2021 HBA Rising Stars and Luminaries

Contributed by:

PharmaVOICE Staff

NOTE: The content below contains the first few paragraphs of the printed article and the titles of the sidebars and boxes, if applicable.

More than 155 executives representing a wide range of companies in the life-sciences industry, have been selected by their organizations as exemplary leaders and role models. In this annual special section, we are honored to shine a light on their accomplishments in leading through unprecedented change, track their predictions on the trends to watch, and what it means to be a role model to their organization and the industry at large.

Trend Tracking

Authentic Leadership

Sherita Lee — Rising Star
Director, Learning & Development
Merck & Co.
The openness to engage in bolder, authentic, and transparent dialogue and not anchoring on “political correctness” is a new awakening. These are the conversations that will transform inclusion efforts and allow authenticity to be the norm while infusing empathetic leadership capabilities. No one functions in a vacuum, and it is freeing to be able to bring the external environment and straight talk into everyday interactions.

Izabella Tyszler — Rising Star
VP, Marketing & Field Execution
Orphazyme US
Companies outline their mission, vision, values and build them into their culture. You do not often see transparency listed, but even so, I think as leaders we need to embody it. Authenticity helps fuel an open forum for teams to continually work towards solutions and create a culture where trust is inborn.

Consumerism of Health

Anita Moser — Rising Star
Head of Assets & Optimization Neurology
UCB
For me, it is the consumerization of health and empowerment of patients with shift in sites of care, remote monitoring, and self-serve diagnosis. Another interesting angle for me personally, with my background in genomics, is the rise in genetic testing. All of this bodes very well for access and quality of healthcare and provides unique opportunities for pharma to create greater value for our patients with creative digital solutions.

The Customer and Patient Experience

Nancy Abraham — Luminary
Executive Director, IT
athenahealth
Currently, the biggest trend I am tracking is looking into customer experience and self-service through AI, automation, and machine learning. Technology has changed so much in just the past few years, and innovation will continue at an even faster pace in the future. Understanding how to harness the advancement of technology to drive further productivity and efficiency for how our athenahealth business users interact with customers is what motivates me to bring my best self to work each day.

Samira Thabet — Luminary
Managing Director
Marina Maher Communications
The pandemic has not only propelled health as the most important topic of the day, it has further elevated focus on the patient experience — from social content to telemedicine. As healthcare communicators, it is more important than ever to take a people-first approach that leads with empathy and authenticity and moves at the speed of culture in this ever-changing digital-first world.
Decentralized Clinical Trials

Claire Bonaci — Rising Star
Senior Director, U.S. Health & Life Sciences
Microsoft
Within the last 12 months the healthcare industry as a whole has seen greater technology adoption and mindset shift than in the last decade. With this comes immense opportunity for transforming the life science space to better treat patients’ unmet medical needs through decentralized clinical trials.

Camille Bedrosian, M.D. — Luminary
Chief Medical Officer
Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical
Innovative clinical trial designs, conduct, and outcome measures build on the modified ways of conducting research and measuring outcomes that was necessitated by COVID-19. These new models provide an opportunity for efficient and timely drug development so that development costs are reasonable, leading to prompt availability of responsibly priced medicines with broad access for patients. Efficiencies can be leveraged by seamless phased trial designs, remote monitoring, and telemedicine rather than in-person protocol visits when practical.

Trend: Digital/Virtual Engagement

Tiffany Butler — Rising Star
VP Managing Director, Strategy & Innovation
Health Perspectives Group
We’ve always advocated for virtual and in-person programs to support access. The Advocate Resource Center, our proprietary patient-engagement platform, allowed us to pivot quickly to a completely remote staff executing virtual engagements. With widespread adoption of digital platforms, will consumers remain in the virtual world? Or will we see pent-up demand for in-person connection?

Karen Callahan — Rising Star
Senior Director, Center of Excellence, Healthcare Product Consulting
Cognizant Technology Solutions
While digital transformation has been at the forefront for a while, COVID-19 introduced new challenges for traditional delivery models. XaaS and SaaS offerings are on the rise and the differentiator will be those that can demonstrate clear outcomes and ROI.

Laura Ford — Rising Star
VP, Product
Navigating Cancer
The pandemic elevated the importance of digital health tools that support more frequent and relevant provider-patient connections. Specifically, we saw accelerated adoption of remote patient monitoring tools for oncology. These solutions improve patient engagement, strengthen the provider-patient relationship, and enable proactive care that improves patient outcomes.

Whitney Jappe — Rising Star
Associate Director, Program Management, Brand Marketing
Intouch Group
COVID-19 has super-charged our need to embrace digital as a means to engage, inform, and treat patients. We need to not only understand the condition or therapy, but have a deep understanding of patients as consumers, the impact of the condition on their lives, and their ability to engage digitally, as a way to craft and deliver an impactful digital solution.

Maria Kirsch — Luminary
Senior VP, Head of Patient Services
EVERSANA
Technology, including digital health products and solutions, is transforming healthcare and creating opportunities. It is allowing patients to increase awareness and ownership of their health.

Sarah Lyons — Rising Star
VP, Privacy Analytics
IQVIA
Data proliferation and rapid digitization are transforming healthcare delivery. As increasingly large, complex data networks emerge, collaboration and trust are critical to driving advancements in patient health. Organizations known for safe and responsible data sharing are perceived as valuable contributors in this regard. My team is passionate about enabling this evolution.

Katya Magonova — Rising Star
Senior Engagement Manager, Commercial Advisory Group, Consulting, Commercial Solutions
Syneos Health
Specific to this year, COVID-19 has changed the way our clients do business and we continue to track customer engagement — how companies have pivoted to deliver support to patients, their caregivers, and their providers through digital means.

Carol Montandon — Luminary
Chief Quality Officer, VP, Quality and Compliance
Johnson & Johnson
Digitally enabled processes will be the thread that connects us end to end as we look for emerging technologies that can help us work faster and more reliably, finding the best solution that will benefit our customers and our business. By implementing automated processes, more advanced analytics, and disruptive technologies we can drive high-quality experiences.

Linda Smith — Luminary
Chief Service Officer and Chief of Staff
Magellan Rx Management
Consumers are increasingly seeking ways to interact on their own terms versus traditional service models. With the continued surge in virtual care delivery, digital therapies, and self-service tools, healthcare companies must also ride the wave and unlock the possibilities of these new ways of interacting. We have tremendous potential to impact clinical outcomes and service delivery by leveraging the many new digital tools emerging every day.

Katie Tippit — Rising Star
Director, Clinical Sales, North America
Haemonetics
Interacting with our customers on a regular basis is the foundation for our existing business and for growing in the future. As the market continues the shift to remote working, learning, and engaging, using digital communication to stay in touch has become critical for staying ahead of the curve in terms of where and how our customers feel comfortable and confident in discussing our product offerings. I believe embracing this trend will improve standardization across the industry and help support customers in providing quality patient care. Haemonetics operates within unique and complex clinical scenarios where having a basis of strong, personalized interaction with customers will help solidify our business relationships overall.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Jobina Jones-McDonnell — Rising Star
VP, & Assistant General Counsel, Litigation & Risk
Endo International
2020 put in clear focus the need for all of us to do more to address racial inequity. We all have a lot to learn, but while we are learning and evolving, we have to realize the power we have to bring about change now. Our individual actions are important, which is why I am serving on Endo’s DE&I Council.

Elaine Phillips — Luminary
Business Unit Director, Immuno-Oncology, Australia
Bristol Myers Squibb
Ask any woman and I can assure you she will have at least one story of how gender has affected situations in the workplace. We all play a role in creating a fairer world and workplace and make a difference toward a gender-equal world.

Ana Raposo — Rising Star
Business Unit Director,
BeNeLux
Johnson & Johnson
Diversity is only the start. The ability of each employee to bring their true and unique self to work and experience a deep sense of belonging in a diverse work environment can be life-changing to both the employee and the organization. Inequity can be found in the most obvious or the most subtle forms and both need to be addressed. As a passionate advocate for gender parity, I follow and discuss the importance of unconscious biases and microaggressions in society and the workplace.

Nevija Watson — Rising Star
Senior Manager, Process Engineering, Chapter Lead for Gilead Leadership Organization of Black Employees
Kite, a Gilead Company
Work in the D&I space in the end of 2020 and coming out of that year is heavier than we have ever seen before. Companies are starting to face the topics of systemic racism and inequity head-on. Not only attempting to look within their own organizations but also acknowledging the impact of actions outside of our workplace walls can significantly impact the teams and employees at the company.

Joyanna Wesche-Blake — Rising Star
Senior Director, Information Technology
Alkermes
2020 was a year of awakening to the prejudice and privilege that America has struggled with since our founding. Companies big and small have taken steps to acknowledge the reality, renounce hate, and move forward differently. Change takes not just big moments but consistent little ones. I am tracking trends that demonstrate diversity and inclusion are becoming more prominent in our day-to-day activities.

Healthcare Equity

Lynn Hamilton — Rising Star
Senior Director, Clinical Operations Support, Clinical Development Solutions
Syneos Health
Healthcare equity in patient care and access to clinical trials is an urgency. Our Syneos Health leaders are forging critical conversations and partnering with industry leaders to advance solutions. There is opportunity for each of us to become change agents for diversity, equity, and inclusion in clinical research.

HCP Engagement

Christy Mitchell — Rising Star
Regional Business Director, Neuroscience
Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals
Our communities have been impacted in the 2020 year through COVID and civil unrest. These independent factors have both contributed to a change in healthcare providers’ preferred engagement. We need to shift to best meet the needs of our providers and ultimately patients. Understanding new virtual and social trends will be imperative to best exceed healthcare provider needs.
Real World Evidence

Kimberly Christopher — Rising Star
VP, R&D Project Management
MiMedx Group
Real world evidence continues to gain importance in building data relevant to support market applications, reimbursement needs, and new possibilities for our products. We must take advantage of the digital transformation to empower us with the right value-added strategies.

Telemedicine/Telehealth

Linda Magrath — Luminary
VP, Customer Support
Medidata, a Dassault Systèmes company
With COVID-19 dominating our lives for more than a year, we are finding new and better ways to address both mental and physical health. Many people ignored their own health during 2020 to avoid coming in contact with the coronavirus, increasing concerns for overall mental and physical health that can be addressed through technologies like advanced telemedicine.

Transformative Technologies

Charlene Brisbane — Luminary
Senior Director, Biologics CMC, Drug Product Development and Operations
Teva Pharmaceuticals
I am tracking technology that enables the subcutaneous delivery of larger doses of biologics. Delivery of biologics subcutaneously continues to evolve and an opportunity to deliver higher doses is a space that has been expanding via formulation and device technologies. Technologies in this area assist in meeting the challenge of providing convenient dose regiments for patients, providing options for higher concentrations or volumes that were previously not achievable.

Pam Politis — Luminary
Executive Director, Regulatory Counsel
Incyte
Evolving healthcare policies, from how our supply and delivery infrastructure impacts patient care to incentivizing innovation while delivering value to patients, are issues that can greatly impact our industry and the patients we serve. Our industry is renowned for our innovative discoveries in medicines and technology, and yet many patients struggle to afford the most basic care. I’d like to see our industry bring innovative advancements to access and delivery of care in the way we have brought scientific innovation.

Crew Smith — Rising Star
Molecular and Cell Biology Senior Research Scientist
Vertex Pharmaceuticals
In my role we are tasked with finding innovative, transformative therapies for diseases that have puzzled the pharmaceutical field for decades or longer. The key to progress will be in applying novel technologies. We think of how quickly CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing has changed the scope and speed of clinical trial research. Innovations, such as this, have led to the development of potentially curative therapies that were inconceivable less than a decade ago. These types of new therapeutic modalities are the trends that I am currently tracking.

Workplace Adaption and New Expectations

Carine Boustany, Ph.D. — Luminary
U.S. Site Head, Development & Global Head, Development Sciences
Boehringer Ingelheim
I am currently tracking how the workplace in the pharmaceutical industry will evolve post-COVID-19. I believe that we have now a unique opportunity to reinvent our work setting for our employees to be more flexible with regards to physical location, hours of operation, and face time. I am hoping that this trend will open up the door to more women, enhance diversity in our talent pool, and further foster collaboration across locations and geographies.

Renee Iacona — Luminary
VP, Oncology Biometrics
AstraZeneca
In a post-COVID world, there will now be changed expectations in the workforce on remote working, having flexibility to work from home vs. onsite at the “office.” Some industries are truly changing their ways of working and are moving to a more flexible work arrangement for their staff given the pandemic impact. It will be interesting to watch how this impacts recruitment, how it widens the pool of candidates for those flexible companies, and how it impacts those companies that choose not to be as flexible.

In the Limelight

Jennifer Accumanno — Rising Star
Associate Director, Marketing — Microbiome
Ferring Pharmaceuticals USA
To me, the Rising Star recognition not only shows that my organization values what my contributions have been, but more importantly, how those contributions have been delivered. This starts with engaging and motivating people to reach beyond the goal and feel connected to something bigger than themselves. From there, the sky is the limit.

Lisa Ambrose-Lanci, Ph.D. — Rising Star
Senior VP, Group Account Director
The Lockwood Group
The talent at Lockwood is exemplary. I am both honored and excited to be recognized as a leader within our organization. As an advocate for women in business and STEM and a mother of two female leaders in training, this recognition gives me great pride and inspiration for my future growth.

Katherine Armendariz — Luminary
Head, Portfolio and Product Management
Roche
Having chosen healthcare as the industry for our professional careers, we know that the work we contribute to makes a difference to society; this kind of recognition helps to reaffirm the value of making a difference in the lives of our colleagues as well. In both a personal and professional context it is an honor and privilege to be able to represent the efforts taking place in our organization to create and sustain a diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment for all and for the benefit of the customers and patients we serve.

