Meet our CEO: John J. Bartrum, J.D., MBA

“Only through innovation can we both prevent and overcome real threats.”
John Bartrum, Founder & CEO

Brightstar Innovations Group, LLC is led by John J. Bartrum, a Capitol Hill veteran and retired federal Senior Executive Service career official. He has over 38 years of federal appropriations, healthcare, life science, defense, veterans and leadership experience. An Air Force Major General (Maj Gen), John is the Mobilization Assistant to the Air Force and Space Force Surgeon General.

He is a National Academy of Public Administration Fellow.

  • Advised and worked for both parties as a majority senior professional staffer to the US House Appropriations Committee.
  • Responsible for policy and funding issues for the:
    • National Institutes of Health,
    • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services,
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and
    • Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency, among other agencies; and the pharmaceutical and life sciences sector more broadly.
  • Served as an Associate Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as its Budget Director (over $30 billion budget)
  • Served in the Executive Office of the President, National Security Division of the Office of Management and Budget responsible for activities in the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

Maj Gen Bartrum, a combat veteran, is the senior Air Force Reserve Medical Service Corps (Healthcare Executive) officer with military experience in both active duty and reserve forces. 


Air Force and Space Force Surgeon General Mobilization Assistant who assists in the leadership for a $6.1 billion health system involving 44,000-person integrated health care delivery system serving 2.6 million beneficiaries at 76 Air Force military treatment facilities worldwide.

In 2020, was mobilized as the Deputy Incident Manger for whole of government COVID-19 response under the HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). 

  • John enhanced the Federal interagency doctrine, coordination, planning, data, and oversaw the coordination of the joint federal government’s COVID-19 medical response, among other key leadership responsibilities.
  • Awarded The Pinnacle Award from HHS ASPR in Oct 2020.

Previously, John was a Partner in a global law firm advising numerous corporate clients from start ups to multinational firms on federal government policy and operational issues related to health/life sciences, biomedical, veterans/defense, education/training, and general government issues. 

John is also a founding board member of a biomedical start-up.

Awarded 2021, National Pressure Injury Advisory Panel prestigious President’s Award