Dr. Ekemini A. U. Riley is a director of the Center for Strategic Philanthropy where she provides individual philanthropists and foundations with comprehensive, objective information and counsel related to the state of research for various diseases. Her primary focus is on medical research philanthropy and identifying the areas where philanthropic capital can advance scientific progress.
Dr. Riley has successfully led multiple projects within the center's medical research portfolio, from neurodegeneration and oncology to nephrology. Her projects at the center include leading the development and launch of the Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s (ASAP) Initiative, as well as the Gilbert Family Foundation’s Gene Therapy and Vision Restoration Initiatives. She also helped to execute a groundbreaking organ donation awareness campaign.
Prior to joining the Milken Institute, Dr. Riley worked as a science policy and communications analyst at Ripple Effect Communications, Inc., where she executed several projects across various divisions at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Riley completed her BA in natural sciences from the Johns Hopkins University and PhD in molecular medicine from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Her doctoral research focused on molecular cancer cell biology and gene regulation of an internal blood clotting and tumor suppressor protein.