Founder and Chairman, Conrad Foundation
Nancy Conrad created the Conrad Foundation in 2008 to energize and engage students in science and technology through unique entrepreneurial opportunities. The organization’s flagship program, the Spirit of Innovation Challenge, is a global competition challenging students to combine education, innovation, and entrepreneurship to create products that address real-world challenges and global sustainability. By enabling young minds to connect education, innovation, and entrepreneurship, the Foundation helps provide a bold platform for enriching the innovative workforce of the future.
Ms. Conrad has been a featured speaker at national and international conferences. Her presentations include TED Long Beach and the Legatum Institute at MIT; and, at the invitation of HM King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz, she spoke at the Global Competiveness Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She also presented at the Global Diversity Leadership Conference at Harvard University and the National Modeling and Simulation Coalition conference. As a leader in transformative education, she has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology, detailing how the Conrad Foundation exemplifies the use of partnership and mentorship to improve STEM education.
Ms. Conrad’s interest in patient safety began as a result of the death of her husband, astronaut Charles “Pete” Conrad. On July 8, 1999, less than three weeks before the celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the first moon landing, Pete ran off the road and crashed while motorcycling with friends in Ojai, California. His injuries were first thought to be minor, but he died from internal bleeding about six hours later. He was buried with full honors at Arlington National Cemetery, with many Apollo-era astronauts in attendance. Although her husband’s death brought Ms. Conrad to the quality movement, it is the movement leaders who asked her to stay. Ms. Conrad’s compelling story serves to personalize the need for patients and their families to take responsibility for their care, as well as to highlight the need for systemic changes in the quality of care. Ms. Conrad is co-founder and co-chairman of fundraising of the Community Emergency Healthcare Initiative. This program is designed to measurably affect preventable injury and death now occurring in emergency departments.