Rachael Asselin — Rising Star
VP
1798, a Fingerpaint company
I am extremely honored to have been recognized by my organization 1798/Fingerpaint. I am humbled to work at a company where I’m surrounded by many brilliant and innovative women — and many brilliant men. I am thrilled to be able to recognize them publicly and share our story.

Anastacia Awad — Rising Star
Head, NIBR Diversity & Inclusion
Novartis Pharmaceuticals
Recognition as an HBA Rising Star feels like I am living the outcomes of diversity, equity, and inclusion. I feel seen, heard, valued, and respected. Belonging matters and I feel honored by outpouring of support and congratulations. Professionally, the recognition highlights appreciation for leading future-focused DE&I approaches and its impact on how science and medicine moves forward.

Nicole Bailey — Rising Star
CS Account Lead
Doximity
I’m honored to be recognized as an HBA Rising Star. Personally, I feel very proud to set an example for my daughters, demonstrating that hard work and being passionate about what you do leads to success. Professionally, I truly appreciate that my company values what I do, and it motivates me to keep working harder.

Ambily Banerjee — Rising Star
Director, Therapeutic Group, Global Regulatory Affairs
GlaxoSmithKline
I am delighted that my work on I&D has been recognized by my organization. We still have a long way to go to achieve “gender parity” for women of color, but I believe GSK’s new commitment to achieving gender, ethnicity, and racial equality in our workforce is a step in the right direction. My recognition gives greater credibility to championing this agenda and inspiring women of color, knowing change is coming.

Jaclyn Barber, Pharm.D. — Rising Star
Medical Science Manager
CSL Behring
I began my career as a retail pharmacist and never envisioned I would change fields to work in the industry. Being recognized as a Rising Star and healthcare businesswoman by my manager and peers is an amazing honor. It also validates that success is achievable by taking risks and having high expectations of yourself.

Natalie Beaton — Rising Star
Market Access Manager – Uro Oncology
Ferring Canada
I began my career at Ferring Canada as an intern less than five years ago. To be recognized by the same colleagues who supported my growth by coaxing me out of my comfort zone and trusting me to lead as my authentic self is powerful, and simply flattering. I am a Rising Star because of them.

Jennifer Benenson — Luminary
Senior VP, North America General Counsel
Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals
Being given the authority to lead in a corporation is a tremendous responsibility. As leaders, we have the power to impact people’s lives, whether it is ruining their day with an unintended oversight, or launching and supporting their own brilliant career. For 25 years I have been intensely aware of this and view it as a privilege to be in a position to change other people’s lives. It is the part of my work that gives me the greatest satisfaction, and that has the most enduring impact.

Jennifer Bouchard — Rising Star
Senior Manager, Accenture Scientific Informatics Services
Accenture
I am deeply honored that my colleagues and leaders recognized me and my achievements this year. It is a testament that my leadership understands and values my contributions and inspires me to continue to give back. I see this as an opportunity for others to see the potential in their future recognition and hope to be a mentor and role model for others.

Ana Paula Carvalho — Luminary
Chief Commercial Officer, China and Emerging Markets
Pfizer
This award is a great validation of what I achieved so far in my career and that I’m on the right path. Personally, it shows me that being authentic and working hard with integrity, while supporting others, is the right thing to do. I try to give my best every single day. Professionally, I highly value the chance to connect with other leaders on a much bigger scale, learn from them, and give back. I’m thankful and humble for being named in this wonderful group of women.

Sherry Cassano — Luminary
Senior VP, HR, Finance, PGS and GBS
Pfizer
I love to mentor, develop and grow others so it is a special honor to be recognized for this among my peers in the healthcare industry. Personally, as a mother of two, one of them a daughter, I am proud to set an example to show that hard work, leadership and passion pay off.

Stephanie Chueh — Rising Star
Senior Manager, Sales Strategy
Medidata, a Dassault Systèmes company
I am incredibly grateful to work in an organization with so many visionary female leaders and strong allies. It is inspiring to work with a manager and team members who are open to new ideas and to collaborating cross-functionally to make things happen quickly.

Laura Clague — Luminary
Chief Financial Officer
Travere Therapeutics
I am honored to be recognized by Travere — a company whose values align closely with my own, that is dedicated to developing therapies for rare diseases and to helping families and caregivers in their rare disease journey. Throughout my career, I’ve been very fortunate to have mentors that have helped guide me on my own professional path. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to pass it on, and I’m delighted to be among this year’s luminaries.

Terry-Ann Cooper — Rising Star
Privacy Officer
Otsuka America Pharmaceutical
The Rising Star award means a lot to me personally and professionally. It is an honor to be recognized by my company, not only for the impact that I have made on my organization but for the influence and impact that I have made in the industry and community.

Mary Corcoran — Luminary
Group President, Integration & Operations
Real Chemistry
I am extraordinarily honored to be recognized as a Luminary by the HBA and Real Chemistry. Since I started my journey at Real Chemistry, I have had the opportunity to learn and partner with the highest possible caliber clients and colleagues to make the world a healthier place through marketing and communications. I’m so thrilled to join this esteemed group of Luminary alumna — as we continue to help each other create impact across the healthcare ecosystem.

Elizabeth Crego — Rising Star
Managing Director, Deals
PwC
The Rising Star recognition from PwC is truly humbling. It validates all of my hard work in helping my teams and our clients successfully plan for and execute M&A deals. On a personal level, I am honored to be part of this incredibly talented group of HBA women.

Jennifer Curtis — Rising Star
Associate Principal
ZS Associates
While I love many aspects of my work and the amazing people I work with, what gives me meaning is supporting, investing in, and advocating for others in achieving their career ambitions. Receiving this recognition from ZS makes me feel incredibly valued and inspired to continue to drive impact and support others to do the same.

Diana Di Gioia — Rising Star
Manager, Digital Ad Operations
Compas
Personally, I am positively overwhelmed with the recognition because I know there are so many incredible women leaders who I strive to be like. Professionally, I have entered this industry with every fiber of my being wanting to succeed and push the boundaries of what success looks like.

Marcia Eisenberg, Ph.D. — Luminary
Senior VP, Chief Scientific Officer, Diagnostics
Labcorp
During my tenure at Labcorp, I’ve dedicated my career to advancing the science of diagnostics for patients and healthcare providers, as well as supporting the careers of my teammates. For the recognition to come from my colleagues within the company makes the honor that much more meaningful.

Wlenyeno Elliott-Browne — Luminary
Divisional Director
CSL Behring
This recognition from the HBA helps validate that my leadership style is working and motivates me to be an even better leader. It’s also a confidence booster and has me looking ahead to development opportunities and the willingness to step out of my comfort zone.

Cheryle Evans — Luminary
Senior VP, North American Operations
Advanced Clinical
Personally, the honor is quite humbling. To think that you might have some positive impact on even one individual in this industry is a win in my book, and I am very grateful to be recognized in this way. Professionally, I have been blessed to do what I love, and to see the evolution of clinical research over my nearly 30-year career is absolutely thrilling. The new developments we have witnessed in the past five years are amazing. I’ve been so impressed by the convergence of technology, explosion of data, and alignment with regulatory agencies and quality consortiums; these innovations are truly revolutionizing the way we conduct clinical research and that is a win for everyone.

Mara Feldman — Rising Star
District Business Manager
Novo Nordisk
My leadership journey hasn’t been a textbook case. Early in my career, I stepped away from work for 10 years to stay home and raise my family. As I am now 10 years back in my career, this recognition is especially meaningful. I am so grateful to Novo Nordisk for the opportunity to inspire and lead others daily.

Maureen Field — Rising Star
Associate Director, Human Resources — U.S. Commercial Sales, Sales Operations
Teva Pharmaceuticals
I am honored to be recognized as a Rising Star. Personally, it makes me appreciate the hard work and dedication I’ve put into my career and organization. Professionally, it means that listening, speaking up, and making an impact are encouraged regardless of the stage in your career.

Rosanna Fleming — Luminary
Executive Director, Data Management and Statistics
Strongbridge Biopharma
Professionally, it means recognition of not only my contributions but also those of my equally dedicated female colleagues at Strongbridge. Personally, it means I get to share this award with my husband, who is 100% proud and supportive of my profession as a biostatistician for the last 31 years.

Gayle Flynn — Luminary
Engagement Delivery Partner, Life Sciences, Delivery Management
Cognizant Technology Solutions
Throughout my career I tried to model how women should think about their work in clinical research and remain true to their authentic selves. To use their voices to advocate for patients in hopes of improving their lives. This award makes me feel like these efforts are appreciated as it is only through our collective efforts that humanity wins.

Emily Gallo — Rising Star
VP, Product & Solutions Marketing
Cardinal Health
A promise I made throughout my career was to fully be myself, which as a member of the LGBTQ+ community was daunting at times. This tremendous Rising Star honor demonstrates to colleagues and friends how companies are at their best when we can all bring our whole selves to work.

Jennifer Gaydos — Rising Star
Sales Force Effectiveness Director
Greenwich Biosciences, a subsidiary of GW Pharmaceuticals
At GW, I am surrounded by so many talented, intelligent, and caring women. Being selected as 2021 HBA Rising Star among them is an honor and an unquestionable highlight in my career. It’s important to me that given this greater platform to speak, I use it wisely to inspire future generations of accomplished leaders.

Margot Goodkin, M.D., Ph.D. — Rising Star
Executive Director, Clinical Development Eye Care
Abbvie
I’m lucky to work with colleagues who are also friends, who support me and challenge me to be my best. It was a leap of faith to leave the clinic for industry, to pursue what I most enjoy. For my passion to be really seen and celebrated is extremely gratifying.

Jennifer Glodeck — Luminary
Regional VP
Doximity
Recognition from Doximity as their 2021 HBA Luminary is humbling and also exhilarating. Doximity leadership is committed to the HBA and has been supporting my personal and professional development from day one.

Shon Green — Rising Star
Senior Director, Translational R&D
Umoja Biopharma
This award tells me that my efforts are valued and that I am having a positive impact on others in my company as a role model and mentor. But more than that, it means that I have succeeded in my highest personal goal, which is to be an authentic, positive, caring leader who empowers others.

Rachel Hall — Luminary
US Digital Health and Smart Health Experience Leader
EY
I am incredibly honored to be receiving the HBA recognition, especially after this particularly difficult year. Over the past 12 months, I’ve worked alongside innovative clients and hardworking teams to navigate a volatile and challenging environment. It has truly been a team effort, and this recognition should be shared with all of my clients, teams, peers, and mentors.

Jennifer Henderson — Rising Star
Director, TOQ Business Office and Chief of Staff
Sunovion Pharmaceuticals
I’m proud to be recognized as a Rising Star by HBA. This honor has made me realize the power everyday interactions have across an organization to really make a difference. I’m grateful for the opportunities I have received and the talented, amazing people whom I get to work with at Sunovion.

Tanya Hill — Luminary
Executive Director, Commercial Strategy & Brand Planning
Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals
I am extremely honored to receive this award. It is something that I am proud of because I know many individuals in our company and industry who also have, over the past year, supported and advocated for others in their career advancement and progression. It truly takes a village.

Caroline Houston — Rising Star
Plant Manager
Baxter International
This honor is greater than a recognition of an accomplishment, professionally it is inspiring and confirms a path for women in nontraditional and under-represented roles. Hopefully, it shows it’s possible to balance personal and professional lives, and encourages a new wave of women to come to push through barriers, perceptions, and ideologies. Personally, the importance is in showing my two sons that women can be great partners, mothers, and employees; we can be strong yet soft; we can be a mother and a mentor. By changing traditional norms and perceptions, the legacy through my children is what drives my passion in making the change I want to see in the world.

Cherie Ihnen — Rising Star
Senior Director, Human Resources
VMS BioMarketing
This recognition feels exceptionally empowering from the esteemed group of women who surround me at VMS BioMarketing. The HBA opens doors to networking, growth, and education for women at all stages of their careers. I am truly thrilled to be recognized by a group that provides the opportunity to pass the baton to many other women in healthcare.

Georgia Jones — Rising Star
Senior Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) Account Manager
Daiichi Sankyo
I am honored by this recognition. I feel encouraged and motivated to continue to take leaps and embrace creativity. More importantly I want others to feel the same conviction and aspire to be more original and make their visions a reality. This award gives me the confidence to continue creating my own path and help others do the same.

Wendy Kanna — Rising Star
Head of Global IT Security Governance & Oversight
Takeda Pharmaceuticals
Being recognized as HBA’s Rising Star strongly reaffirms Takeda’s commitment to the imperatives of our corporate philosophy: ‘create an exceptional people experience,’ where health, well-being, and career development of employees is a priority. Personally, this award is a step closer to achieving my life mission, “My son proud of his mom.”

Juliet Kasaya — Rising Star
Senior Corporate Trainer
Magellan Rx Management
First, I am very fortunate to work for an organization that supports and encourages leadership for all people and at all levels. It is through Magellan Rx Management’s support that I was able to connect with HBA members and be involved. Currently, serving as president of the HBA Phoenix chapter I am grateful for every opportunity and lesson this has afforded me. This recognition means that we are committed to working to promote a culture of inclusion.

Rebecca Kidd — Luminary
Senior VP, Global Logistics, Global Manufacturing and Supply Chain
Cardinal Health
Motivating, supporting, and inspiring others is what excites me most, both personally and professionally. My tendency is to work quietly in the background, so to be recognized by the HBA and Cardinal Health as a Luminary for helping to make a positive difference within our company, for our customers and for our employees, is both humbling and gratifying.

Nina Kirshenbaum — Rising Star
VP, Crossix Analytics Products
Veeva
I’m both humbled and thrilled to be in the company of such amazing life-sciences leaders. I hope I can continue to earn this recognition by serving as a role model and mentor for others in the industry.

Heather Knight — Luminary
GM, US Hospital Products
Baxter International
Personally, I receive so much joy and satisfaction from my 25-year career in this industry, my work advancing other female leaders and by paying it forward. I’m proud and humbled to be acknowledged as an HBA Luminary for my dedication in these areas — especially in the company of so many excellent female leaders.

