Certified Licensing Professionals, Inc.

Elevating the Licensing Profession Through Knowledge and Standards

Board of Governors



Jeffrey Whittle, Womble Bond Dickinson LLP

Jeff Whittle is a Certified Licensing Professional (CLP) and provides over three decades of legal experience to clients in the energy and high-tech industries. He advises on strategic and complex technology transactions, licensing, joint ventures, mergers & acquisitions, patent protection, portfolio analysis, and other contentious and transactional intellectual property matters, including inter partes reexaminations, post-grant reviews, and derivation proceedings, among other disputed cases.

Jeff has been recognized by Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America, The Legal 500 United States, WIPR Leaders Club, IAM Patent 1000, IAM Strategy 350, IAM Global IP Leaders, Managing Intellectual Property IP Stars, Who’s Who Legal, Patents, and Client Choice Awards, among others, for his outstanding career and contributions to law and intellectual property. He also is a senior member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). read more


Sian Godwin, Sandoz Pharmaceuticals

Sian C Godwin is a Business Development and Licensing Director at Sandoz Pharmaceuticals where she is responsible for identifying, negotiating and closing product acquisition and/or licensing deals targeted primarily at the US market.

Sian has over 15 years of pharma/biotech transactional experience including in and out licensing, M&A, divestitures, strategic partnerships, research collaborations and product acquisitions. Sian is a firm believer in driving innovation and access to life changing medicines through collaborative partnerships and alliances. read more

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Fiona Nicolson, Keystone Law LLP

Fiona joined Keystone as a partner in 2020 and is based in Edinburgh, Scotland. She is an IP transactional lawyer with many years’ experience in working with a large range of clients across a number of sectors including life sciences, IT, software, engineering, consumer products and academia. In addition to advising blue chip companies and public bodies, Fiona advises growing SMEs, assisting them to enter new markets through licensing and other collaborative ventures. 

Fiona is also a recent Past President of the Licensing Executives Society International. read more

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Julie Watson, Marshall Gerstein & Borun LLP

Julie M. Watson is a patent attorney and member of the transactions practice group at Marshall Gerstein & Borun, LLP, a Chicago-based intellectual property law firm. A licensing professional with deep experience in structuring and negotiating deals to deliver strategic solutions, Julie concentrates her practice on intellectual property transactions with a particular emphasis in technology startups and university technology transfer. Her prior work includes managing nonprofit intellectual property licensing programs including the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the American Medical Association. read more


Immediate Past Chair

Ben Dibling, University of Pennsylvania, Penn Center for Innovation

Ben Dibling is Deputy Managing Director of the Penn Center for Innovation at the University of Pennsylvania, where he leads the licensing, corporate contracting and corporate outreach groups. Ben’s team is responsible for working with Penn faculty, staff and students to evaluate, protect and commercialize Penn inventions and discoveries, and to facilitate engagement with industry and start-up company formation. Prior to joining Penn in 2016, Ben was Senior Associate Director of Licensing in the Office of Intellectual Property and Industry Sponsored Research at UCLA, where he focused on supporting the commercialization of a wide range of inventions with a focus in life sciences and medicine. Ben started his career in technology transfer in 2004 as a marketing intern at UChicagoTech, the office of technology and intellectual property at the University of Chicago. Ben managed a varied portfolio during his time at UChicagoTech, and was the Program Manager in Oncology at the time he moved to UCLA in 2011. read more



Antoine Bellemare, Research Patent Management

Dr. Bellemare acts as a Chief Innovation Officer on demand through his consulting firm Research Patent Management. He has more than twenty years of experience in technology development in a wide array of environments (venture capital, startup, public multinational company, and academia) that give him a panoramic view on issues relating to technology transfer and licensing. His principal expertise is in the strategic management of intellectual assets, in drafting and negotiating of IP agreements, in IP valuation, and in the financing and management of technology development projects. He holds a bachelor's degree in physics engineering and a PhD in electrical engineering from Université Laval for work related to fiber laser technology. He has two patented inventions and several well-cited scientific publications to his credit, and he has been reviewer for prestigious scientific publications. read more
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Jim Deane, University of Oregon

