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AFFOA Appoints Elisabeth B. Reynolds, Ph.D., to its Board of Directors

Press Release

Advanced Functional Fabrics of America, Inc. (AFFOA) is proud to announce the addition of Elisabeth B. Reynolds, Ph.D., to its Board of Directors. The Institute’s newest board member brings a wealth of knowledge in supply chain management, government policy, and manufacturing/industrial strategy, having held positions in the White House as well as MIT. Reynolds’ expertise and background complement AFFOA’s current board, creating a highly knowledgeable and accomplished committee.

Reynolds was the Special Assistant to the President for Manufacturing and Economic Development at the National Economic Council until October 2022. During her time in President Biden’s administration, she oversaw the work on supply chains, national manufacturing strategy, regional economic development, and the broader industrial policy agenda. Before joining the White House, Reynolds was the executive director of the MIT Industrial Performance Center as well as the MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future. Currently, Reynolds is a Lecturer at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, where her research encompasses systems of innovation, manufacturing ecosystems, and the scale-up of innovative firms.

“I am thrilled to be joining the board at AFFOA. The organization is uniquely positioned to play a major role in product development and R&D, particularly in the innovation wave created by the CHIPS act. Functional fibers make an incredible, flexible packaging for semiconductors, an area where the U.S. lags other semiconductor ecosystems. We will see more and more integration with the technology AFFOA has been developing and fostering in the textile and e-textile industries, and I’m glad to be part of the national team creating the strategy to scale up this capability for US industries.” shared Reynolds.

“I can’t say enough about how honored we are to have Dr. Reynolds join the AFFOA Board,” stated Sasha Stolyarov, CEO of AFFOA, “Her broad experience in industrial innovation strategies is invaluable for AFFOA and our ecosystem, particularly as we work to transition from R&D into manufacturing scale-up of critical emerging fiber and textile technologies.”

“10+ years ago, most US companies would look overseas to scale smart textile manufacturing; AFFOA changed that in 2016. In 2023, I’m very happy to see AFFOA’s mission strengthen by growing its Board of Directors to include Dr. Reynolds’ expertise in scaling up manufacturing and economic development, as these are crucial areas in American industry. The entire domestic technology and textile community will benefit greatly from this addition,” shared Venk Varadan, Co-founder and CEO of Nanowear, an AFFOA member company leading the path towards innovative US-made wearable healthcare-at-home monitoring and diagnostic products.


AFFOA is a non-profit, public-private partnership founded in 2016 as one of the DoD funded Manufacturing USA Innovation Institutes. Headquartered in Cambridge, MA, AFFOA’s mission is to rekindle the textiles industry by leading a nationwide enterprise for advanced fiber & fabric technology and manufacturing innovation, enabling revolutionary new system capabilities for commercial and defense applications. To catalyze the development of advanced functional fibers and strengthen the domestic textile industrial base, AFFOA has assembled a Fabric Innovation Network (FIN) made up of 155+ member organizations including startups, universities, manufacturers, commercial industry and defense partners to bring advanced fiber technologies to market. For more information visit or tweet @AFFOA_RFT

This press release was issued February 28, 2023. AFFOA is an associate SPESA member.

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