Rashmi Kshirsagar — Rising Star
VP, Technical Development
Rubius Therapeutics
I knew each opportunity in my career was the recognition of my contributions. I am honored that Rubius has not only given me many opportunities in the last 18 months but also the Rising Star award. As I read up about it, I actually see a lot of opportunities for me to grow my career by leveraging the HBA community.

Ying Liu, Ph.D. — Rising Star
Senior Director and Franchise Lead, US Value and Access Dupixent
Sanofi
The HBA recognition is extremely rewarding. After one year of COVID, it symbolizes that one can go through ups and downs in personal and professional life and still make a difference. As a working mother and immigrant, I am motivated to contribute more to advance inclusiveness and diversity in our industry.

Linda Magrath — Luminary
VP, Customer Support
Medidata, a Dassault Systèmes company
I am extremely appreciative of being recognized by my organization and HBA both personally and professionally. Being included with the amazing women receiving the Luminary award is a wonderful honor. It’s an opportunity to become even more excited and energized about my own work, and to network and learn from other leaders in the field.

Tsveta Milanova — Luminary
Senior VP, US Commercial Operations
Alexion Pharmaceuticals
Ten years ago, I attended my first HBA event. I was enamored and inspired by the women I saw that day. In that moment, HBA gave me a clear and measurable definition of the type of female leader I aspired to be, and that goal has become one of my guiding principles in life. It is an enormous honor to be recognized today as a Luminary. It comes with a great sense of responsibility to lead and inspire other women to advance their journey as I was inspired 10 years ago.

Erika Muhlberg — Rising Star
Senior VP Account Management
Ogilvy Health
Being recognized as a HBA Rising Star means a tremendous amount to me, personally and professionally, because it is an acknowledgment of the importance of the work I have the privilege of creating, with teammates and clients alike, and the impact we can have.

Courtney Mullen – Rising Star
VP, SEM & Emerging Media
CMI Media Group
This recognition validates all the work I have done to help my team succeed during one of the toughest years. It also motivates me to do more for my team and across the agency to continue to improve ourselves and our clients.

Katherine Murnen, Ph.D. — Rising Star
Medical Director
ClinicalMind
As somebody who was let go from her very first medical communications position, it highlights the importance of knowing oneself. You do not need to ‘bloom where you are planted,’ rather, you can create opportunity and excel when you are in an organization that provides you with the tools to flourish.

Christian Nguyen — Luminary
VP, Global Patient Outcomes, Real World Evidence
Eli Lilly and Company
I am proud and humbled to follow the strong, accomplished, inclusive women leaders who were previously recognized as Luminaries by Eli Lilly and HBA. In turn, we collectively represent a larger group of talented, aspirational, amazing women colleagues who have devoted their careers to making life better for people around the world through our medicines. I am very honored.

Carol Nieto — Rising Star
Senior Director, Quality Management
BD
It is an honor to be recognized. This has been one of the most demanding years in my career and I am grateful to have the support of both BD and HBA. I am proud of the work my team and I have accomplished this past year and look forward to many more years of success with BD.

Annette Ogbru, Pharm.D. — Rising Star
Regional Director, Medical Science Liaisons
Lundbeck
I have been both humbled and honored by the Rising Star recognition. For me, HBA remains the ideal forum for networking, connecting, learning, and providing mentoring support to talented individuals across a wide spectrum of healthcare business fields. I look forward to my ongoing and impactful journey with the HBA.

Chiatogu Onyewu, M.D., Ph.D. — Rising Star
Director, Research Program Management
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
I am truly honored and grateful for this recognition. Being named a 2021 HBA Rising Star reinforces my belief that we rise by lifting others. Regeneron is a hub for innovation with some of the brightest minds, and this award only increases my enthusiasm for engaging in and actively encouraging our daily pursuit of excellence.

Cynthia Orr — Rising Star
Customer VP, US Value Channel
Reckitt
It means that the little interactions do not go unnoticed and that time spent in those little moments listening, caring and coaching can create real, lasting impact. Leadership is a one-on-one affair.

Analisa Orta — Rising Star
Associate Director, Business Analytics & Insights
Avanir Pharmaceuticals
I am grateful to be recognized for the Rising Star award. It’s a testament that hard work, collaboration, and willingness to see another point of view defines one’s success. Most importantly, when I reflect on my upbringing, my success is also defined by others who have helped me along the way.

Blanca Ortiz-Skelding — Rising Star
Manager Process Engineer
Pfizer
To be recognized by Pfizer and the HBA is one of the most uplifting things to happen to me. Every struggle I’ve experienced, every obstacle I’ve had to overcome, and all the naysayers I’ve had to ignore while trying to succeed in my career, have been but stepping stones to get me here today. It’s this journey that has shaped me into the woman I am today.

Rhonda Pacheco — Rising Star
General Manager, Canada
Eli Lilly and Company
I am honored to be recognized and proud to work for a company that cares about supporting diverse types of leadership. It really reinforces that I can lead in a way where I can ‘be me’ and don’t have to change or hide who I am to lead at Lilly.

Kelly Parker — Luminary
Executive Director, Chief People Officer
Avanir Pharmaceuticals
I’m privileged to work with many brilliant, accomplished women throughout Avanir. In moments like this, you feel a strong sense of humility and gratitude. Humility because of all the talented women I’m surrounded by and gratitude because of how we use our talents to support each other and the organization.

Jessica Pfennig — Luminary
Global Compliance Business Partner
AstraZeneca
Being selected as AstraZeneca’s Luminary has been a lifetime achievement award. I am proud of my accomplishments over my 30-plus years within the pharmaceutical industry. This includes mentoring and advocating for others to advance their careers. I have also been an active volunteer within the HBA organization holding various board and global leadership roles. This award is a culmination of my professional career and has expanded my friendships on a personal level.

Dara Pincas — Rising Star
Head of Healthcare Law Group, Senior Associate General Counsel
Genentech
Any award or recognition by Genentech would always be treasured by me, but what makes this even more meaningful is to receive this recognition during a time of crisis due to the pandemic. The achievements are the direct result of having dedicated and resilient employees who every day demonstrated courage based on their unwavering commitment to science, improving healthcare, and providing mission-critical legal support that ultimately positively impacted numerous patients’ lives. I am eternally grateful for having the opportunity to work with such an amazing and talented group of employees and am a better person and leader as a result of it.

Lynn Prothero — Luminary
Senior Regional Business Director
Lundbeck
The As award from Lundbeck is an incredible honor and responsibility. Having been in the industry for over three decades, I understand where we have been, but also where we can yet go. Every day I ask how I can push both myself and others to reach higher. I’m so grateful for being part of Lundbeck, where the patient is at the center of all that we do.

Erica Puntel — Rising Star
US Communication Lead — Digital
UCB
As UCB is a relationship-driven organization, to me this award means — both personally and professionally — that I’ve created strong networks with people who help me, encourage me, and want me to succeed. I’m grateful for the support system I have in order to make an impact for patients.

MarySue Raith — Rising Star
Client Partner
Atlas
My peers and leadership at Atlas saw that both my contributions to the HBA, as well as my personal strengths, make a tangible difference to our organization — establishing trusted partnerships, inspiring collaboration, and being a positive force within the team. This recognition brings to the forefront what it means to be a role model personally and professionally, and so I’m not only grateful, I’m proud.

Megan Roberts — Rising Star
Director, SEC Reporting
Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals
This recognition confirms that I am on the right path and should continue to work hard and persevere, especially through trying times. It also serves as a reminder of my responsibility to bring others up the ladder as we work together to break through the glass ceiling.

Kara Roeder — Luminary
Divisional VP, Operations
Pharmavite
Being recognized as an HBA Luminary means that I am making a difference, not only in the results of my business but across my organization. I take great pride in being a strong leader in manufacturing, and my hope is that my success enables other women to recognize this career path as a fulfilling opportunity to pursue.

Noemi Romero — Rising Star
Executive Director Supply Chain
Amgen
Personally, the HBA recognition represented an opportunity to share my success with my family — it truly takes a village to be a full-time professional and mother. Professionally, the award is evidence that my company, Amgen, “walks the talk.” It is not enough commit to diversity and inclusion; a company must urge its leaders to do something about it.

Pallavi Sachdev — Rising Star
Senior Director, Translational Medicine
Eisai
I feel both honored and humbled for having received this recognition. This signifies to me an acknowledgment at a very basic level of my constant drive to deliver what matters most to me and my passion for what I do every day — help make medicines for those most in need. This underlying passion is what drove me to the healthcare industry and especially to Eisai, where patients and their families always come first. Since the inception of my career at Eisai 10 years ago, my focus has been on identifying the right population for our pipeline of drugs and to collect biomarker data from our studies to demonstrate that the drug is in fact doing what it is meant to do. In order to make this a reality, I am always pushing myself and my team to look for innovative solutions that are as non-invasive as possible keeping the patients in mind.

Shjan Santiago — Rising Star
VP, Account Supervisor
McCann Health Managed Health
This is a tremendous privilege and honor. It means that my hard work has been acknowledged and that my work family appreciates my contributions to the organization. This also means that I have an even greater responsibility to let my light shine on and mentor others who have the same goals and aspirations.

Kristin Schuhwerk — Luminary
VP/Global Head Project & Portfolio Management, Development
Sanofi
As I reflect back over my career, I recall the countless times where I was the only one in the room and committed back then to change that. I believe leaders are only as successful as the teams around them. I am passionate about bringing out the best in people and it is an honor to be selected for this award.

Rachel Sha — Luminary
Head, Digital Strategy and Governance
Sanofi
I am so honored to be recognized as a Luminary by Sanofi and HBA among so many impactful women and men who are passionate about developing and advancing women. I’m inspired by what everyone else has done, and this fills me with energy to continue efforts to achieve gender parity.

Jennifer Shirley
President, Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness
Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness
I’ve looked up to so many women role models throughout my career, and now having young women tell me I’ve become a role model for them is humbling. Eleven years ago I was nominated by Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness (SSW) as an HBA Rising Star, so I’m immensely proud to come full circle as SSW’s HBA Luminary.

Uthra Sundaram — Luminary
Executive VP, Global Product & Launch Strategy
Takeda Pharmaceuticals
The Luminary award is a tremendous honor for me, reinforcing my values and approach to working — we can be who we are and excel with our unique skills. I learned early on, from my family and in my career, that my voice matters but so does humility. I’ve been deliberate in using my voice, so that I can lead others courageously and with grace. I am grateful that Takeda has given me the space to thrive as a leader — as my true self — and feel fortunate to be surrounded by great teams, mentors, and colleagues and a very supportive husband who has always guided, challenged, and supported me along the way.

Elizabeth Thompson — Luminary
Group VP, Development and External Search
Horizon Therapeutics
Being honored among these accomplished women validates the things that matter in my personal and professional life. I strive to lead with creativity, transparency and by championing others to chart their own course and accomplish their goals. It’s humbling to be recognized with others who seek to do the same.

Mary Treacy — Luminary
VP, Head of US NBS and IT Country Head
Novartis Pharmaceuticals
I was really surprised and humbled by Novartis’ recognition of me and my achievements over the years. I have worked extremely hard at building diverse, inclusive, and high-performing fun teams. On a personal level, I was happy to be able to show my children that hard work does get recognized.

Rashmi Upasani — Rising Star
Associate Director, Regulatory, Pharmaceutics and Analytical Development
Purdue Pharma
I’m sincerely honored by this recognition and pleased to be a dependable member of the organization. It energizes me to continue my contributions in the realm of medicine development that will have a meaningful impact.

Seema Vaidyanathan — Rising Star
Associate Director Strategic Partnerships
Johnson & Johnson
This recognition is a testament to how much my sustained efforts and leadership in furthering DE&I, along with the efforts of hundreds of women throughout the organization, are valued at J&J. I am hopeful to continue seeing results and a data-driven approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion, so we can collectively and steadily move the needle toward gender parity sooner rather than later.

Sujata Vaidyanathan — Luminary
Global Drug Development Unit Head, Global Health
Novartis Pharmaceuticals
I truly feel honored to represent Novartis and be part of this group of esteemed women. I have had great mentors and coaches throughout my career and I am hoping to pay it forward. The fact that I get the opportunity to do this as an integral part of my job is such an amazing privilege. This recognition injects me with even more energy to continue my journey towards empowering many more women.

Amanda Vankoski — Rising Star
Senior Account Planner
TBWA\WorldHealth
I am very grateful for the opportunity to learn from such talented people at TBWA\WorldHealth. It’s here that I learned to follow my passion, which led me to a role in strategy, and to receive this award is a tribute to my growth and the support from so many others who helped get me here.

Adriane Wack — Luminary
Executive Director, Commercial Compliance
Merck & Co.
Having the privilege to work for a company that values and honors how we treat our people is priceless, especially in today’s environment. This recognition validates that my time spent investing in others is as important as my business performance.

Annette Williams — Luminary
VP, Global Lifecycle Safety
IQVIA
It is deeply humbling and very gratifying to be recognized by HBA, IQVIA and colleagues for my work to drive pharmacovigilance forward, a discipline dedicated to patient safety and well-being. Mentoring and coaching others to achieve higher performance and career aspirations has been and continues to be a true joy personally.

Christine Wooddell — Luminary
Director, Liver Targeting
Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals
After working at Arrowhead Madison for more than 20 years, this honor is a demonstration that my dedication to the science and to my co-workers these many years is appreciated by the company. On a personal level, this recognition affirms that one can succeed in a career focused on integrity and kindness.

Theresa Wu — Luminary
Director, Product Management
LexisNexis Risk Solutions Health Care
I am very excited about the RS/LS HBA recognition. It means to me that my leadership team respects my experience and knowledge and trusts that I can drive my team’s success and contribute to the greater success of our organization. That is very satisfying and motivating, both professionally and personally.

