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November 17, 2022

Alumni Spotlight: Nathan Pollard

Nathan Pollard

Name: Nathan Pollard
Title: Associate General Counsel Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)
Firm Background: Associate in the Intellectual Property group in Washington, D.C. 2011-2017.

The legal profession was part of Nathan Pollard’s life from the very beginning: his father was an attorney, and — like many kids from the Washington, D.C., area — Nathan grew up with a lot of other lawyers in his life. He always had the idea of law school in mind, but it wasn’t until he studied at William and Mary Law School that he started gravitating toward intellectual property.

During his time with the firm’s IP group, Nathan was energized by projects that found him working directly with clients or other aspects of business development. Nathan believes the skills he honed regarding managing client needs, goals and expectations ultimately helped him land his current an in-house position as associate general counsel for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

“I strongly believe in the mission and in the work that PCORI does,” Nathan said. “PCORI occupies a unique and necessary position in the U.S. health research enterprise. Its mission is to support more informed health and health care decision making by funding health research. Specifically, PCORI is the nation’s leading funder of what’s called comparative clinical effectiveness research, or CER. This is research that compares the benefits and potential risks of the health care options patients and those who care for them have to choose from. By comparing different options, CER gives health care decision makers the information they need to make choices about which would be better for them based on their particular needs and circumstances. Anyone who has ever faced a choice that affects their health can appreciate why this research is important.”

Nathan handles a variety of issues for PCORI, ranging from intellectual property (including portfolio management, licensing and dissemination, and open access and other related issues), to corporate governance and labor and employment. He says the role at this mission-driven institution has allowed him to expand his knowledge base and grow as a lawyer, an in-house counsel and as a person. Nathan also expressed his anticipation for the next phase of work at PCORI.

“PCORI is advancing its mission through a Strategic Plan that reflects its holistic approach to generating and promoting the use of evidence in health and health care,” Nathan explained. “At the core of this Strategic Plan are five National Priorities for Health, a set of ambitious, long-term goals focused on key areas of impact. Guided by this Strategic Plan and with our eyes on achieving those National Priorities, PCORI will continue to fund impactful, patient-centered CER, engage patients and stakeholders throughout the entire research process to ensure our work is patient-centered, promote dissemination and implementation of useful research results in patient care, and invest in enhancing the nation’s health research infrastructure.”

When Nathan isn’t at work or spending time with his family, you might spot him making music in the D.C. area. He’s a singer and pianist who has performed in several bands. While the arrival of a new family member has changed his availability for some of the previous gigs, now Nathan and his son are often playing music together!

If you’re planning to watch the World Cup, keep an eye out for Nathan in the stands — he’s planning a trip to Qatar later this month to see the pinnacle of his favorite sport in person.

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