Board of Directors


Joseph R. Swedish – MHA

Non-executive Chairman

Joseph. R. Swedish has more than two decades of healthcare leadership experience as the CEO for major United States healthcare enterprises. Most recently, he has served as Executive Chairman, President and CEO of Anthem Inc., America’s leading health benefits provider. For 12 consecutive years, Modern Healthcare named Mr Swedish as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare, ranking in the top 20 of the health sector’s most senior level executives, high-level government administrators, elected officials, academics, and thought leaders for five consecutive years. Prior to joining Anthem, Mr Swedish was CEO for several major integrated healthcare delivery systems, including Trinity Health and Colorado’s Centura Health. He has been a Mesoblast board member since June 2018, and also serves on the boards of IBM Corporation, CDW Corporation, and Centrexion Therapeutics. Mr Swedish is a member of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business Board of Visitors. Previously, he was Chairman of the Catholic Health Association. Mr Swedish received a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina and his master’s degree in health administration from Duke University.


William M. Burns – BA

Non-executive Vice Chairman

Mr Burns has served on the Board of Directors since 2014 and was appointed Vice Chairman in 2016. He spent his entire management career at the Beecham Group and F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. Mr Burns was Chief Executive Officer of Roche Pharmaceuticals from 2001 to 2009, when he joined the Board of Directors of F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. until he retired in 2014. He is the Chair of Molecular Partners, and has been a Non-Executive Director of Shire PLC, Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Genentech, Crucell, and Chairman of Biotie Therapies Corp. from 2014 until its sale to Acorda Therapeutics Inc. in 2016. Mr Burns is also a member of the Oncology Advisory Board of the Universities of Cologne/Bonn in Germany. In 2014, he was appointed a trustee of the Institute of Cancer Research, London, and in 2016 a Governor of The Wellcome Trust in London, UK.


Silviu Itescu – MBBS, FRACP

Chief Executive Officer (Executive Director)

Dr Itescu has served on the Board of Directors since the Company's founding in 2004, was Executive Director from 2007, and became Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director in 2011. Prior to founding Mesoblast in 2004, he established an international reputation as a physician scientist in the fields of stem cell biology, autoimmune diseases, organ transplantation, and heart failure. Dr Itescu has been a faculty member of Columbia University in New York, and the University of Melbourne and Monash University in Australia. In 2013, Dr Itescu received the inaugural Key Innovator Award from the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture for his leadership in translational science and clinical medicine in relation to adult stem cell therapy. In 2011, he was named BioSpectrum Asia Person of the Year. Dr Itescu has consulted for various international pharmaceutical companies, has been an adviser to biotechnology and health care investor groups, and has served on the Board of Directors of several publicly-listed life sciences companies.


jane bell photo

Jane C. Bell - B.Ec, LLB, LLM (London), FAICD

Non-Executive Director

Ms Bell is a banking and finance lawyer with 22 years of corporate finance expertise focussing on international investment transactions in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom, including funds management, mergers, acquisitions, and divestments. She has served as a non-executive Director in a diverse range of highly regulated sectors including delivery of healthcare, life sciences, medical research, and funds management. Ms Bell currently serves as Deputy Chair of Monash Health, one of Australia’s largest and most diverse public health service delivering more than 3.46 million episodes of care across an extensive network of hospitals, rehabilitation, aged care, community health and mental health facilities and a former Chair of Melbourne Health. From 2014 until 2021 she was a director of U Ethical, Australia’s first ethical funds manager with over $1.2B of funds under management, and a member of its Investment Committee. She has also been a director of Hudson Institute of Medical Research, is currently a director of Amplia Therapeutics, and Chairs Advisory Groups for the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance.

Michael Spooner – BCom, ACA

Non-Executive Director

Mr Spooner has served on the Board of Directors since 2004. During this period he has filled various roles including as Chairman from the date of the ASX public listing in 2004 until 2007, Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee as well as a member of the Remuneration Committee. Over the past several years Mr Spooner has served on the Board of Directors in various capacities at several Australian and international biotechnology companies, including BiVacor Pty Ltd (2009-2013), Advanced Surgical Design & Manufacture Limited (2010-2011), Peplin, Inc. (2004-2009), Hawaii Biotech, Inc. (2010-2012), Hunter Immunology Limited (2007-2008), and Ventracor Limited (2001-2003). Prior to returning to Australia in 2001, he spent much of his career internationally where he served in various roles including as a partner to PA Consulting Group, a United Kingdom-based management consultancy and a Principal Partner and Director of Consulting Services with PricewaterhouseCoopers (Coopers & Lybrand) in Hong Kong. In addition, Mr Spooner has owned and operated several international companies providing services and has consulted to a number of American and Asian public companies.