Corinne Yaouanq-Lyngberg — Rising Star
Director — Omnichannel Strategic Enablement
Novo Nordisk
This award validates who I am as a leader: shaping, driving and inspiring teams by harnessing the intelligence and talent around me towards new levels of performance. It also gives me joy to be acknowledged for my contributions over many years in support of women within and outside my organization through hours of mentoring colleagues across all functions, which has been and is still one of my greatest passions. (PV)

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Rising Stars

Jennifer Accumanno
Associate Director, Marketing – Microbiome
Ferring Pharmaceuticals USA
Leadership Skill: Relationship Building
This has been essential during COVID-19, as not only had I transitioned to a new role within Ferring while working virtually during the pandemic, however also hired and onboarded a new team. While doing this remotely hasn’t been easy, with a little extra time and effort, the team has thrived.

Lisa Ambrose-Lanci, Ph.D.
Senior VP, Group Account Director
The Lockwood Group
Leadership Skill: Empathy
Managing through a pandemic brought unprecedented challenges for everyone. The skills that I relied on most readily were related to empathy and team building. It was important that all team members felt supported both personally and professionally, as well as a sense of community despite the halt to live interactions.

Rachael Asselin
VP
1798, a Fingerpaint Company
Leadership Skill: Empathy
The past year has been difficult for everyone. Many have experienced significant loss, unprecedented stress due to disruption in their daily lives, and pervasive fear and uncertainty regarding the future. Acknowledging the experiences of team members and supporting them with innovative solutions has been critical to staying effective during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anastacia Awad
Head, NIBR Diversity and
Inclusion
Novartis Pharmaceuticals
Leadership Skill: Enabling Diversity
Enabling innovative science and medicine through diversity, equity, and inclusion relies, in part, on how I leverage my expertise and influence through others. To scale impact, I am honing how I lead through an expansive, virtual network of leaders, activators, educators, communicators, and partners to integrate DE&I into the core flow of work for business globally.

Nicole Bailey
CS Account Lead
Doximity
Leadership Skill: Adaptability
Adaptability is the skill I honed most during COVID-19, not only in business but also in today’s changing world. As my role grows within Doximity, I look for ways to contribute to new projects in order to keep learning, as well as developing new processes for meeting our clients’ needs.

Ambily Banerjee
Director, Therapeutic Group, Global Regulatory Affairs
GlaxoSmithKline
Leadership Skill: Resilience
It has been a challenging time on multiple fronts, juggling personal life, work priorities, supporting colleagues, and driving organizational change on I&D. Breaking tasks down into bite-sized activities has enabled me to maintain my mental energy, and pay attention to my physical health. Consequently, I could meet key deliverables, while supporting my family and colleagues.

Jaclyn Barber, Pharm.D.
Medical Science Manager
CSL Behring
Leadership Skill: Perseverance
Starting a new role during the pandemic felt a little isolating. It was important for me to build camaraderie and approach my new job responsibilities with a team mindset. Making personal connections and establishing credibility in a virtual environment was especially challenging. Perseverance got me through it.

Vicki Barniak
Senior Principal Scientist
Bausch Health

Natalie Beaton
Market Access Manager — Uro Oncology
Ferring Canada
Trend Tracking: Representation Matters
Throughout 2020, many inequalities were highlighted igniting conversations around equality for gender, race, class, and LBGTQ+. I reflect on the invaluable role representation played in my career development, witnessing courageous female leadership daily. I look forward to more corporations including diverse communities, so everyone can benefit from seeing themselves represented in leadership positions.

Elizabeth Beaulieu
Senior Manager of Commercial Strategy
Bayer, U.S.

Claire Bonaci
Senior Director, U.S. Health & Life Sciences
Microsoft
Leadership Skill: Networking
The COVID-19 pandemic helped me discover new ways to connect and network with others, both internal to my organization and more broadly in the health and life-sciences industry. Virtual happy hours and coffee chats kept the feeling of connection and community alive.

Jennifer Bouchard
Senior Manager, Accenture Scientific Informatics Services
Accenture
Leadership Skill: Calendar Management
Working from home for the past year has impacted my ability to establish a set schedule for focus and processing time. I have put into practice daily morning journaling and blocking dedicated thinking time that I honor and do not double book.

Tiffany Butler
VP Managing Director, Strategy & Innovation
Health Perspectives Group
Leadership Skill: Adaptability and Empathy
Throughout the pandemic, we focused, reassessed, and adapted. Then we went through the cycle again; and again. I’m incredibly proud of how my team came together and supported each other through the uncertainty to not only achieve our core 2020 business goals, but also to delight our clients and the patients they serve.

Karen Callahan
Senior Director, Center of Excellence, Healthcare Product Consulting
Cognizant Technology Solutions
Leadership Skill: Time Management
In the virtual workplace, meetings have become so commonplace that calendars are completely full, leaving no time for strategic thought, research, or informal team member check-ins. Setting my FOMO aside and building the self-discipline to decline meetings where I am not a key decision-maker has been challenging, but critical to maintaining balance in the work day.

Kimberly Christopher
VP, R&D Project
Management
MiMedx Group
Leadership Skill: Patience
This year our ability to be patient was tested and became a part of our daily dialogue. Our patience muscle was flexed as we struggled with technologies and connectivity, research collaborators, clinical trial sites, healthcare networks, and global health authorities. In the end we all benefited, as with patience comes empathy and a deeper appreciation of our dependencies.

Stephanie Chueh
Director, Sales Strategy and Strategic Programs, Global Enterprise Sales
Medidata, a Dassault Systèmes Company
Trend Tracking: Decentralized Trials and Remote Monitoring
The pandemic has compelled us to innovate quickly to ensure patient health and safety. The industry is now keenly aware of the pivotal role a unified data platform plays in enabling patients to enroll and share data remotely and securely, as well as allowing sites to remotely monitor clinical trial activities.

Terry-Ann Cooper
Privacy Officer
Otsuka America Pharmaceutical
Leadership Skill: Adaptability
During the Covid-19 crisis, I found my leadership adapting to the evolving environment. I was required to exhibit and hone adaptability and resilience leadership in the ever-changing landscape to serve and positively impact my organization, business teams and others, including family.

Elizabeth Crego
Director
PwC
Trend Tracking: Deal Making
As a PwC deals consultant in pharma life sciences, I see our clients pivot from transformational to more targeted pipeline deals, including making bold bets on platform technologies in search of new molecules to develop multiple therapies. These deals are essential to putting patients first and addressing unmet needs.

Barbara Curtis
Manager, Commercial Leadership Development Program
Bristol Myers Squibb

Jennifer Curtis
Associate Principal
ZS Associates
Trend Tracking: Cell & Gene Therapy Commercialization
Working in oncology and rare diseases, the amazing potential of these therapies can dramatically change the lives of so many patients. However, the complexity of getting these therapies to patients are forcing us to re-evaluate healthcare structures and commercial models to ensure patients can get access to benefit.

Diana Di Gioia
Manager, Digital Ad Operations
Compas
Trend Tracking: Inclusion and Diversity
We have been striving to continuously ensure we are all doing more toward a movement — in the right direction — so more than a trend, with our initiatives for inclusion, equity, and diversity. At work I’ve been able to develop my skills professionally, and as a member of an inclusive community. I would like to strive to see our industry push the envelope and become a leading example of DEI success.

Hilary Duckworth
Commercial Lead, Hospital Business Unit, UK
Pfizer

Mara Feldman
District Business Manager
Novo Nordisk
Leadership Skill: Adapt and Innovate
I needed to find innovative ways to communicate, engage, and support my team. I’m extremely proud of the way my team was able to adapt to a new way of working with our customers while achieving a high-level of success.

Maureen Field
Associate Director Human Resources — U.S. Commercial Sales, Sales Operations
Teva Pharmaceuticals
Leadership Skill: Attentiveness
The leadership skill I honed in on was attentiveness. In order to be fully engaged and focused during meetings, tasks, and conversations, I needed to limit other sources of communication at the same time. This helps me be aware of how I and others respond during interactions to add value.

Laura Ford
VP, Product
Navigating Cancer
Leadership Skill: Team-Building
During COVID-19, building and sustaining team culture was a challenge and a priority, especially for new employees. To address this challenge, each member of my team wrote and presented our own personal user manual, which provided a guide to how we each like to work, communicate, and collaborate. This activity was fun and increased team cohesion while we were physically separated.

Taylor Freisher
Group Copy Supervisor
Calcium USA

Emily Gallo
VP, Product & Solutions Marketing
Cardinal Health
Leadership Skill: Commitment
We swiftly established and led weekly forums for consistent and transparent information sharing between leaders and our customer-facing teams. This high-touch format across our organization instilled trust and confidence that Cardinal Health was responding with intense urgency to support the healthcare providers and patients we serve.

Jennifer Gaydos
Sales Force Effectiveness Director
Greenwich Biosciences, a subsidiary of GW Pharmaceuticals
Leadership Skill: Learning Agility
Success in an increasingly unpredictable business environment requires leaders to have strong learning agility. I am driven to gain a deeper understanding of what is on the horizon and spend time listening to experts on critical factors impacting our business to develop effective solutions for our team. We have tremendous opportunity and potential to accomplish great things when faced with new challenges.

Caitlin Gilbert
Account Director
Havas Health & You

Margot Goodkin, M.D., Ph.D.
Executive Director, Clinical Development Eye Care
Abbvie
Leadership Skill: Creating Connections and Trust
I hired someone new, 100% remotely, and started leading a new team. I’ve had to build personal relationships via impersonal technology. Being transparent, available, interested in what people have to share, and laughing together have been essential to creating community and keeping people engaged in a potentially anxiety-provoking environment.

Shon Green
Senior Director, Translational R&D
Umoja Biopharma
Leadership Skill: Communications
The most important skill I had to develop was identifying the right cadence and format of communication that would keep functional and program teams across the organization collaborating and moving forward. It required patience, trust, empathy, and feedback to reiterate until we got it to where everyone feels connected, informed, motivated and able to successfully execute complex projects without in-person contact.

Jalé Güner
Executive Director,Clinical Operations
Travere Therapeutics
Leadership Skill: Agility
The global pandemic brought with it a lot of uncertainty, as a result it required leaders to be flexible and agile, especially as we quickly pivoted to operating in a virtual environment. As no two days were ever the same, being flexible and agile were the skills I practiced throughout this past year. I also refocused my priority as a leader to always ensure my team’s well-being first and foremost.

Lynn Hamilton
Senior Director, Clinical Operations Support, Clinical Development Solutions
Syneos Health
Leadership Skill: Building Trust
Building trust is at the core my leadership values. COVID-19 tested but did not relinquish my passion for the people who I serve, nor my confidence in our Syneos Health commitment to deliver solutions. Compassion, transparency, flexibility, and rapid and agile solutions have been key in getting through tough decisions and deliverables. We turned our camera on, we rolled up our sleeves and have not waivered on our collective responsibility to our patients, staff and customers.

Jennifer Heckman
Executive Director, Clinical Portfolio & Capacity Management
Incyte

Jennifer Henderson
Director, TOQ Business Office and Chief of Staff
Sunovion Pharmaceuticals
Leadership Skill: Compassionate Leadership
Compassionate leadership improves collaboration and trust while enabling better decision-making and results. During COVID-19, this meant being more flexible and understanding individual needs. I helped my team and colleagues adjust and find balance during these unprecedented times, as our organization was extremely supportive and encouraging of providing additional flexibility.

Caroline Houston
Plant Manager
Baxter International
Leadership Skill: Resilience
In times of such unprecedented uncertainty, we all need to be inspired that tough times won’t last; we need reassurance, transparency, and confidence in the future to come. Together we can achieve so much more than on our own. During difficult times it’s easy to focus on self and the negative aspects of what is out of our control, my role is in inspiring and leading, to ensure that we take a step back and focus on a sense of purpose and others to create a safe and sustainable platform for the changes required as we transition through COVID-19 to what lies ahead.

Cherie Ihnen
Senior Director, Human Resources
VMS BioMarketing
Trend Tracking: Patient Empowerment
While VMS BioMarketing has always provided virtual education, this year opened the door wide to new technologies and tools to meet patients and HCPs from every demographic, wherever they are. However, we will never replace the human touch as we carry out our mission to build real patient connections that lead to better health outcomes.

Whitney Jappe
Associate Director, Program Management, Brand Marketing
Intouch Group
Leadership Skill: Planning
As a program manager, it’s more important than ever, given the distribution of teams, to ensure that the scope of key business objectives, plans to deliver, and roles played by each team are clearly defined, aligned on, and socialized. Defining the process and work to be done upfront positions teams for successful delivery.

Georgia Jones
Senior Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) Account Manager
Daiichi Sankyo
Leadership Skill: Empathy
Embracing empathy could not be more critical at a time like this. Being able to show compassion for yourself and the others you lead, your peers, your teammates allows you to build connections during one of the most difficult times many have faced. I truly believe it’s the anchor of meaningful working relationships.

Jobina Jones-McDonnell
VP, & Assistant General Counsel, Litigation & Risk
Endo International
Leadership Skill: Mindful Communication
I try to be intentional and present in all my communications with my team members, which is even more critical in our remote working environment. I try to solicit regular candid feedback from team members and act with compassion. Mindful communication has helped me address obstacles in real time, foster collaboration and belonging, and tune out distractions.

Wendy Kanna
Head of Global IT Security Governance & Oversight
Takeda Pharmaceuticals
Leadership Skill: Dependability
Honing this leadership skill during COVID-19 gained colleagues trust. Consequently, I have built strong relationships, which aided in developing and creating resilient teams that could work through any challenges that may arise. Most importantly, it provided stability amidst the crisis which is essential to thrive during the pandemic.

Juliet Kasaya
Senior Corporate Trainer
Magellan Rx Management
Leadership Skill: Relationship-Building
COVID-19 has brought multiple reflection points, one that I focused on was stretching my relationship-building skillsets to suit a seemingly more distant world. I found that being more intentional with each interaction made a huge difference. Subtle changes such as changing phrases from “have a great day” to “take care,” brought awareness to every conversation.

