Medical Industry Leadership Institute Executive Residence

The Medical Industry Leadership Institute (MILI) Executive in Residence (EIR) Program is comprised of highly accomplished healthcare industry leaders who enhance the academic environment of MILI by sharing their professional expertise.  EIRs engage directly with students and faculty by participating in activities such as teaching, mentoring, and coaching as well as interacting with the Carlson School, the University and business communities to advance the mission of MILI.

Key Objectives

Establish Carlson as one of the most prestigious business schools that is especially well known for MILI, the strength in medical industry and resulting placement power for its graduates in the medical industry. EIRs will:

  • Expand the medical industry competencies of MILI/Carlson students by:
    • Providing insight regarding emerging dynamics and opportunities in medical industry.
    • Leveraging their relationships to identify other experts in the medical industry who can share their industry expertise.
    • Identifying priority areas for adding and/or revising MILI’s curriculum.
  • Support students in pursuing professional opportunities by:
    • Broadening students’ awareness regarding how and where to leverage their talent and advanced degree in the market.
    • Offering individual career advice and mentoring.
    • Coaching students on resume development, networking tactics, and interviewing skills.
    • Making personalized introductions and recommendations, as appropriate, to potential employers.
  • Engage with faculty to make academic research relevant to medical industry businesses by:
    • Being accessible to faculty and offering insight to real-life business dynamics.
    • Identifying opportunities to conduct “translational research” that puts faculty members’ research into practice.

Executives in Residence

John Alexander's Headshot

Mr. Alexander has 30 years experience starting & building technology-based businesses and currently serves as President of Business Development Advisors, Inc., “BDA”, (ww  – a consulting firm specializing in starting, building, and turning around early-stage & dynamic growth companies.  During a leave from BDA, Mr. Alexander was CEO of Chameleon Scientific, where he led its turnaround, then raised $11 million which took the company to 23 filed & 1 issued patent, to projects/revenues with 9 major medical device customers.  Previously, he was Vice President of Corporate Development for St. Jude Medical (StJM).  He led M&A efforts which transformed StJM from a single product line, $200 million dollar company into an $840 million multiple platform company in 3 years.  He has been Director of Business Development at Baxter Diagnostics, in Mergers &Acquisitions at W.R. Grace & Co., and with G.E. Venture Capital.  He holds an MBA from Darden / University of Virginia, and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering / Carnegie-Mellon University.  He is Founder and Chairman of Twin Cities Angels (now on its third Fund), led the business efforts resulting in the successful enactment of the Minnesota Angel Investor Tax Credit (and 3 subsequent revisions of that bill) and was appointed by the Governor to serve on the Science and Technology Council.

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Susan Alpert's Headshot

Susan Alpert, MD, PhD. recently retired from Medtronic, where she served as senior vice president and chief regulatory officer. Prior to joining the device industry, Alpert spent 13 years at the FDA where she worked in drug, medical device, and food safety regulation. She is one of the founding members of MILI’s National Industry Council and is now MILI’s executive in residence. In this new role, Alpert helps foster MILI’s close working relationships with global medical industry leaders and shares her expertise with students and affiliates.

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Michael Finch's Headshot

Michael Finch, Ph.D., received his degree in Sociology from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Finch is known for his work on the cost, quality and financing of health care in the public and private market and is nationally recognized  has as an expert in research methods and evaluation.  From 1984 through 1998 he was a member of the faculty of the Division of Health Services Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. From 1998 through 2004 Dr. Finch was Director of Research Programs for UnitedHealth Group. He currently serves as an Executive in Residence in the Medical Industry Leadership Institute in the Carlson School of Management and serves as Manger, design and analytics at Children’s Hospital and Clinics.

Dr. Finch’s community service includes Chair of the Board of the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency from 1995 through 2011 and  a member and Chair of the Board of  the Healthier Minnesota Community Clinic Fund Board from 2004-2008.

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Paul Gam's Headshot


Paul Gam is co-founder and CEO of Zurich Medical, an innovator of cardiovascular devices designed for cost effectiveness and ease of use, and contributor to the pursuit of reducing healthcare costs around the world. He is a CPA (Inactive), a CGMA, and has earned the NACD Directorship Certification.  Paul serves on the Board of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and Argon Medical Devices.   

Paul was Vice President, International Development at St. Jude Medical (now part of Abbott Laboratories), where he led mergers and acquisitions, developed strategic alliances, and drove other business development initiatives for the $3 billion International Division from 2002 to 2011. He established the company's first Wholly Owned Foreign Enterprise in China and served as its Legal Representative and Chairman of the Board. In his positions at Medtronic from 1997 to 2002, Paul was Finance Director of the Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management business, and then head of Global Internal Audit.

Paul served as an advisor to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  He was the Chairman of the Minnesota World Trade Center and an advisor to Minnesota gubernatorial international trade missions.  He served on the Minnesota Commission on Judicial Selection and the Board of Judicial Standards.  Under his leadership as Chapter President, Minnesota was twice awarded Best Chapter of the Year by the OCA, a national organization dedicated to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian-Pacific Americans in the United States.  Paul also served on the Professional Ethics Committee of the Minnesota Society of CPAs.  