Eric Rose – MD

Chief Medical Officer (Executive Director)

Dr. Rose is a highly respected physician scientist with focus on clinical investigation, drug discovery, biodefense, and health policy. As a world-renowned heart surgeon and scientist, Dr. Rose led the Columbia Presbyterian heart transplantation program from 1982 through 1992 and made history in 1984 when he performed the first successful pediatric heart transplant. From 1994 through 2007, he served as Chairman of Columbia University’s Department of Surgery and Surgeon-in-Chief of Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York. During this time his leadership of the NIH supported program Randomized Evaluation of Mechanical Circulatory Support in Heart Failure (REMATCH) resulted in the first FDA approval of an implantable left ventricular assist device for long term circulatory support, spawning an entire new industry. From 2007-2011, Dr. Rose served on the National Biodefense Scientific Board which advises the United States Health and Human Services Secretary on biodefense, influenza, and emerging diseases. In 2007 he was appointed Chairman and CEO of SIGA Technologies where he oversaw development of the first antipoxviral drug approved in the United States, TPOXX for the treatment of smallpox. Dr. Rose played a key role in obtaining FDA approval of the drug in 2019, and he was responsible for securing contracts with BARDA under which the US Government has procured 1.7 million courses of TPOXX for more than US$1billion into the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). Dr Rose continues to be a non-executive director of leading implantable cardiovascular device company, ABIOMED.


Philip J. Facchina – MBA

Non-Executive Director

Mr Facchina brings more than 35 years of experience in corporate strategy, finance, and business development across several industries, including healthcare. Since 2018, Mr Facchina has been Chief Strategy Officer at SurgCenter, overseeing the company’s strategic relationships, including its relationships with the broad US ambulatory surgical center (ASC) market and its constituents. Prior to SurgCenter, Mr Facchina spent two decades in the public and private capital markets, where he directly managed public and private capital transactions of equity and debt, led M&A and special advisory processes including take-privates. From 2008 to 2017, Mr Facchina served as a Partner, Co-Portfolio Manager and the Chief Operating Officer of Ramsey Asset Management, an institutional investment management firm, and from 1998 to 2008 Mr Facchina led the technology, media, and communications and healthcare investment banking groups of FBR Capital Markets. Mr Facchina currently serves as an independent director for ViON Corporation and MilltechFX, and is Advisor to the CEO of Johanna Foods Inc., where he chairs the Audit Committee. Previously, among other directorships and committee posts, Mr. Facchina served on the Board of (Nasdaq:WEB), where he led Corporate Governance.

Philip Krause, MD, MS, MBA

Non-Executive Director

With over 30 years of experience at the Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Krause has a unique combination of scientific, regulatory, clinical, and public health experience. He is a physician with board certification in internal medicine and infectious diseases and a researcher with over 100 publications on topics spanning clinical evaluation of vaccines, viral pathogenesis and immunology, and biological product development. He is currently an independent consultant, providing strategic and regulatory advice related to biological product development. He recently served as deputy director of FDA’s Office of Vaccines Research and Review, where he led assessments of biological products for evaluation and licensure and helped to oversee the development and evaluation of all vaccines authorized and licensed in the US over the past 10 years. He graduated from Yale Medical School (MD), Florida State University (MBA) and the University of Illinois (BS and MS in Computer Science).


Niva Sivakumar – BCom, LLB

Joint Company Secretary

Ms Sivakumar joined Mesoblast’s legal team in 2014 and is a member of the company’s Intellectual Property Committee. Previously, she was a senior associate in the corporate and commercial teams at major law firm, Dentons, and a senior lawyer at K&L Gates. Ms Sivakumar has a Commerce/Law degree from the University of Melbourne. She was included in The Legal 500’s Guide to Australia’s Rising Stars 2019.


Paul Hughes BPharm, BBus (Banking & Finance)

Joint Company Secretary

Mr Hughes began working with Mesoblast in February 2019 and has served as the Company’s Global Head of Corporate Communications since December 2020. He has an extensive background as an investment banker and corporate advisor for firms including Macquarie Bank and Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Mr Hughes has a Bachelor of Pharmacy and Bachelor of Business (Banking & Finance) from Monash University, Melbourne.