRPP's operations.
Prior to joining AAHRPP, she spent eight years as the Senior Public Health Advisor in the Division of Education and Development at the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP). At OHRP, Ms. Feige provided the research community with guidance and education regarding the DHHS regulations for the protection of human subjects through presentations and quality improvement activities. Ms. Feige also worked for eight years in the Office of the Clinical Director at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). She was a founding member of a group of senior clinicians who started a novel program at NIMH designed to protect research subjects with severe psychiatric illnesses. Before joining NIH, Ms. Feige spent several years as a study coordinator conducting psychiatric clinical trials at Georgetown University Hospital. Ms. Feige received her M.S.W. from the University of Michigan and her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin.
Robert Hood, Ph.D., Director of Accreditation
Dr. Hood oversees accreditation operations, and provides substantive and process support for organizations, site visitors, and members of the Council on Accreditation. Dr. Hood is a bioethicist with experience in academia, government, and not-for-profit organizations. He has served as an IRB chair, IRB member, and directed the Human Research Protection Program at the Florida Department of Health, the first public health agency to obtain accreditation. He implemented a public health ethics program at the Department, and chaired a public health ethics advisory committee at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He was an AAHRPP site visitor, team leader, and member of the Council on Accreditation before joining AAHRPP as staff. Previously, he was Associate Professor of Philosophy at Middle Tennessee State University.
Rob Withrow, Director of Operations
As the Director of Operations at AAHRPP, Rob Withrow oversees administrative activities relating to accreditation, beginning with document intake and ending with the delivery of final reports. He supervises all preparation and logistics for site visits. Mr. Withrow utilizes his background in project management to undertake special projects, including AAHRPP’s metrics, and he provides project management support to organizations, site visitors, and AAHRPP staff alike. Prior to joining AAHRPP in 2014, he served as a project manager for a government contract with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that provided administrative staffing to the entire agency. Previously, he was a communications coordinator for a not-for-profit accreditation body, where he spearheaded various projects aimed at quality improvement through benchmark analysis, technical automation, and employee training programs. Mr. Withrow received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing from Radford University in 2008.
Harry C. Frazier, Controller
As a member of AAHRPP's senior staff, Mr. Frazier assists in the development and implementation of sound fiscal policy and procedures. He helps organizations, staff and site visitors navigate and understand the application fee process and site visitor expense reimbursements. He is also responsible for accepting conference and webinar payments as well as any matters involving accounts receivable and accounts payable.Mr. Frazier brings over 28 years of accounting experience to AAHRPP by having served in a variety of industries including non-profit organizations, financial institutions and in the education sector. Prior to AAHRPP, Mr. Frazier was the Director of Accounting at the Art Institute of Washington, overseeing all aspects of accounting and finance for the campus. He also served as the corporate accounting trainer for the Art Institutes across the U.S. Mr. Frazier has also served as Treasurer and is a founding member of the International Capoeira Angola Foundation, an international non-profit working to preserve the history and traditions of Capoeira Angola. Mr. Frazier received his BA degree from Strayer University, Washington, D.C.