Chief Executive Officer
John L. Higgins is Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Ligand. Prior to joining our company, Mr. Higgins served as Chief Financial Officer at Connetics Corporation, a specialty pharmaceutical company, since 1997, and also served as Executive Vice President, Finance and Administration and Corporate Development at Connetics until its acquisition by Stiefel Laboratories, Inc. in December 2006. Before joining Connetics, he was a member of the executive management team at BioCryst Pharmaceuticals. Prior to BioCryst, Mr. Higgins was a member of the healthcare banking team of Dillon, Read & Co. Inc., an investment banking firm. Mr. Higgins serves on the board, audit committee and nominations & governance committee of Bio-Techne Corporation, a publicly-traded life sciences services. Mr. Higgins has served as a director on numerous public and private companies. He also serves as the chairperson of the board of trustees of Academy of Whole Learning, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational and therapy services to children of underrepresented communities. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Colgate University with an A.B. in economics.
President and Chief Operating Officer
Matthew W. Foehr, has been our President and Chief Operating Officer since January 2015. Prior to that time, Mr. Foehr served as our Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer since 2011, and has more than 20 years of experience managing global research and development programs. Prior to joining our company in 2011, he was Vice President and Head of Consumer Dermatology R&D, as well as Acting Chief Scientific Officer of Dermatology, in the Stiefel division of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Following GSK’s $3.6 billion acquisition of Stiefel in 2009, Mr. Foehr led the R&D integration of Stiefel into GSK. At Stiefel Laboratories, Inc., Mr. Foehr served as Senior Vice President of Global R&D Operations, Senior Vice President of Product Development & Support, and Vice President of Global Supply Chain Technical Services. Prior to Stiefel, Mr. Foehr held various executive roles at Connetics Corporation including Senior Vice President of Technical Operations and Vice President of Manufacturing. Mr. Foehr serves on the Board of Directors of Viking Therapeutics, Inc., a publicly-traded biotechnology company and served as a director of Ritter Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from February 2015 until its merger with Qualigen Therapeutics, Inc. in May 2020. Mr. Foehr is the author of multiple scientific publications and is named on numerous U.S. patents. He received his B.S. degree in biology from Santa Clara University.
Executive Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer
Matthew Korenberg, has served as our Executive Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer since January 2018 and prior to that as our Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer since August 2015. Prior to joining our company, commencing in September 2013, Mr. Korenberg was the founder, Chief Executive Officer and a director of NeuroCircuit Therapeutics, a company focused on developing drugs to treat genetic disorders of the brain with an initial focus on Down syndrome. Prior to founding NeuroCircuit Therapeutics, Mr. Korenberg was a Managing Director and member of the healthcare investment banking team at Goldman Sachs from July 1999 through August 2013. During his 14 year tenure at Goldman Sachs, Mr. Korenberg was focused on advising and financing companies in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors and was based in New York, London and San Francisco. Prior to Goldman Sachs, Mr. Korenberg was a healthcare investment banker at Dillon, Read & Co. Inc. where he spent two years working with healthcare companies in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors and industrial companies. Mr. Korenberg serves on the board, audit and compensation committees of Qualigen Therapeutics, Inc., a company which develops and manufactures oncology focused therapeutics and diagnostic products. Mr. Korenberg holds a B.B.A. in Finance and Accounting from the University of Michigan.
Charles Berkman, JD
Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
Charles S. Berkman, J.D., has served as our Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary since January 2018 and prior to that as our Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary since April 2007. Mr. Berkman joined our company in November 2001 and previously served as Associate General Counsel and Chief Patent Counsel for our company (and Secretary since March 2007). Prior to joining our company, Mr. Berkman was an attorney at the international law firm of Baker & McKenzie from November 2000 to November 2001. Before that he served as an attorney at the law firm of Lyon & Lyon from 1993 to November 2000, where he specialized in intellectual property law. Mr. Berkman earned a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Texas and a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law.
Senior Vice President, Human Resources
Audrey Warfield-Graham directs Human Resources at Ligand. Ms. Warfield-Graham has worked continuously in the Human Resources department since joining the Company in December 1994. She has held a progression of positions with increased responsibilities during her tenure at Ligand. She was promoted to Senior Vice President, Human Resources in 2018 and to Vice President, Human Resources in 2007. Her previous human resources experience was with Fresh Western, an interstate agricultural business located in Monterey County, California. Ms. Warfield-Graham's management experience includes benefits administration, change management, employee relations, leave management, recruitment, staffing strategies, stock administration and performance management. She received her SPHR certification in January 2007.