Nina Kirshenbaum
VP, Crossix Analytics Products
Veeva
Leadership Skill: Remote Onboarding
Throughout the past year, we have continued to grow our team and onboard new talent. Without the social capital that comes from meeting regularly in person, it can be much harder to build trust with someone new. It’s critical to empower them not only to embrace new responsibilities, but also to speak up when they need help.

Rashmi Kshirsagar
VP, Technical Development
Rubius Therapeutics
Leadership Skill: Effective Communication
Pre-COVID-19, we could grab a conference room and have a quick meeting with the right people. In order to thrive during COVID-19, it was critical to have effective communication using one-on-one small team, large group meetings as well as email, IM, and impromptu video chats.

Sherita Lee
Director, Learning & Development
Merck & Co.
Leadership Skill: Resilience
A confluence of personal and professional issues, driven and escalated by the COVID-19 pandemic, required that I step up on many fronts. My resilience was tested as I made the conscious decision to stay focused on what mattered most and use my internal fortitude to drive forward in support of colleagues, family, and community.

Ying Liu, Ph.D.
Senior Director and Franchise Lead, US Value and Access Dupixent
Sanofi
Trend Tracking: Big Data/Advanced Analytics/Artificial Intelligence
Technology and data infrastructure is changing where and how we can use big data to optimize patient care and inform business decisions from drug discovery to commercialization. I’m excited for more opportunities to leverage advanced analytics to bring vigor and long-term vision for patient care in partnership with our customers.

Allyson Livingstone
Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Human Resources
athenahealth

Sarah Lyons
VP, Privacy Analytics
IQVIA
Leadership Skill: Resilience
Like many others, the pandemic stretched me personally and professionally in new ways, with periods of constant change, challenge, and uncertainty. My resilience was put to the test and I have learned that it’s far more important in leadership than ever before, particularly in listening to team members and supporting people affected in different ways.

Katya Magonova
Senior Engagement Manager, Commercial Advisory Group, Consulting, Commercial Solutions
Syneos Health
Leadership Skill: Flexibility and Adaptability
Because of COVID-19 and working from home, I have learned now more than ever that leadership means being flexible and adaptable. There were situations when team members needed a sense of ‘normalcy’ and we focused on routine, but other times to lead meant to put aside the work and simply stop and check-in with each other. Everyone had a different journey last year, leadership also meant never making assumptions about how others felt, but instead creating a virtual work environment that allowed team members to succeed.

Emelyn Maravilla
Director, Asthma & Established Brands Marketing
Boehringer Ingelheim
Leadership Skill: Resilience
COVID-19 impacted both my work and family situation as I had to adapt, be flexible, and turn what could have been a negative setting to a positive environment. I learned to appreciate, respect and trust my team, as we all navigated through challenging times.

Amanda Maximin
Head of Sales, Vitamins Business unit
Reckitt

Christy Mitchell
Regional Business Director, Neuroscience
Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals
Leadership Skill: Empathy
They say ‘change is the only constant,’ but this doesn’t make change easy. Being intentionally empathetic has been necessary to maintain an empowered and motivated team. Empathy doesn’t happen independent of vulnerability, trust, and the power of listening.

Anita Moser
Head of Assets & Optimization Neurology
UCB
Leadership Skill: Listening
Building and developing a team remotely has been my biggest accomplishment in 2020. In 2020, we were all forced to increase our digital presence by advancing our digital capabilities to engage with our stakeholders and patients. This literally took a village and required me to lead a cross-functional team, build new relationships, establish trust — all remotely.

Erika Muhlberg
Senior VP Account Management
Ogilvy Health
Leadership Skill: Fostering Collaboration
It’s no surprise that the last year of working from home has made us feel more disconnected than ever. It’s been important to me to seek new approaches to challenging myself to think differently about how we can connect with each other, our clients, and the public, empower teammates, and foster a collaborative environment.

Courtney Mullen
VP, SEM & Emerging Media
CMI Media Group
Leadership Skill: Empathy
I’ve always strived to better understand the feelings and point of view of others, but there has never been a more important year to fully lean into empathy.

Katherine Murnen, Ph.D.
Medical Director
ClinicalMind
Trend Tracking: Digital Engagement
Even before COVID-19 struck, many companies were turning to digital engagement with HCPs to increase their reach. Over the last year, we have learned that meaningful interaction does not have to be face to face. Companies and individuals who offer digital engagement solutions tailored to the healthcare field are best positioned to help their partners grow these relationships.

Carol Nieto
Senior Director, Quality Management
BD
Leadership Skill: Communication
I believe the best results are achieved and teams are happiest through a collaborative mindset, by showing team members that we are ‘in it together’ and by teaming with peers to bring the best thinking to bear.

Annette Ogbru, Pharm.D.
Regional Director, Medical Science Liaisons
Lundbeck
Leadership Skill: Technology Agility
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I challenged myself to become even more technologically savvy with HD video webinars and audio capabilities so as to augment connectivity and streamline communications with colleagues and customers alike. This was really important to me, as virtual digital technology will become the standardized norm even post pandemic.

Chiatogu Onyewu, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Research Program Management
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
Leadership Skill: Authenticity
During the pandemic, I had to get comfortable allowing my team to see me not only as their colleague, but as a Black woman, mother, teacher, and wife reacting to ongoing national and global events. This led to us all showing up more authentically, and we have formed more genuine connections as a result.

Cynthia Orr
Customer VP, US Value Channel
Reckitt
Leadership Skill: Authenticity
My leadership approach has been built on the foundation that having the best, most authentic relationships with my direct reports is the #1 priority and the epitome of our success together as a high-performing team. COVID accelerated this conviction, especially in the early days of the pandemic when maintaining high-levels of connectivity was critical to business continuity. In line with my own leadership values, COVID has also accelerated the essential need for companies to nurture and care for the whole person and I am very proud of how RB has stepped up in this space globally on driving well-being awareness and deploying new employee resources.

Analisa Orta
Associate Director, Business Analytics & Insights
Avanir Pharmaceuticals
Leadership Skill: Inclusiveness
I am a positive person who believes that great leadership and a team’s success are based on honest relationships where we can challenge and grow together.

Blanca Ortiz-Skelding
Manager Process Engineer
Pfizer
Leadership Skill: Communication
During the pandemic I’ve had to balance working remotely and taking care of my 7-year-old son who’s virtually learning. To be effective in both my role and as a mother, communication has been essential. It has helped me not only maintain trust and engagement with my team; but also strengthened my relationship with my son because he understands the important work that mommy is doing.

Rhonda Pacheco
General Manager, Canada
Eli Lilly and Company
Trend Tracking: Agile Mindset
In order to win in the future, we will need to invest in talent and find new ways to work with agility. We need to accelerate and deliver with less resources and in an environment that changes by the second.

Dara Pincas
Head of Healthcare Law Group, Senior Associate General Counsel
Genentech
Leadership Skill: Empathy
In the past year it was important to socially distance and physically isolate from each other, and it was equally important to lean in as an empathetic leader and understand the enormous challenges that each of our employees faced as they navigated the hurdles of both working and living in a pandemic. There wasn’t a playbook to reference on how to successfully lead teams through a pandemic, rather it required me to lead first and foremost with my heart and to appreciate that each person was facing different challenges and to also understand that the support they needed at work evolved as we progressed from being a few months to over a year in the pandemic.

Erica Puntel
US Communication Lead — Digital
UCB
Trend Tracking: Digital Transformation
I believe that using data and technology with purpose can transform patient care. I’ve seen the value of applying digital innovation across UCB and across the healthcare value chain to accelerate better outcomes for patients and become more efficient in our business practices.

MarySue Raith
Client Partner
Atlas
Leadership Skill: Empathy
Practicing empathy has always been essential in my approach to leadership. COVID-19 increased the need to bring empathy forward — to pause and absorb personal, social, health and domestic challenges in an unprecedented way. The pandemic pushed us physically out of each other’s reach yet our private and work lives became interlaced. As an empathetic leader, I was able to influence people to transcend the physical disconnect and to feel safe to share concerns. Empathy is a force which strengthens colleagues, business partners, families, and friends.

Ana Raposo
Business Unit Director,
BeNeLux
Johnson & Johnson
Leadership Skill: Vulnerability
It’s important to feel the downs, so that you can appreciate the ups. It’s important to share your struggles, so that you know you’re not alone. The ability to talk about my own vulnerabilities and challenges during these difficult times gave those around me the permission to discuss theirs as well, so that we could be there for each other in an open and trusting environment.

Megan Roberts
Director, SEC Reporting, Technical Accounting and Global Consolidations
Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals
Leadership Skill: Communication
Effective communication has been key with the pandemic prompting us to evaluate both the mode and style in which we communicate with our teams. In lieu of our in-person interactions, we have a weekly team walk ‘n work, which serves as an open forum to discuss what is top of mind.

Noemi Romero
Executive Director Supply Chain
Amgen
Trend Tracking: Decentralized Clinical Trials
I am very enthusiastic about the silver linings that the pandemic brought to our approach to clinical trials. Patients inability to access the clinics, among other complexities, validated our industry’s need to pursue patient-centric trials that leverage digitalization to improve the patient experience, including less frequent visits to the clinics.

Pallavi Sachdev
Senior Director, Translational Medicine
Eisai
Leadership Skill: Building Trust
I have honed my leadership skills during this time by making a concerted effort to adopt behaviors that build trust even in remote, virtual interactions. During this pandemic, our team has not only managed to move forward but also to grow in numbers. It was very important for me to ensure that the newcomers did not feel disadvantaged due to the lack of face-to-face interactions. As a leader, I am always attempting to grow our team with individuals who have a team mentality, are incredibly capable, bring their full self to work, and are comfortable succeeding, failing, and learning together.

Shjan Santiago
VP, Account Supervisor
McCann Health Managed Health
Trend Tracking: DE&I
DE&I has always been a passion of mine. I come from a family of civil rights activists, so this was at the core of our values. I am always looking for ways to be a part of the change I want to see. As an advertising professional, I want to play an active role in making sure that the company I am working for represents the demographics that we are helping our clients serve.

Crew Smith
Molecular and Cell Biology Senior Research Scientist
Vertex Pharmaceuticals
Leadership Skill: People-Focus
My focus has been more on people than on projects and this attitude has led to increased trust, collaboration, and focus within the team. I am aware and mindful that everyone is handling these challenging times differently. Creating space to check in with my team and those around me has made it possible to understand individual situations and work to provide the needed support. I have been very transparent with my team about ways in which I practice self-care and encourage them to prioritize and have perspective.

Renee Smith
Global Senior Director, WBA OneIT Strategy and Planning
Walgreens Boots Alliance

Tamar Thompson
VP, US Government Affairs and Policy
Alexion Pharmaceuticals

Katie Tippit
Director, Clinical Sales, North America, at
Haemonetics
Leadership Skill: Confidence
During an uncertain time, it is critical for leaders to show the confidence they have in both their business and their team. It isn’t about false reality or not being transparent, but rather reminding yourself and instilling into your organization that it is not how you act during times of ease and success that define you, but how you rise as a leader during times of challenge. Those of us lucky enough to work with credible and inspiring people, as well as impactful products, know that the ability to grow has not been suppressed by this pandemic. Instead, this has served as a time for creativity to help us navigate uncertain waters and rise to the occasion.

Drew Tomlinson
VP Strategy Director
McCann Health
Trend Tracking: Virtual Workshopping
Workshops are generally a core competency for strategic planners but once COVID hit our teams were scrambling to find the best solutions for running online workshops. It was difficult to keep participants engaged in a one-hour meeting let alone a four-hour workshop. Now that we’re one year into the pandemic and relaxing into the working-from-home environment, I’ve discovered great interactive platforms, such as Mural, to help keep teams and clients engaged. While I continue to explore new and stimulating ways of running virtual workshops, I see the virtual space becoming an integrated part of our working environment, especially when working with clients across the globe.

Julie Tyler
DVP, Global Marketing
Abbott

Izabella Tyszler
VP, Marketing & Field Execution
Orphazyme US
Leadership Skill: Active Listening
Active listening is easy to do face-to-face, but in a virtual world — even with video cameras on zoom — it’s difficult. I myself realized how easy it was to quickly disengage from discussion and meetings. So, I prioritized and worked each day to ensure I was there — not always an easy task, but as leaders what is easy? Just like everyone else, we need to continue working and exercising our skills each day. Everyone experienced challenges and especially as I built a new team during COVID, it was imperative that saw leadership was supporting them and actively listening.

Rashmi Upasani
Associate Director, Regulatory, Pharmaceutics and Analytical Development
Purdue Pharma
Leadership Skill: Virtual Engagement
The skill to effectively facilitate the flow of conversation through a camera lens to align the collective efforts of cross functional teams was necessary to maintain focus and accomplish goals.

Seema Vaidyanathan
Associate Director Strategic Partnerships
Johnson & Johnson
Leadership Skill: Leading Through Adversity/Uncertainty
Dealing with the uncertainty at the same time keeping the team motivated and focused was key. It’s easy to be a leader during good times. True test of a leader comes during tough and uncertain times. As a leader, I learned how important it is to be authentic, transparent and selfless. It is critical to adapt to a constantly changing environment and make decisions when unknowns outnumber the knowns.

Amanda Vankoski
Senior Account Planner
TBWA\WorldHealth
Leadership Skill: Proactivity
Navigating ambiguity is never easy. It’s instinctive to want to wait for additional information when facing uncertainty. But, during the pandemic, I gained renewed appreciation for the importance of acting with urgency and always being on the look-out for new business problems to solve, learning along the way

Anna Von Rossum
Scientist, Exploratory Research
Zymeworks

Nevija Watson
Senior Manager, Process Engineering, Chapter lead for Gilead Leadership Organization of Black Employees
Kite, a Gilead Company
Leadership Skill: Empathy
Leadership in 2020 required empathy and flexibility. This was a year where the pandemic impacted all individuals differently and we tackled tough topics. We all had to stop, take a step back to really redefine the way we worked. Flexibility and empathy had to be used hand in hand as there was no “one approach fixes all” to anything we dealt with.