Paul is a W.K. Kellogg National Fellow, a Salzburg Global Fellow, a Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow, and an NACD Governance Fellow. He was the recipient of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Minority Business Executive Award, the CityBusiness 40 Under 40 Award, and the Twin Cities International Citizen Award.

Paul earned a B.Sc. in Accounting and an M.B.A. at the Carlson School of Management.  He is also a graduate of Queen’s College in Hong Kong.

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Archelle Georgiou's Headshot

Dr. Archelle Georgiou is President of Georgiou Consulting, a firm that helps companies grow by helping them design products and services that have a meaningful impact on health and healthcare. She works with a portfolio of companies and strategic partners including TripleTree, a mergers and acquisitions firm,Fox9 news where she hosts a twice-weekly healthcare segment, the Copper Development Association and Healthgrades.

Since 2009, Dr. Georgiou has served on the Board of Directors of PRGX, Inc., a recovery audit firm based in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to founding her consulting practice, Dr. Georgiou spent 13 years as an executive with UnitedHealth Group.

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Thomas Gunderson's Headshot

Thomas Gunderson (retired) was managing director and senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray, following medical technology companies. In more than 20 years as an analyst, Gunderson was recognized by several industry publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Institutional Investor, Thomson Reuters and First Call. In retirement, he continues to remain in the healthcare sector.

He is on the Board of Directors of the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, as well as serving on the Boards of two public medtech companies (Merit Medical and Transmedics, Inc.).  Gunderson holds a bachelor's degree from Carleton College and graduate degrees in cell biology and business administration.

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Julia Halberg EIR Headshot

Dr. Julia Halberg is a physician and business executive with a passion for healthcare quality improvement to deliver innovative and disruptive health and well-being strategies.

Julia’s career spans work in private practice, hospital-based health systems, and with insurers in the areas of workers’ compensation and disability management. Her diverse background gives her a deep understanding of the healthcare industry from multiple perspectives. Her areas of expertise include employer health solutions leading to value-driven health care with improved quality and cost-appropriate care.

Most recently, she served as the Chief Health Officer for XanthosHealth LLC, a healthcare technology start-up company. In addition, Julia was the Principal Investigator for a successfully completed Phase 1 NIH/NCI Small Business Innovation Research Grant to design software to address the Social Determinants of Health in Oncology Practices. 

Prior to this, she led General Mills’ Global Health department as their Chief Medical Officer managing its on-site clinic, designing the company’s global approach to preventive care, providing health advocacy to employees, and partnering with the Benefits team to implement company-wide well-being programs.

Julia earned her medical degree from the University of Connecticut. She received a Master of Science degree in biology/ecology and a Master of Public Health degree in epidemiology from the University of Minnesota.

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Julie Kemp's Headshot

Julie Kemp, Vice President, Marketing joined Vital in December, 2013. Ms. Kemp leads all aspects of global marketing within Vital, including product management, commercialization, medical education programs, and marketing communication. Ms. Kemp has over 15 years of cross-functional marketing experience at both Medtronic and GE Healthcare, with her most recent role leading Global Market Development for the Cardiac Rhythm and Diagnostics Division at Medtronic.

During her earlier professional career, she managed global pre-market clinical trials and was a field clinical engineer. Ms. Kemp earned her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Minnesota, and her Master in Business Administration from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

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Gopal Khanna

Gopal Khanna is a serial transformational change agent.  His experience, expertise and passion centers at the intersection of industry, government, and entrepreneurship, with special focus on healthcare and emerging technologies.  He has led enterprise transformation initiatives in the private sector as well as federal and state government.  He has held senior executive positions in corporate America and served two presidents and two governors in senior policy and executive leadership positions. 

Most recently, Mr. Khanna served as the Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) from May 2017 through January 2021.  Mr. Khanna led the Agency's mission of producing evidence to make delivery of health care safer, higher quality, more accessible, equitable, and affordable, and working within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and with other Federal, State, Local and public and private sector partners, to make sure that the evidence is understood and used at the point of care.  During his service as AHRQ director, Mr. Khanna hosted and participated in Roundtable Discussions on a broad array of topics, including amongst others: Learning Health System; Future of Health Services Research (HSR); Data Innovations for Improving Transparency in Healthcare Cost and Quality; Research Priorities for Patient Safety Improvement in Ambulatory Care; and Multiple Chronic Conditions Research Summit.  He also participated in Roundtable Discussions at the National Academy of Medicine.  Additionally, Mr. Khanna was Ex Officio member of the Board of Directors of the National Quality Forum (NQF) and Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) in Washington D.C.

