Michael Milken joins Focused Ultrasound Foundation board
Trump pardonee joins Charlottesville nonprofit's board
Michael Milken, who was pardoned by President Donald Trump in February over felony charges for securities fraud, has joined the Charlottesville-based Focused Ultrasound Foundation’s board, the organization announced Thursday.
Milken (often referred to as the “junk bond king”) is credited with being part of the development of high-yield bonds and was indicted in 1989 for racketeering and securities fraud as part of an insider trading investigation. After spending 22 months in a minimum security federal prison and paying out $600 million in fines, he has turned his focus to medical research philanthropy, founding the Milken Institute. The Santa Monica, California-based nonprofit think tank focuses on research related to economics, health, aging, human capital, philanthropy and capital markets. He is also the co-founder of the Milken Family Foundation, which focuses on education reform and teacher recognition.
In a White House statement issued about the pardon, the Trump administration said, “Since his release, Mr. Milken has dedicated his life to philanthropy, continuing charitable work that he began before his indictment. Over the years, Mr. Milken—either personally or through foundations he created—has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in critical funding to medical research, education, and disadvantaged children.”
The statement also noted that “Mr. Milken’s work also democratized corporate finance by providing women and minorities access to capital that would have been unavailable to them otherwise.”
Fortune magazine has called Milken “The Man Who Changed Medicine.” In 2008, he was listed as one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century by Forbes magazine for his role in founding FasterCures, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank focused on accelerating medical research. The Forbes list also included high-profile leaders such as Mark Zuckerberg, Bill and Melinda Gates, and Bill and Hillary Clinton.
“Focused ultrasound is an exciting development that’s pushing out the frontiers of medical science,” Milken said in a statement. “I’ve never been more hopeful about continued progress.” One of the Milken Institute’s 10 centers FasterCures works with the Focused Ultrasound Foundation on medical research.
Milken earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and earned his master’s degree in business administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
The Focused Ultrasound Foundation also announced Thursday that Gary Shapiro has joined the board. Shapiro, the president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), lobbies for innovation and technology in Washington, D.C.
“Focused ultrasound is an innovative treatment that works, and we need to adopt it globally,” Shapiro said in a statement. “As humans, we can always do better. Focused ultrasound can improve millions of lives.”
A New York Times bestselling author, Shapiro wrote “Ninja Future: Secrets to Success in the New World of Innovation,” “Ninja Innovation: The Ten Killer Strategies of the World’s Most Successful Businesses” and “The Comeback: How Innovation will Restore the American Dream.” He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics and psychology from Binghamton University and his law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.
“The addition of Michael and Gary – two of the most highly acclaimed thought leaders and influencers – will amplify the Foundation’s ability to achieve its vision of improving the lives of millions of patients globally with life-threatening and disabling conditions by accelerating the development and adoption of focused ultrasound,” Foundation Chairman Dr. Neal F. Kassell said in a statement.
The Focused Ultrasound Foundation was founded in 2006 and works to accelerate development of focused ultrasound, a noninvasive therapeutic technology that is being explored as a treatment for numerous medical conditions, including neurological disorders. Other board members include bestselling novelist John Grisham.