Joyanna Wesche-Blake
Senior Director, Information Technology
Alkermes
Leadership Skill: Vulnerability
As we quickly pivoted to rely on video conferencing, we have had to learn how to encourage small talk and make people feel comfortable in the new medium. I experimented with backgrounds to give people things to talk about as meetings start and encourage people who are not participating.

Corinne Yaouanq-Lyngberg
Director -Omnichannel Strategic Enablement
Novo Nordisk
Trend Tracking: Digital Adoption
As our customers evolve towards a more sophisticated delivery of care based on patient expectations and emerging technologies, virtual care will drive greater need for digital solutions that will enable seamless virtual and in-office visits between a HCP and a patient. Pharma has to play an active role in enabling a true digital experience and effective care delivery in partnership with HCPs.

Sylvia Yu
VP
PhRMA

Megan Zipkin
Director, Corporate Marketing
Inovalon

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HBA Luminaries

Nancy Abraham
Executive Director, IT
athenahealth
Leadership Skill: Communications
The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has been a very disruptive year for so many, yet, created such an opportunity to learn how stay connected with team members, virtually. I focused my attention on taking purposeful steps to increase communication, foster collaboration and promote transparency. I allowed my team a safe place to share their challenges and feelings. I practiced deep listening, shared my video screen and got a glimpse into the lives of so many of my colleagues. I purposely led from a place of empathy, understanding, and encouragement. And finally, I invested in my own well-being so I could be there for others.

Rima Alameddine
VP/GM Global Oncology
BD (Becton, Dickinson and Co)
Leadership Skill: Emotional Intelligence
During COVID-19, it was a must to improve my emotional intelligence skills, so I could keep my team connected, motivated, and focused on their purpose, without significant distractions, given the unprecedent times we were all going through. This translated into understanding even more their strengths and opportunities for growth, their productivity and effectiveness, and their morale.

Arlene Ali
Senior Medical Director Jazz Pharmaceuticals Canada
Jazz Pharmaceuticals

Anne Allison
Executive Director, Human Resources
Astellas Pharma US

Laura Alquist
VP, Global Supply Chain
Kite, a Gilead Company

Katherine Armendariz
Head, Portfolio and Product Management
Roche
Leadership Skill: Heightened Sensing Abilities
As we, somewhat abruptly, transitioned from a physical environment to a virtual one the physical cues available to leaders to sense the well-being of our teams were vastly diminished. For example, it was less obvious when people were starting and ending their work days and body language while seated is fairly consistent for most people. It became critical to improve how we connected with each other, to offer a consistent invitation to share, in order to ensure those connections provided sufficient space and grace to explore the challenges people were facing.

Julia Bailey Hamway
VP, Finance
Shionogi

Camille Bedrosian, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer
Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical
Leadership Skill: Communication
Spontaneous conversations, debates, and discussions are challenging in the virtual world. Nevertheless, it has been key to encourage, receive, and provide feedback and diverse opinions, and make the time to do so. These communications continue to be critical for effective decision-making as well as continuing to build rapport among team members. In addition, for new team members who joined during this time, it has been particularly critical to integrate them via effective communication that builds upon a shared purpose as well as trust and openness.

Vanessa Belozeroff
Executive Director, Portfolio Management and Business Excellence, Biosimilars
Amgen

Jennifer Benenson
Senior VP, North America General Counsel
Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals
Leadership Skill: Intuitive Reasoning
As a leader, it is extraordinarily important to understand other people. When we work together in the same room, we can rely on observations of body language, the dynamic occurring in the entire room, and other unspoken cues as we choose how to engage. In a year of remote communication, perceiving others’ intentions, meaning and needs through a monitor presented new challenges.

Carine Boustany, Ph.D.
U.S. Site Head, Development & Global Head, Development Sciences
Boehringer Ingelheim
Leadership Skill: Empathy
We are together in this pandemic and, as leaders, need to listen to our teams, understand everyone’s unique circumstances, and support and trust each other in order to succeed. My company coined #foreachother during this pandemic and it truly resonates with me.

Charlene Brisbane
Senior Director, Biologics CMC, Drug Product Development and Operations
Teva Pharmaceuticals
Leadership Skill: Communication Becoming agile at using multiple forms of communication continues to be critical during COVID-19 as it is important to be able to learn how to communicate effectively with others via using video, audio, and email. This means as a leader I had to increase my emotional intelligence and communicate more than usual, be committed to meeting individuals in whatever means possible, make myself more available, and try to be sensitive to non-verbal cues even in video and audio conversations.

Ana Paula Carvalho
Chief Commercial Officer, China and Emerging Markets
Pfizer
Leadership Skill: Agility
With the pandemic outbreak, all aspects of my professional life suddenly changed. Very early I realized I couldn’t rely on strategies and approaches that had worked in the past. I had to thrive in change, be comfortable with the unknown, learn, and adapt rapidly at speed of events while amplifying activities that would ensure my personal well-being.

Sherry Cassano
Senior VP, HR, Finance, PGS and GBS
Pfizer
Leadership Skill: Connectivity
While I have always considered myself to be a connected leader, COVID-19 created a distance among all of us that made connectivity even more important. This required me to rethink ways to connect with my team, with my peers, and stakeholders. Trying to support employees remotely, bring joy to the team and create and grow stakeholder relationships was challenging from a distance.

Jessica Cini
SVP, Client Services and New Business Development
Health & Wellness Partners

Laura Clague
Chief Financial Officer
Travere Therapeutics
Trend Tracking: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
At Travere, we believe that in order to deliver life-changing therapies effectively, our team must reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. We know that diversity in thought brings diversity in solutions – and that is what the rare disease community is hoping for from us. We are committed to creating a multigenerational, multiracial and multicultural workforce, and an environment where our employees feel comfortable bringing their authentic selves to work every day.

Mary Corcoran
Group President, Integration and Operations
Real Chemistry
Leadership Skill: Agility
COVID-19 and everything that went with it hit hard and fast – turning our professional and personal lives upside down. Our culture is driven by an entrepreneurial spirit and can do attitude — so we quickly and nimbly tore up the 2020 plan and wrote a new one — for our business, our clients and our employees. Not knowing what the next day, week or month would bring required an athletic and agile mindset — with resilience as a constant red thread.

Marcia Eisenberg, Ph.D.
Senior VP, Chief Scientific Officer, Diagnostics
Labcorp
Leadership Skill: Teamwork
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, we didn’t need — nor did we have the time — to reinvent the wheel in our response to COVID-19. The most expeditious and effective response was to rely on our extensive scientific experience and knowledge and utilize our collective skills to adapt.

Wlenyeno Elliott-Browne
Divisional Director
CSL Behring
Leadership Skill: Resiliency
2020 was a tough year. The global pandemic followed by civil unrest in the U.S. both tested my resiliency. There were also leadership changes at CSL Plasma. Change can be unsettling, so I needed to be there for my team. Having a strong foundation — and purpose — helped us stay focused and adapt to changing needs and expectations. I also managed with a steady hand and was open to listening a lot more, looking for nonverbal cues.

Cheryle Evans
Senior VP, North American Operations
Advanced Clinical
Trend Tracking: Designing for Resilience
The pandemic taught us that we needed to pivot quickly with the ability to respond to disruptions in a way we have never needed to before. It required us to establish processes and procedures that would allow for flexibility, both in the way we deliver and how we assess risk and modify project plans while adhering to regulatory requirements. It made us think about the possibility that unlikely events can occur at a moment’s notice — and how we will need to be able to respond timely and with confidence when this happens. Resilience is the ability to course correct quickly while still achieving our goals. This thinking is now infused into every one of our programs at Advanced Clinical and is engrained in every opportunity and process.

Rosanna Fleming
Executive Director, Data Management and Statistics
Strongbridge Biopharma
Leadership Skill: Prioritization
Effective prioritization of the influx of e-mails and web-based meetings that have temporarily replaced in-person communications has been a challenge. I am still honing this skill and try to prioritize not just based on deadlines but also on the downstream impact on other people’s work of a delayed response or non-participation.

Ruth Fleming
VP, Global Marketing, Tissue Technologies
Integra LifeSciences

Gayle Flynn
Engagement Delivery Partner, Life Sciences, Delivery Management
Cognizant Technology Solutions
Trend Tracking: DCTs
DCTs are conducted remotely so that patients can remain comfortably in their homes for either most or all of the study through the use of technology. I am a passionate advocate for diversity and want to increase the participation of underrepresented patient populations to understand if the drugs being developed are safe and efficacious for all people. DCTs expand access for patients living in clinical research deserts, make trial participation more convenient, and provide cost savings to fund additional research.

Jennifer Glodeck
Regional VP
Doximity
Leadership Skill: Visionary
hanks to the twists and turns of COVID I have honed my visionary leadership skills by creating a clear and achievable vision for the future. Employees cannot perform at their highest potential if they do not know what they are working toward. Leaders must communicate their vision and goals clearly and effectively so that their internal partners can work to achieve them.

Meera Gopalakrishnan
VP, Global Marketing, Codman Specialty Surgical
Integra LifeSciences

Carly Guenther
Managing Director
Accenture
Leadership Skill: Communication
The importance of effective communication has increased 100 times during the past year, especially since the more informal water- cooler chats aren’t happening. This means connections must be nurtured. Supporting a sense of connectedness and ensuring effective engagement ensures everyone is on the same page to be poised to innovate and execute vision.

Rachel Hall
US Digital Health and Smart Health Experience Leader
EY
Trend Tracking: Virtual Care
The primary trend I am tracking is the shift to virtual care and the focus on establishing exceptional customer experiences. COVID-19 has been a tremendous accelerator, and we’re seeing not only near-term impacts, but expect long-term transformation of the industry in this regard. That’s one reason why our teams at EY are focused on leveraging advanced technologies to better connect traditional and nontraditional wellness data to generate insights that drive better outcomes.

Tanya Hill
Executive Director, Commercial Strategy and Brand Planning
Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals
Leadership Skill: Adaptability
Adaptability and connecting virtually were two skills I found myself further enhancing during the pandemic. I changed roles twice and had to lead a cross functional team with some still who I have not had an opportunity to meet with in person. Being present during many hours of online sessions can be tiring, but it is critical for interpersonal relationship building.

Mary Hobart
VP, Global Leader, Regulatory Affairs
Otsuka America Pharmaceutical

Hilary Hutton-Squire
VP, Liver and Pulmonary Business Unit
Gilead Sciences

Renee Iacona
VP, Oncology Biometrics
AstraZeneca
Leadership Skill: Resiliency
As the pandemic continued on much longer than any of us originally expected, learning to remain resilient and finding ways to keep the burnout from taking over. I definitely took on setting goals for myself so I could have small achievements during the pandemic — both personally and professionally — it helped me to see that even during a pandemic I could accomplish many things and this kept me motivated despite the surrounding events.

Marcy Imada
Managing Director
Deloitte

Kathrin Jansen
Senior VP and Head, Vaccine R&D
Pfizer

Mwango Kashoki
VP, Regulatory Affairs
Parexel

Rebecca Kidd
Senior VP, Global Logistics, Global Manufacturing and Supply Chain
Cardinal Health
Trend Tracking: Home Care
Depending on the point of care, volume moves very differently — from distribution center size and location, to how product is stored, picked and shipped. As a distributor supporting multiple points of care, the right operating model is critical. If we are not ahead of the trend, we cannot efficiently support and service customers.

Maria Kirsch
Senior VP, Head of Patient Services
EVERSANA
Leadership Skill: Authenticity
Authenticity, humility, being a change champion, and asking others for help are all competencies I’ve found critical to my leadership journey over the last year. In addition adopting a mindset of continuous improvement asking ‘what can I do better?’ and demonstrating accountability leads to stronger team engagement and improved results.

Heather Knight
GM, US Hospital Products
Baxter International
Leadership Skill: Emotional Intelligence
The pandemic and its constantly evolving nature challenged people in all aspects of their work and personal lives. It is imperative to recognize when someone is struggling, and offer grace and a safe space to acknowledge these emotions. Doing so helps deepen the connection and alignment across teams.

Linda Magrath
VP, Customer Support
Medidata, a Dassault Systèmes Company
Trend Tracking: Telemedicine
With COVID-19 dominating our lives for more than a year, we are finding new and better ways to address both mental and physical health. Many people ignored their own health during 2020 to avoid coming in contact with the coronavirus, increasing concerns for overall mental and physical health that can be addressed through technologies like advanced telemedicine.

Tsveta Milanova
Senior VP, US Commercial Operations
Alexion Pharmaceuticals
Leadership Skill: Ability to Pause
Through COVID-19 I’ve learned that slowing down is critical to being able to move fast. It may sound counterintuitive but taking the time and space to focus and reconnect with my purpose is so important. When you re-center on your purpose you can dedicate your efforts to the things within your sphere of control and make significant and impactful moves forward.

Hae-Won Min Liao
VP, US Pricing and Access, Commercial Legal
Gilead Sciences

Carol Montandon
World Wide VP Chief Quality Officer
Johnson & Johnson
Leadership Skill: Empathy
While we were all impacted by the pandemic, how we experienced it was very different for everyone. Taking the time to listen to individual’s challenges and offering flexibility and support were critical in ensuring continued engagement in our mission critical business priorities.

Sheri Mullen
Senior VP, Specialty Business Unit, US Pharmaceuticals
GlaxoSmithKline

Christian Nguyen
VP, Global Patient Outcomes, Real World Evidence
Eli Lilly and Company
Leadership Skill: Being Present
Adaptability, resilience, empathy — these are all skills we’ve all had to hone during the past year, but the trait that has served me best is showing up and being present, every single day. Showing up and fully focusing on the person or task at hand, that has made me a better mother, spouse, friend, colleague, and leader.