Prior to his leadership position at AHRQ, Mr. Khanna was director of Illinois' Healthcare and Human Services Innovation Incubator (HHSi2), an initiative of Governor Bruce Rauner.  Earlier, Mr. Khanna was a member of Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty's Cabinet, Commissioner and the State's first chief information officer.  Prior to that, he served in the administration of President George W. Bush in a number of senior executive positions, including CFO and CIO of the United States Peace Corps, and chief financial officer of the Executive Office of the President.

Prior to his service in government, Gopal Khanna was in the private sector where he held leadership positions with insurance companies in New York, Florida and Minneapolis in marketing, sales, strategic planning and information technology.  He was Vice President of Administration and CIO for the American Hardware Insurance Group.  Additionally, Mr. Khanna has consulted with Fortune 1000 companies on IT program management and futures based strategic planning, and has launched Hi-Tech startup ventures from his basement.  

Earlier Mr. Khanna was a Senior Fellow at the Technological Leadership Institute (TLI) at the University of Minnesota, and member of board of advisors of TLI.  He is founder of Minnesota Cyber Security Summit and worked with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Minnesota’s bio-tech industry to develop cybersecurity guidelines for the safe use of networked medical devices.

Mr. Khanna has served on several industry, non-profit and community work groups and boards.  He was president of the National Association of State CIOs (NASCIO).  More recently, at AHRQ, Mr. Khanna hosted and participated in Roundtable Discussions on a broad array of topics, including amongst others: Learning Health System; Future of Health Services Research (HSR); Data Innovations for Improving Transparency in Healthcare Cost and Quality; Research Priorities for Patient Safety Improvement in Ambulatory Care; and Multiple Chronic Conditions Research Summit.  Additionally, Mr. Khanna was Ex Officio member of board of directors of National Quality Forum (NQF) and Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

Mr. Khanna has been recognized nationally for his innovative and transformational work in government and industry in publications including Computerworld, Government Technology, Information Week and Twin Cities Business.  Mr. Khanna was listed by Twin Cities Business as “200 Minnesotans You Should Know” and was cited as a “Doer, Dreamer, and Driver” in Government Technology's listing of Top 25 public sector innovators.

Mr. Khanna earned a BA in economics, mathematics, and political science from Christ Church College in Kanpur, India, and holds an MBA from the University of Maine. Mr. Khanna lives with his wife, Anjali in Plymouth, Minnesota and has two grown-up children.

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Bil Knutson's Headshot

Bill is a senior healthcare executive and consultant with extensive experience in strategy formulation, physician integration, campus development, service line formation and operational performance.  Bill held numerous leadership positions in the HealthEast system in Minnesota; most of his 20 years working at St John’s Hospital achieving the role of Vice President/Administrator.  His numerous consulting projects in hospital and senior services include developing/implementing: a neurologist/hospital call system, a medical tourism hospital, senior living campus, geriatric physician practice, payer contracting for a national primary clinic group, critical access hospital strategic plans and has served as an advisor to medical device startup companies. 

Currently Bill is developing a virtual ACO in rural Minnesota ,CEO of a Care Choice Cooperative , owner of a wound care startup and partner in an physician practice and consulting group for post- acute services.   Bill has a Master’s in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.

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Dale Wahlstrom's Headshot
Dale retired from Medtronic in 2006 after 24 years. Most recently he served as V.P. of CRDM Venture Programs. Prior to this he served as VP/GM of the CRDM Therapy Delivery business. Before Medtronic, he held management and sales positions at Litton Microwave and Burroughs Corporation and managed a clean technology start-up company.

From 2006 until May of 2014 he served as the President and CEO for LifeScience Alley and The BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota.  From 2007 until 2009 Dale led efforts to develop a long-term strategy called Destination 2025 that focuses on the development and growth of high potential biology based industries in the state of MN.  From 2011 until 2013 he served as the Founding Executive Director of the Medical Device Innovation Consortium (MDIC), a public private partnership between the FDA and the medical device industry with a mission to enhance the productivity of the medical device eco-system within the United States. 

Today he is the President and CEO of Act 3, LLC, a consulting, engineering, and investment firm that focuses on helping companies to expand their global markets, assisting start up companies, and providing unique program management services in the development of capabilities that extend across public and private sectors.  Act 3 has established an experienced global network of professionals that can be leveraged to meet the needs of virtually any high knowledge content company ranging from an early stage startup to fortune 500 global enterprises.

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Additional Resources and Expertise with the Earl E. Bakken Medical Devices Center's Encore Mentorship Program


The Encore Program at the Earl E. Bakken Medical Devices Center, University of Minnesota seeks mid- and late-career professionals and retirees interested in volunteer involvement with biomedical engineering and device-related innovation for the benefit of patients and patient care across the age range.

Clinicians, caregivers, engineers of all stripes, biologic scientists, business people, physicians, nurses, computer professionals and innovators and experts are invited to enquire about these opportunities to take on encore responsibilities, mentor students and fellows, and contribute to new devices and approaches to patient care and diagnosis. All medical and engineering specialties are welcome.

Website for more information: Encore Mentorship Program | Earl E. Bakken Medical Devices Center (


Contact Medical Industry Leadership Institute