Dr. Rose Li Named 2024 Maryland Small Business Person of the Year

Apr. 10, 2024

In March 2024, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) named Rose M. Li, PhD, MBA, the 2024 Small Business Person of the Year for Maryland. “Our 2024 National Small Business Week award winners exemplify excellence, innovation, and commitment, and the SBA is proud to showcase their incredible achievements and impact on their communities and our economy,” said SBA Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman in the award announcement.

Longtime Maryland resident Dr. Li founded Rose Li & Associates (RLA) in 2003 as a small business designed to amplify the impact of organizations with a big public health footprint. In the 20 years since, RLA has become a partner to health- and research-focused institutions such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Leidos; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; and both public and private universities.

During that time, Dr. Li has also worked to advance public health and education through service to the Maryland Commission on Aging, Maryland State Board of Education, and Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Accountability and Implementation Board Nominating Committee.

“Service is in RLA’s DNA—our mission is to ‘move science forward in service of humanity,’” said Dr. Li. “As a small business, we embrace the role of enabling research institutions; we provide comprehensive, behind-the-scenes research coordination services to support their work to move the research enterprise forward.”

Over the last 5 years, Dr. Li has leveraged SBA resources and the 8(a) Business Development program to more than double RLA’s size and impact. RLA also has benefited from its decade-long association with the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Bethesda Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce, and the National Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (National ACE). Today RLA fields a bench of nearly 70 analysts, writers, and certified meeting planners, who support government agencies, businesses, nonprofits, and academic institutions by convening research allies and sponsors, performing foundational scoping reviews and surveys to inform research agendas, and promoting the research enterprise through training videos and other communications.

“This prestigious award is a testament to RLA’s great associates, colleagues, and clients, and to the profound impact of SBA resources,” said Dr. Li.


Highlights from ongoing RLA projects include:

Serving as the Coordinating Center for the AI/Tech + Aging Collective. The AI/Tech + Aging (a2) Collective represents the National Institute on Aging Artificial Intelligence and Technology Collaboratories for Aging Research program. The a2 Collective is dedicated to helping Americans live longer, better lives through the use of artificial intelligence and emerging technologies. As Coordinating Center for the program, RLA manages a national technology development pilot competition; maintains data coordination, project management, and customer relationship management platforms; and crafts marketing and social media campaigns to promote a2 Collective news and events. In addition to providing strategic leadership, efficient coordination and collaboration, creative dissemination, and effective project management, RLA also helps accelerate emerging technologies by connecting funded pilot projects with strategic and tactical guidance, resources, and follow-on opportunities with capital allocators and testbeds.

Providing End-to-End Support for the Office of Climate Change and Health Equity’s Efficacy and Community Resilience Project. In collaboration with the Office of Climate Change and Health Equity, RLA identified key regions for understanding the downstream impacts of climate change on vulnerable communities, particularly communities of color, and determined the major goals for conversations with community participants in these regions. RLA’s expert team of health and social scientists then conducted and analyzed semi-structured interviews to help identify and prioritize gaps in federal health resources related to climate disasters. Themes emerging from these interviews informed the Strengthening Partnerships for Healthy, Climate Resilient, and Thriving Communities Federal-Regional Summit. RLA provided project management, technical support, and event planning, and drafted summit proceedings.

Developing Research Pilots and Conducting a Scoping Review for a Nationwide Red Blood Cell Antibody Exchange. In 2022, RLA was contracted by the Office of Infectious Diseases and HIV/AIDS Policy to investigate the challenges, gaps, successes, failures, and scientific and data processes required for a red blood cell (RBC) antibody exchange in the United States, which would represent the second such nationwide antibody exchange in the world. Patient transfusion histories are frequently inaccessible to providers because they are housed in disconnected hospital systems and blood bank registries. Siloed data decreases providers’ ability to prevent incompatible transfusions and potentially life-threatening delayed hemolytic transfusion reactions. After reviewing the structure of existing exchanges and national and international literature, RLA proposed three RBC Antibody Pilot Exchange options to advance progress toward a national registry. To further inform pilot implementation, RLA is conducting a scoping review of the published and unpublished literature on antibody exchanges.


For more information or press inquiries, please contact us at