Liisa Palmer
Outcomes Research Portfolio Leader
IBM Watson Health

Kelly Parker
Executive Director, Chief People Officer
Avanir Pharmaceuticals
Leadership Skill: Empathy
We have a very diverse group of colleagues at Avanir, and we knew that no one business solution was ever going to work for everybody. Surveys, town halls, and one-on-one check-ins kept us in close communication, but empathy kept us together and drove much of our decision-making.

Jessica Pfennig
Global Compliance Business Partner
AstraZeneca
Trend Tracking: Digital Ethics
Digital ethics is an emerging area that is the intersection of compliance and data privacy. Considerations of digital ethics range from the need of human oversight for artificial intelligence algorithms to providing transparency on the use of someone’s personal data. My role of being a valued compliance business partner is based on assessing the ethical implications in creating patient centric solutions. The digital world is complex but exciting.

Elaine Phillips
Business Unit Director, Immuno-Oncology, Australia
Bristol Myers Squibb
Leadership Skill: Agility
Our world turned upside down personally and professionally in 2020. Learning, adapting, and moving forward were key to thrive in the ambiguous world we faced.

Pam Politis
Executive Director, Regulatory Counsel
Incyte
Leadership Skill: Empathy
Making connections to people has been critical, which requires really recognizing what others are going through. While we were all in this together, the pandemic effected each of us differently-some had young children cooped-up at home, some were caring for COVID patients, and others mourned the loss of loved ones. My first objective was to understand what others were going through and empathize.

Kristin Pothier
Partner, Global Healthcare and Life Sciences Strategy Leader KPMG


Lynn Prothero

Senior Regional Business Director
Lundbeck
Leadership Skill: Resilience
Being able to pivot and quickly respond to the many uncertainties of the pandemic has been critical during this time. By coming to each day with the willingness and preparedness to adapt, I was able to support our teams to persevere and not just bounce back, but bounce forward and thrive so that we could fulfill our purpose of supporting patients.

Lori Reilly
Chief Operating Officer, Executive VP
PhRMA

Kara Roeder
Divisional VP, Operations
Pharmavite
Leadership Skill: Agility
I believe that the increased consumer demand for nature made at the onset of the pandemic placed additional pressure on our manufacturing and packaging operations. Redefining our short-, mid-, and long-term priorities to address this sudden shift was critical to my on-going success and the ability of my team to navigate new obstacles during the peak of this crisis.

Kristin Schuhwerk
VP/Global Head Project and Portfolio Management, Development
Sanofi
Leadership Skill: Empathy
The pandemic brought us closer to our teams, understanding both their personal and professional challenges. Their struggles were unique and I had to adapt my leadership style to be more empathetic to their individual situations to ensure they felt heard, appreciated, and understood. Communication and staying connected remains essential.

Rachel Sha
Head, Digital Strategy and Governance
Sanofi
Trend Tracking: Digital Transformation
COVID-19 accelerated digital transformation in healthcare and life sciences. Telemedicine adoption, for example, grew rapidly by HCPs and patients and patients as compared with years past. This has implications for how we develop medicines and what solutions are best to improve outcomes. Coupled with advanced analytics, it means we have greater understanding of disease and the impact on patients.

Rina Shah
VP, Pharmacy Operations and Specialty
Walgreens Boots Alliance

Jennifer Shirley
President, Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness
Publicis Health
Leadership Skill: Adaptability
The global pandemic required very quickly adapting to new ways of connecting and working with our clients and colleagues. Where work and home were once clearly defined, WFH blurred these lines and often opened up uncomfortable conversations about isolation, mental health, systemic racism, and politics. Thriving at work meant showing up with authenticity and vulnerability — for leaders and team members alike.

Edrice Simmons
Senior VP, US Marketing, Allergan Aesthetics
Abbvie

Linda Smith
Chief Service Officer and Chief of Staff
Magellan Rx Management
Leadership Skill: Supporting Personal Well-Being
Understanding and accommodating personal lives and flexibility for our associates was brought to a whole new level with COVID. Our ability to support personal wellbeing through such uncertain times actually increased overall employee engagement, thus supporting solid business continuity and continued delivery of the highest levels of quality and service.

Uthra Sundaram
Executive VP, Global Product and Launch Strategy
Takeda Pharmaceuticals
Leadership Skill: Listening Deeply
Amid the realities of the pandemic, I’ve led my new team through a strategic business transformation, which has evolved our commercial focus to unlock the potential of Takeda’s pipeline. How I’ve engaged with my colleagues though has been critical; it’s required thoughtful and disciplined listening. I’ve connected with as colleagues as possible virtually — investing the time to get to know them personally and build meaningful relationships, but also to gain their perspectives and insights professionally. Since I took on a new role in June 2020, I’ve never actually met my leadership team in person, yet I’ve formed strong bonds with each of them. Listening, combined with being curious and being true to myself, is how I have been able to thrive this past year and bring about the meaningful change I wanted to see.

Samira Thabet
Managing Director
Marina Maher Communications
Leadership Skill: Empathy
My leadership style has always been one that comes from a place of inspiration and support to help grow and lift people up. During this unpresented time of COVID-19, virtual life, and important key issues of the day — there has been nothing more important to me than leading with empathy for our employees, agency and clients.

Elizabeth Thompson
Group VP, Development and External Search
Horizon Therapeutics
Leadership Skill: Flexibility
Being a flexible leader today means more than consciously scheduling meetings across different time zones. It’s about recognizing the unique needs of every individual on my team, creating a space for them to be transparent and moving business forward for the betterment of our company and our patients.

Mary Treacy
VP, Head of US NBS and IT Country Head
Novartis Pharmaceuticals
Leadership Skill: Empathy
While in many respects the COVID-19 situation put us all on the same level playing field, our fields were dramatically different. As a senior leader in the organization, it was critically important to listen carefully to the associates and how they were feeling and what they were going through personally.

Sarah Tweedy
VP, Clinical Operations Head, Vaccines
Pfizer

Sujata Vaidyanathan
Global Drug Development Unit Head, Global Health
Novartis Pharmaceuticals
Leadership Skill: Leading through Adversity
Dealing with the uncertainty at the same time keeping the team motivated and focused was key. It’s easy to be a leader during good times. True test of a leader comes during tough and uncertain times. As a leader, I learnt how important it is to be authentic, transparent and selfless. It is critical to adapt to a constantly changing environment and make decisions when unknowns outnumber the knowns.

Amy VanBuskirk
General Manager, Sweden
Roche

Adriane Wack
Executive Director, Commercial Compliance
Merck & Co.
Trend Tracking: Allyship
If we as individual leaders do not prioritize the importance of listening, standing alongside, and standing up for employees who are or who feel marginalized in the workplace, the change we collectively seek will never happen — never.

Annette Williams
VP, Global Lifecycle Safety
IQVIA
Leadership Skill: Critical Thinking
The pandemic turned the pharmacovigilance world upside down. We realized early on we had to think differently. Rising above the daily challenges, accelerate new processes/technologies, take risks, and adapt. We have come through this together a stronger, leaner, and more connected organization all the while not compromising quality or compliance.

Christine Wooddell
Director, Liver Targeting
Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals
Leadership Skill: Communications
Clear and positive communication have been critical as people work remotely and cannot easily walk over to coworkers’ desks to be sure the message received was the message we intended to send. We need to communicate our appreciation and care with limited visual cues.

Theresa Wu
Director, Product Management
LexisNexis Risk Solutions Health Care
Leadership Skill: Managing Change
I became more sensitive to the disruption in my team’s professional and personal lives and to the emotional and psychological impact of the pandemic. I was flexible so my employees could balance their personal needs, such as scheduling changes needed to tend to family members during the workday, while also keeping them focused and motivated to meet business needs.

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Rima Alameddine
Intentional and Genuine

Rima Alameddine, general manager of global oncology for Becton Dickinson, has adapted to different leadership styles throughout her career depending on the profiles of the professionals she was leading — from democratic to servant, charismatic to transformational. Her willingness to adapt and ability to thrive in a variety of situations are just a few of the reasons BD named her as a 2021 Luminary. “This HBA honor is a confirmation that my purpose of standing out, for being unique in my ideas and thoughts to improve people’s lives by working with passion, commitment, and dedication are not only true to my values but extremely worthy,” she says.

Rima’s adaptability stems from her culturally diverse upbringing living in three countries, learning five languages along the way. Her openness to new junctures in life and immersing herself in the culture along the way, has transformed her mindset. Once potential challenges are now new opportunities.

Another shaping moment for Rima was advice she received during her 20-year plus career, to be intentional. “Such a simple but critical piece of advice,” she says. “I am intentional and genuine in how I lead and in what I do to drive success and always meet the needs my team members have.”

The most rewarding part of her job is inspiring people to unleash their own potential for growth. “What I value most in a mentorship relationship is that both mentor and mentee share and gain experiences, knowledge, and different perspectives,” she says.

She likes to offer her mentees a piece of her own advice, which is to prioritize where to put one’s attention. “It is tricky to think of something that I wish I knew when I started my career, as probably this knowledge would have prevented me from going through the experiences that brought me here, today; nevertheless, if there is one thing that I would advise my younger self, it would be choose your battles,” she says.  (PV)

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Carol Nieto
Servant Leader

In her role as senior director, quality management, integrated diagnostic solutions at BD, Carol Nieto is responsible for assuring that the organizational structure, responsibilities, procedures, processes, and resources for her business unit meet the needs of BD and are in alignment with industry standards.

During the course of her career, Carol has self-identified her management style as one of servant leadership. “My role is to empower, develop, guide, and remove roadblocks for my team,” she says.

With 20-plus years of medical device experience, including regulatory compliance, quality assurance, IVD reagent, product development, manufacturing, quality control, clinical testing, and marketing industry knowledge and expertise, Carol says the best part of her job is working alongside people who are dedicated to delivering quality products to BD’s communities.

Over the course of her career, she has received and followed some great management advice, and one of the most important pieces of wisdom has been embracing change. “Also, as leaders we must always be a role model and demonstrate the behaviors and values we expect of our teams,” she adds.

Carol is a dedicated mentor and takes pride in knowing she is making a difference to others’ professional development. “Mentoring has given me the opportunity to help others advance in their careers and provide the support they need to be successful,” she says. “It is humbling to watch my team members develop and know that I was part of their growth.”

Like most leaders over the past 18 months or so, Carol has had to keep her high-performing team operating at the top of its game. She knows that good communication skills are important at all times, but in the time of COVID-19 she says they have been vital.

“Over the past year, it was critical that I had clear, direct, and transparent communication with my teams and peers,” Carol says. “Ensuring that we meet regularly, to provide encouragement, guidance, and support during these difficult times has been of paramount importance. I am proud of the work my team and I have accomplished this past year and look forward to many more years of success with BD.”  (PV)

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Rachael Asselin
Making Magic Happen

Rachael Asselin is all about making magic happen. And her secret sauce is equal parts empowerment and recognition.

“With both my internal and extended teams I try to push team members to take on more challenges, and then I ensure they are recognized for their effort, as well as for the success that inevitably comes from pushing themselves outside their comfort zone,” Rachael says. “It is good to be pushed outside your comfort zone in your job. This is when the magic happens.”

Early in her career, she had a manager who showed her the value of recognizing people on the team for their accomplishments. “I learned first-hand that shining the light on my team members for their great achievements raises awareness of the great work the overall team is doing and motivates them to continue to shine,” she says. “Since then I have been drawn to leaders who are their team members’ biggest champion; I try to be that leader every day. By sharing the accomplishments of my team — both individual and collective — I ensure their success is widely recognized.”

In addition to being a proactive proponent of team success, Rachael says the best part of her job is having the opportunity to mentor team members who are early in their careers. “I beam with pride when someone I’ve mentored makes advances in their expertise,” she says.

Rachael’s 20-plus-year career, including senior roles at prominent biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, has been filled with diverse experiences, which have been enriching and unexpected.

“Unplanned twists and turns have given me the expertise that I rely on frequently,” she says. “While an opportunity may not be part of the ‘master plan,’ my advice is take the leap, gain the experience, and make the connections. The most unexpected developments can become the most important parts of your story.”  (PV)

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Katie Tippit
Striking the Right Balance

Katie Tippit, director, clinical sales, North America at Haemonetics, strives to strike a balance as a leader between recognizing what is unique about the individuals on her team and motivating everyone toward a common goal.

“Not everyone will interpret a message, maneuver through a challenge, or achieve a goal in the same way,” she says. “It is critical, in my experience, to be able to tap into the individual talents team members bring to the table, while coming to an agreement on what we will achieve together and what our best path forward is. Once you have that connection, understanding, and unity, you can then hold the bar high and establish a solid foundation of accountability.”

For Katie, the best part of her job is carrying the torch for an incredible team of dedicated professionals.

“I hold the fact that I am often the ‘voice’ for what we need, what our product needs, and what our customers need with extreme pride and honor,” she says. “I am working toward these needs by staying in constant connection with my team and our customers, which is something I love to do.”

Katie is equally passionate about widening the path for other women in their career pursuits.

“I hope I can be an example who helps women realize that we can decide what we want to be, and go be it,” she says. “I am a mother of two, a wife, a daughter, a friend, and a successful sales leader. If someone had put me in a box, or if I had told myself I couldn’t be all of those things, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Katie believes when it comes to career advancement, not only can women “do it all,” they can do it really well. “We need to network with each other, mentor each other, and set examples for each other to ultimately create more opportunities and ensure women are at the table ready for them,” she says. (PV)

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Jennifer Benenson
Unapologetic Advocacy

Jennifer Benenson says some of the best leadership and career advice she ever received was to not be afraid to hire people who are smarter than you. “I have been following this advice for 25 years,” she says. “And, I attribute much of the success that I have had to the great work that others have done, and to their own development as effective leaders. I know that I possess skills that I can teach them, and I do so generously, but there is always room for reciprocity.”

Part of that exchange is Jennifer’s penchant for mentoring and sponsorship. “In addition to participating in formal mentoring programs, I frequently reach out to women to express my interest in them, ask how I can support their professional development, and as a result I end up having a variety of informal mentoring relationships,” she says. “I want these women to know that there are people who care about their careers in many places in our organization, outside of the traditional channels. In these conversations, I encourage them to seek new opportunities and to speak up for what they want and deserve.

