Independent Institute Announces New Board Member: News Releases: The Independent Institute

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News Release
May 16, 2019

Independent Institute Announces New Board Member

Oakland, CA—The Independent Institute today announced that Sarah O’Dowd, Senior Vice President at Lam Research Corporation, has been elected to its Board of Directors, as of May 3, 2019. The appointment increases the size of Independent’s Board of Directors to eleven members.

“We are so very thrilled to have Sarah O’Dowd joining with us as a member of our Board of Directors,” said David Theroux, Founder and President of Independent. “Sarah brings an outstanding legal and business organizational background and commitment to excellence. She shares our vision and strongly supports our mission.”

“I am honored to be a Board member of the Independent Institute, and to join in its inspiring mission of advancing liberty and human dignity through exceptional scholarship and innovative communication,” said Sarah O’Dowd.

Sarah is currently the Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer at Lam Research Corporation, a position she has held for over a decade. Lam Research Corporation is a global supplier of innovative wafer fabrication equipment and services to the semiconductor industry.

Previously, Sarah was the Vice President of FibroGen, a leading biopharmaceutical company, and has more than twenty-five years of experience at Heller Ehrman L.L.C, where she was a member of its senior management team and responsible for its corporate practice groups.

Sarah earned both her J.D. and Master of Arts in communications from Stanford University, and previously received a B.A. in mathematics from Immaculata College.

This latest Board of Directors appointment follows two important staffing hires recently made by the Independent Institute.

In August 2018, Independent appointed Graham Walker, Ph.D., as its first Executive Director. Dr. Walker has taught political science at the University of Pennsylvania, Catholic University of America and elsewhere, and was Visiting Scholar in Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ.

In February 2019, Independent welcomed Christopher Briggs as Senior Director of Publications and Public Affairs. Mr. Briggs has served as managing director and owner of Spence Media; vice president for institutional advancement at Ave Maria University; executive director of Aid to the Church in Russia; and senior editor of ISI Books at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.


The Independent Institute is a non-profit, research, and educational organization that promotes the power of independent thinking to boldly advance peaceful, prosperous, and free societies grounded in a commitment to human worth and dignity. For more information, visit For media inquiries, contact Communications Manager Rob Ade: [email protected]; (510) 632-1366, ext. 114.

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