Founder and Former CEO of Gaithersburg’s Emergent BioSolutions, Fuad El-Hibri, Has Passed Away at 64

by MCS Staff
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Emergent BioSutions released a statement last week mourning the loss of founder and former CEO and executive chairman, Fuad El-Hibri, who died peacefully at home early Saturday surrounded by family and loved ones. Per the statement:

Fuad founded Emergent (then BioPort) in 1998 with a single product, BioThrax® (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed), and took the company public in 2006. Having served as CEO for almost 14 years until March 2012, and executive chairman for 10 years until his retirement in March 2022, Fuad was instrumental in growing the company’s portfolio to its current suite of marketed and procured products for a variety of public health threats, including medical countermeasures for anthrax, smallpox, botulism, and chemical warfare agents, as well as overseeing the company’s role in fighting the opioid crisis.

Under Fuad’s leadership, Emergent delivered over 120 million dose-equivalents of COVID-19 vaccine and built a trusted partnership with the U.S. government, including supplying anthrax and smallpox vaccines for the military and inventory for U.S. biodefense. In addition, his focus on quality manufacturing of complex biologics resulted in a full suite of CDMO development services, drug substance and drug product manufacturing, and packaging.

Fuad’s passion for Emergent’s mission – to protect and enhance life – is the foundation of the company’s success. His dedication to public health and preparedness serves as an inspiration for us to continue to build a healthier and safer world. We remain forever grateful for Fuad’s entrepreneurial spirit, bold vision, and generous heart.

In lieu of flowers, his family asks that you consider contributing to the El-Hibri Foundation at: 1420 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036 or making an online donation.

Full obituary, courtesy of Legacy.com below:

Fuad El-Hibri, visionary, entrepreneur, business leader, philanthropist, passed away on April 23, 2022, in Potomac, MD. He was 64 years old.

Born Yahia Fuad El-Hibri on March 2, 1958, in Hildesheim, Germany, to parents Elisabeth (Trunk) and Ibrahim Yahia El-Hibri, he was the product of a multifaith and multicultural upbringing that set the foundation for a life full of understanding and respect for diversity and inclusivity, purposefully in sync with the tenets of his Islamic faith.

After spending his formative youth in Lebanon and Germany, Fuad followed his dream to attend Stanford University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics followed by his graduate work at Yale University, earning a Master’s in Public and Private Management from the School of Management. Fuad’s early career took him around the globe from Saudi Arabia to Indonesia to Australia before finally settling back in the US. It was with his father, Ibrahim, that his career in telecommunications took off and was instrumental in the formation of several GSM networks internationally that successfully brought accessible mobile communication to over 100 million people.

In 1998, Fuad founded what would become the publicly traded American multinational biopharmaceutical company Emergent Biosolutions. Fuad served as its Chief Executive Officer for about fourteen years and its Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors until his retirement in 2022. During that tenure, he gave leadership that was “instrumental in growing the company’s portfolio to its current suite of marketed and procured products for a variety of public health threats, including medical countermeasures for anthrax, smallpox, botulism, and chemical warfare agents, as well as overseeing the company’s role in fighting the opioid crisis.” He led the company in “delivering over 120 million dose equivalents of COVID-19 vaccine.” He was personally dedicated to the mission of protecting life, so much so that he’d made that language part of the company mission: “We protect life.”

Fuad served as the founding Chairman of the El-Hibri Foundation (EHF), which was inspired by his father, Ibrahim El-Hibri, and founded by the family in 2001. He recognized that strategic philanthropy was the best way to address complex societal issues and utilized his business acumen to focus on innovative solutions. Fuad was inspired by the universal values of Islam and supported EHF in its vision of building an inclusive society where everyone can achieve the American Dream in a diverse and inclusive world.

Fuad was deeply grounded in his faith and seamlessly connected in interfaith relationships. He set a high bar, leading with integrity, honesty, excellence, and professionalism that is a model for our communities. Fuad’s philanthropy has helped millions in our communities, most of whom have never met him but have been impacted by his generosity.

Fuad received many accolades for his business successes and philanthropic contributions, especially in protecting and enhancing the lives of millions around the world through life sciences innovation and combating public health threats, including a Citation for Public Service from U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski; the Dar Al-Aytam Shining Stars Award, for his philanthropic contributions for the well-being of orphans; and the Vaccine Industry Excellence Award from the World Vaccine Congress; to name a few. He served on the Board of Trustees of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the International Biomedical Research Alliance, an academic joint venture of the National Institutes of Health, Oxford University and Cambridge University. He also served on the Yale Healthcare Conference Advisory Committee and had the honor of an annual prize (the Fuad El-Hibri ’82 Entrepreneurial Award) for students established in his name at the Yale School of Management.

Fuad was the deeply-adored husband to Nancy El-Hibri and father of two daughters, Faiza (Mitch) and Yusra (Travis) El-Hibri, and a son, Karim (Carley) El-Hibri. In addition to his wife, daughters, son, and beloved mother, Elisabeth El-Hibri, Fuad leaves behind three grandchildren, in whose presence he found great joy. Among those he is survived by from among the El-Hibri diaspora around the world include his brother, Samir (Rima) El-Hibri, and sister, Yasmine El-Hibri Gibellini.
Above all Fuad, whose name means “heart”, will be remembered for his generous heart; a heart that brought people together and encouraged all to be their best in spreading good to this world.

In Arabic there is a saying that seems just as fitting as his name, being that Fuad was a man of virtue, honor, and integrity with the highest appreciation for the equestrian sports: after his battle with pancreatic cancer, “the knight stepped down from his horse.”

The El-Hibri Foundation will carry on Fuad’s legacy. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution to the Foundation at: 1420 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036 or by visiting www.elhibrifoundation.org

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