Jim Deane (Ph.D., MBA, CLP) has been identifying, protecting and licensing innovative technologies, and helping build new companies to commercialize them, for nearly twenty years at AAU univiersities across the United States, currently as Associate Director for Innovation Partnership Services at the University of Oregon. Prior to returning to the West Coast in 2015, Jim served as Vice President for Technology Transfer at Tekcapital, a for-profit technology scouting and acquisition firm that helps operating companies commercialize innovations from universities and laboratories across the globe. read more


Morgan Estabrook, APR, Northwestern University

Morgan Estabrook is an accredited public relations professional with more than 15 years of experience directing strategic marketing and communications efforts at major private and public research universities. Prior to her current role as executive director of marketing and communications for Northwestern University Alumni Relations and Development, she supported technology transfer and new ventures at the University of Virginia and the University of Chicago.

Estabrook’s work has been honored by the American Marketing Association, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and McMurry’s Center for Professional Excellence. She holds Master of Mass Communication and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. read more

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James Jessop

James is an experienced business development advisor through IP licensing and collaborative R&D, with a demonstrated history of working in the renewable energy and environment industries. He is skilled in Negotiation, IP Licensing, Research and Development (R&D), Renewable Energy and Engineering. 

James has been involved in business development since 1984 starting in the petroleum industry before moving to the engineering domain. He negotiated his first license agreement back in 1988 on an IT application for Oil and Gas exploration. read more

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Dan Potvin, General Electric Company

Dan Potvin is a Senior Director of Licensing at GE.  Based in Niskayuna, NY at GE’s Global Research Center, he joined the Licensing team in 2012.  Dan leads the development and negotiation of IP licensing programs across a variety of fields with a current focus on engineering software and hybrid electric vehicles. 

Dan is a Certified Licensing Professional and a member of the Licensing Executives Society (LES).  He has over 16 years of experience in negotiating complex licensing transactions and partnerships.  His specialties include patent licensing, technology transfer, patent pools, and commercialization of advanced technology. read more

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Caroline Rockafellow, Syngenta

Caroline Rockafellow is Associate General Counsel for Ventures and M&A at Syngenta, a global provider of agricultural science and technology. She has over 25 years of transactional experience, including licensing, strategic partnerships, research collaborations, venture investments and M&A. Caroline served on the Licensing Executives Society USA and Canada Board of Directors for eight years, including positions as V.P. of Strategy and V.P of Chapters. She holds a B.A. in Chemistry from Drury University and a Juris Doctor and Masters in Intellectual Property from the University of New Hampshire. read more


Jeremy Schieler, AbbVie Inc. 

Jeremy Schieler is a Senior Manager in Technology Licensing and Collaborations at AbbVie Inc. where he is responsible for managing and negotiating IP-related transactions across AbbVie's R&D pipeline. Prior to AbbVie Jeremy worked at The Coca-Cola Company as an IP Strategist in Ingredient Research where he negotiated external research and development agreements and developed IP strategy for The Coca-Cola Company Ingredient Research team. Prior to this, Jeremy spent nearly 10 years in technology commercialization at Community Health Network (Director, Commercialization) and Indiana University Research and Technology Corporation where he most recently served as Director of Technology Commercialization. read more

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Don Taylor, The Ohio State University

Don Taylor is Executive Director, Licensing for The Ohio State University. Formerly, he served as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences Translation, Executive Director of sciVelo and Associate Professor of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh, which included responsibilities for working across the six health sciences schools to advance the commercial translation of Pitt’s discoveries and inventions.

Dr. Taylor received his BS in information systems from Carnegie Mellon University and his MS and PhD degrees in bioengineering from the Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. He earned an MBA at Pitt’s Katz Graduate School of Business and conducted postdoctoral research in pathology at Pitt’s School of Medicine where he became co-inventor on a stem-cell based therapeutic based on his wound healing and cancer research. read more

View past CLP Chairs here.

Interested in Serving on the Board of Governors?

 Contact CLP at clpinfo@licensingcertification.org for more information.

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