Our Team

Empowering a Diverse STEM Workforce Together

HOW IT ALL STARTED

It all started when Bill Rastetter and H. Puentes met in the summer of 2020. They immediately recognized their similar backgrounds and shared belief that incredible talent can be found anywhere.

 

A San Diego scientist, entrepreneur, and venture capitalist, Rastetter grew up across Latin America and has been instrumental in building some of San Diego’s most influential companies. However, he noticed, many of these companies aren’t very reflective of the communities they serve. He wanted to change that. H. Puentes is no stranger to the challenges that underrepresented students face. The child of Colombian immigrants, he has raised over $5M to increase diversity in tech, helping entrepreneurs and students access the resources they need to succeed.

 

Out of their shared vision, SD2 was born.  SD2 was founded alongside a group of committed leaders on a mission to increase diversity in STEM careers for underrepresented students and their educators through programming, mentorship, and scholarship.

SD2 Co-Founders Bill Rastetter and H

Meet the Team

Our team is a group of business and community leaders, listeners, and learners united in their shared passion to transform the future of the STEM workforce.

Julie Cooke - SD2 Board Member Chief Human Resource Officer, Neurocrine Biosciences

SD2 Board Member
Chief Human Resource Officer, Neurocrine Biosciences

Tamara Y. Craver - SD2 Ex-Officio Board Member President & CEO, Reality Changers

SD2 Ex-Officio Board Member
President & CEO, Reality Changers

Madi Highsmith - SD2 Program Director

SD2 Program Director

Mike Hird - SD2 Board Member Partner, Pillsbury Law

SD2 Board Member
Partner, Pillsbury Law

Aimee Hoyt - SD2 Board Member Chief People Officer, Illumina

SD2 Board Member
Chief People Officer, Illumina

Darin Lippoldt - SD2 Corporate Secretary Chief Legal Officer, Neurocrine Biosciences

SD2 Corporate Secretary
Chief Legal Officer, Neurocrine Biosciences

Gentry Patrick, PhD - SD2 Board Member Professor of Neurobiology & Creator, Director PATHS Scholars Program, UC San Diego

SD2 Board Member
Professor of Neurobiology &
Creator, Director PATHS Scholars Program, UC San Diego

H. Puentes - SD2 Co-Founder & Board Member Executive Director

SD2 Co-Founder & Board Member
Executive Director


Bill Rastetter, PhD - SD2 Founder & Chairman of the Board

SD2 Founder & Chairman of the Board

Charles Theuer, MD, PhD - SD2 Board Member President & CEO, TRACON Pharmaceuticals

SD2 Board Member
President & CEO, TRACON Pharmaceuticals

Paul Vaden - SD2 Board Member Founder, Answer The Bell

SD2 Board Member
Founder, Answer The Bell

Esther Martinborough, PhD - SD2 Board Member Senior Vice President of Research, Escient Pharmaceuticals

SD2 Board Member
Senior Vice President of Research, Escient Pharmaceuticals

Carlos Ramirez - SD2 Ex-Officio Board Member Senior Associate, Cooley LLP

SD2 Ex-Officio Board Member
Senior Associate, Cooley LLP

OUR PARTNERS IN CHANGE

Together, we support programs that make STEM disciplines and careers visible, accessible, goal-worthy, and achievable. We work with a diverse coalition of community partners to leverage our resources and maximize our impact. We’re incredibly grateful for the commitment our partners consistently demonstrate to increasing diversity in STEM careers in San Diego.

EMPOWERING TOMORROW’S STEM LEADERS TODAY™

LET’S RESHAPE THE FUTURE OF STEM TODAY