Joan Siefert Rose, who recently stepped down as CEO of the Council for Entrepreneurial Development and joined an RTP consulting firm, is now wearing another hat.

She’s the new CEO of LaunchBio, a California-based nonprofit group focusing on life science startups.

In a detailed Q&A, Rose discusses her new mission – and why she accepted the challenge.

Why take a CEO job so soon after leaving another one? Weren’t you a bit tired after your years at CED (and all that fundraising)?

I’m a little surprised, too! But the chance to build something new, working on something significant with people I like, was too good to pass up..

Why were you interested? What is the group’s mission and how does that fit with your skillset/interests? How does this job differ and/or resemble your CED job?

This is a national organization, so while I will be based in North Carolina, I will be tapping into relationships in the other large life science hubs — Boston, San Francisco and San Diego. I love the chance to build a support network that connects these regions, while bringing new resources to entrepreneurs in North Carolina.

I believe the work of LaunchBio will amplify the work that CED does, and look forward to a close partnership

Was keeping your home in the Triangle a key prerequisite?

Yes, I always intended to stay here

What exactly will be your role/duties?

Creating meaningful connections for life science entrepreneurs among the key hubs through education, introductions, and some signature programs.

The board of LaunchBio is particularly interested in expanding access to capital for early stage companies by connecting them to venture philanthropy and social impact investors who want to help advance scientific discoveries to improve human health.

How does this organization fit with what’s happening in the Triangle?

If you look at the other communities where life science innovation is thriving, the networks are quite dense. There are many organizations and individuals making connections that help entrepreneurs build companies.

The addition of LaunchBio to the Triangle is a sign that our community is maturing. I will be spending some of my time at BioLabs-North Carolina, a co-working space offering entrepreneurs acceleration and capital efficiency, that will be coming on line in the Chesterfield Building in Durham later this year. It’s one of many new offerings that elevate the profile of the region.

Do you plan to partner/worked with the CED and with NCBIO as well as SEBIO and NC Biotech Center? How so?

Absolutely! It’s essential that we align our efforts. I have great respect for the work that all of them are doing, and consider LaunchBio’s work – connecting people and resources to a nationwide network – a positive addition to the work of these support organizations. I am certain that we will talk regularly to address gaps and opportunities in the market.

How does this affect your relationship with consulting firm CREO? Will you stay involved and work with other clients?

Yes, I remain a senior partner at CREO, and will assist other clients as time allows.

How did you learn about this new position?

I was approached with this opportunity.