“When a formal mentoring relationship ends because the program cycle is over, and yet the mentoring relationship continues, I know that the relationship is meaningful, the bond is strong, and the time together is valuable,” she continues. “We all do some things at work that we don’t necessarily enjoy, so when someone calls and says, ‘I want to talk to you,’ I get a great sense of fulfillment.”

Jennifer is an authentic and transparent leader. “People never have to wonder where I stand on an issue,” she says. “I prioritize transparency and work hard to make sure others feel comfortable opening up as well. I am also very protective of my team and unapologetically advocate for their professional development and recognition, in all forms. At the same time, I am very demanding of myself and everyone on my team, so when I offer praise and express appreciation, they know they have done really well.”  (PV)

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Christy Mitchell
Creating a Culture of Trust

Christy Mitchell recognizes that often a career path is not always a direct line and success is based on good intentions and working to gain trust through being authentic and simply caring. “I have learned that it’s okay to not ‘climb the ladder’ but ‘climb the jungle gym’,” she says.

In her current role as regional business director, neuroscience at Ipsen, she is building a successful region with the primary mission of improving patients’ lives through access to innovative therapies in the areas of oncology, neuroscience, and rare disease.

“Having the opportunity to serve others is the best part of my job,” Christy says. “I’ve been blessed to always work to improve the lives of patients. This has looked different along the years, but the purpose has remained the same. I am currently able to serve patients by serving my team through empowerment, encouragement, and support. Our team success equates to a positive impact for patients.”

Always curious and humble when dealing with people and processes, Christy’s management style incorporates decisiveness that allows for momentum and trust. “Through this culture of trust, I empower my team to be decisive, which often fuels success,” she says. “Early in my career, my manager stressed the importance of being decisive. I often sought others’ advice before making a choice instead of having the confidence in myself to take action. Even when the decision isn’t perfect, the outcome is always an opportunity to grow.“

Maintaining a culture of trust also is woven into how Christy approaches mentoring relationships. “I appreciate having mentors who are willing to be vulnerable in not only sharing information about themselves but also in providing feedback and guidance,” she says. “Conversely, it’s an honor to have mentees who are trusting and vulnerable to maximize the value of the relationship. My career would not have been the same without invaluable mentors.”

Christy says being recognized as Ipsen’s HBA Rising Star is an extreme honor because of the committed, influential female stars within her organization. “Personally, this recognition shows both my son and daughter the value of diverse leadership and authenticity,” she says. “The business of healthcare allows me to fulfill my passion while leading from a place of empathy and patient-focused vision.”  (PV)

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Tanya Hill
Shining the Spotlight on Others

Tanya Hill describes her leadership style as “2S” — situational and servant. “I adapt my approach to the situation and prefer to have the spotlight on my team members, always asking ‘how can I help’ and celebrating their success over mine,” she says.

Tanya is passionate about leading and enhancing high-performing commercial teams. With 25-plus years of experience and expertise, she has extensive insights that give her an edge in building better brands, portfolios, and businesses by helping teams reach their full potential.

Tanya’s leadership approach is based on quickly developing a professional and personal connection with the team that encourages open and honest dialogue about their challenges regarding both personal development and business issues. During her successful career, she has employed several other great leadership lessons. For example, Tanya says it’s important to make space and time for connecting and networking. She also is a big advocate for celebrating opportunities to try something new, take risks, and sometimes fail, as long as you create an opportunity to do better next time and learn from that experience.

As a team leader she believes it’s important to “honor the pause.” Tanya says leaders shouldn’t feel as if they have to jump in all the time to provide answers. Her advice is to really listen to your team or your audience to make sure you pick up on the right cues and questions. “Also, ask great questions and tap into ideas that come from many different areas and diverse points of view,” she says.

A third piece of guidance she offers is around mentoring and sponsorship.
“Everyone needs their own personal board of directors,” Tanya says. “Mentoring relationships are a great way to build that board; these relationships provide a safe place to test new ideas before proposing them to a larger audience.” (PV)

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Megan Roberts
Leading by Example and Having it All

Megan Roberts leads by example when it comes to her career and widening the path for other women. “The next generation of leaders are seeing me doing it all — running a household with my husband, embracing quality time with family and friends, while also having a successful career,” she says. “It takes work, but it can be done, especially when you have a strong support system — personally and professionally. At the same time, I, like many others, have an ‘I can do it all’ mentality, but when you burn the candle at both ends, you lose clarity and your productivity suffers. So, it’s important to occasionally slow down and take time for oneself, even it’s only five or 10 minutes — it’s worth it.”

Being recognized as a Rising Star by her company confirms that she is on the right path, and the honor serves as a reminder of her responsibility to bring others up the ladder to work together to change the status quo. “My eighth grade English teacher nominated me as ‘most likely to break through the glass ceiling,’ and let’s just say I am not done yet,” Megan says.

She fully recognizes that she couldn’t have gotten as far as she has without the encouragement of others throughout her career, and she is grateful for both the personal and professional support and guidance.

As director of SEC reporting, technical accounting, and global consolidations at Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, Megan says the best part of her job is the opportunity to constantly learn and develop while navigating the ever-changing business environment alongside a broad team who supports each other while working toward a common goal to get things right. “Working as a team and sharing experiences to arrive at the right answer has proven to be invaluable time and again,” she says.

Megan believes in paying it forward and sharing the experiences she has gained along the way to guide others to success. “Once you have mastered something yourself, it is time to share your knowledge,” she says. “If you do everything on your own because it is easier or faster, you are only hindering the development of your team members. It is all about empowering people, while being there to guide and support them.”  (PV)

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Mary Treacy
Challenging the Status Quo

Early in her career, Mary Treacy wishes she had taken more risks, spoken up more often, and challenged the status quo to have her voice heard.

Today, as VP, head of US NBS and IT country head, for Novartis Pharmaceuticals, she hopes others can learn from her experience and encourages women in the organization to take risks, get out of their comfort zones, and try new things.

“I have supported and moved many women along on the career ladder,” Mary says. “I also stress the importance that going sideways is a great way to learn and grow and going up the ladder may not be a straight shot.”

Mary has a love and passion for mentoring as it provides her as well as the mentee an opportunity for both of them to learn. “I gain a lot of insights in the process myself,” she says. “While coaching is rewarding, the learning I receive through mentoring has been really impactful and helps to grow my experience as well.”

Self-described as a hands-off leader, at the same time Mary says she has her team members’ backs. “I trust they are the experts, but I’m here for them when they need me,” she says. “I challenge my team and truly love to brainstorm and solve problems together.

“I am a business partner for many senior clients and I love gaining exposure for my key talent with these stakeholders,” Mary adds. “I enjoy helping my team members to grow, learn, and tell their story versus me telling it for them. The visibility I received through my management is how I pay it forward.”

In building a high-performing team, Mary says transparency is key. “As long as you tell the full story, even when it’s not so good news, you build a level of respect and trust that is bar none,” she says.

Humbled by Novartis’ recognition of her achievements over the years, Mary says she has worked extremely hard at building diverse, inclusive, and high-performing fun teams.  (PV)

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Sujata Vaidyanathan
Paying It Forward

Mentoring is a passion for Sujata Vaidyanathan, who in addition to her high-profile position as global drug development head of global health at Novartis Pharmaceuticals, actively mentors four to five individuals over a 12-month period, every year.

“I mentor, coach, and sponsor women within and outside of my organization,” she says. “Additionally, I have many informal one- on-one conversations. I volunteer to speak as a panelist in career conversation events within our organization. And, I am an executive sponsor for several committees within my organization that support culture and talent management.”

For Sujata the best part of the mentoring/sponsorship relationship is that exchange goes both ways.

“These relationships are a journey in learning and I love getting to meet great talent and learning so many new things from them,” she says. “I also get to play a small part in helping them achieve success. Paying it forward — it is a beautiful thing.”

Leadership requires myriad skills, and Sujata has learned along her own successful career path that honesty and sincerity are crucial to creating a psychologically safe place for teams to operate at their highest levels. She believes this is the best way to create trust among team members. This takes away the fear of failure and creates an environment for innovative thinking and people to feel more courageous to take risks.

“It’s easy to be a leader during good times,” she says. “The true test of a leader comes during tough and uncertain times. Over the past year or so, as a leader I learned how important it is to be authentic, transparent, and selfless. It is critical to adapt to a constantly changing environment and make decisions when unknowns outnumber the knowns.”

Through her own career experience, Sujata has learned that it’s important to be yourself and be comfortable and confident in that self. “You do not need to try to be like others,” she says. “Your uniqueness is what differentiates you. Keep asking the ‘so what’ question. I keep reminding myself, one cannot aspire to be a good leader without spending time in selfish introspection.”  (PV)

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Dr. Anastacia Awad
DE&I Champion

The best leadership advice that Anastacia Awad, Ph.D., head of diversity and inclusion, at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, ever received relates to sustainable impact: seek the underlying context behind a question or concern by focusing on the key outcomes for impact first.

For her this means asking thoughtful, clarifying questions that allow amplification of one’s expertise through others so they can solve for the most impactful outcomes for themselves.

In her current role, Dr. Awad is enabling innovative science and medicine through diversity, equity, and inclusion as it relies, in part, on how she is leveraging her expertise and influence through others. “To scale impact, I am honing how I lead through an expansive, virtual network of leaders, activators, educators, communicators, and partners to integrate DE&I into the core flow of work for business globally,” she says.

Dr. Awad is leading strategic efforts to integrate inclusive, equitable systems into core business practices enterprisewide across the organization. She sits on several leadership teams at the global, country, and divisional level to advance the global Novartis D&I strategy. She also heads a global approach to sustaining more than 60 thriving employee resource groups (ERGs) as communities of belonging and drivers of culture.

Dr. Awad has established a focused NIBR D&I approach that aims for broader impact in key scientific, collaborative, and social efforts, including clinical trial and portfolio diversity, inclusivity of scientific ecosystems, and micro-moments in talent and culture.

“Recognition as an HBA Rising Star feels like I am living the outcomes of diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Dr. Awad says.(PV)

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Mary Corcoran
Relationship-Builder, Servant Leader

Mary Corcoran believes wholeheartedly in the concept of servant leadership — and she embodies those principles in all that she does.

“As a leader, my mission is to be in service to everyone around me,” Mary says. “And I believe the more senior that you are, the more profound your service to others must become.

“I also believe deeply in the power of cohesive trust fueled teams, teams that trust each other enough that healthy conflict and debates are surfaced,” she adds. “When that happens, creative innovation tends to follow. I don’t need to be right as a leader, I want us as a team to get it right.”

This belief that high-functioning teams can achieve almost anything, comes from a foundational understanding of people, and setting them up for optimal success. “I have found that over the years, when you have people in the right positions on teams, who are able to lean into their superpowers, those teams are capable of nearly anything,” she says.

As group president, integration and operations at Real Chemistry, Mary leads a diverse team responsible for a wide range of client deliverables for the newly rebranded company. She has found that with the right combination of talent and skills, the end results can be extraordinary.

“I believe in treating everybody with dignity and respect, because you don’t know the path that they’re walking,” she says. “So I try to come to everyone with a lot of empathy and without assumption.”

Part of her success, she says, can be attributed to some sage, but simple, advice she received early on in her career: work hard and be nice.

“It’s so simple, but this advice has really served me over the years, because at the end of the day, this is what matters,” Mary says. “I’ve always been the person who works the hardest. And then it’s about how you treat people — everyone from the doorman in the building to the CEO, to every single client, to colleagues. It comes back to relationships and being kind. People don’t remember what you did, but they remember how you made them feel. I truly believe this. This philosophy has held true for me throughout my career.”

A career, which as a senior marketing executive with passion and a track record for building best-in-class teams, has been defined by successfully scaling business growth and providing C-suite level guidance and strategy for a rapidly — and constantly — changing communications and marketing landscape. Mary’s experience expands across several verticals, including finance, consumer product goods, retail, business to business, and consumer technology, but health is where her passion lies.

“I love the fact that I get up every day and know exactly why I am getting out of bed — to make the world a healthier place,” she says. “When you have clear purpose to your work, it ceases to become work. Instead, it’s a mission. We are making the world a better place through an alchemy of services, analytics, and technology — it’s a chemistry that is uniquely suited to meet the moment of healthcare today and tomorrow.”

For Mary, a big part of the mission is the people — her treasured clients and extraordinary colleagues at Real Chemistry.

“When I think of what we have been through, particularly in the last year, and what we have achieved together despite profound challenges, I’m awed, humbled, and inspired.”

Mary has built a reputation as a digital practice subject matter expert, which includes corporate reputation and crisis management; public affairs and influencer work; pure play consumer engagement and brand advocacy; and employee engagement and social business strategy. But her real superpower is in relationship-building — professionally and personally. Clients have become friends, and team members have become like family. Mary especially enjoys the relationships that are forged out of the mentorship and sponsorship dynamic.

“The best part of mentoring is the long-term relationships that are developed as a result,” she says. “The care and feeding of these relationships ends up being critically important, not only for my mentees, but for myself. These become mutually beneficial relationships.”

Mary’s desire to pay it forward involves sharing some of the lessons she learned along the way and imparting her own wisdom to the next generation of leaders.

“When I was starting out, and even through my mid-career, all I did was work, work, work, work, work, and work,” she says. “Everything was secondary to the work itself, including relationships. And knowing what I know now, I wish I’d spent more time on relationships and a little less time on the work itself, because ultimately the relationships are what follow you throughout your career and your life.”  (PV)

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Jennifer Shirley
Grounded in Authenticity

As president of Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness, a Publicis Health company, Jennifer Shirley loves that she gets to do a little bit of everything: creativity, strategy, and building deep relationships with clients and team members.

“Connecting with people and connecting them with each other as well as supporting people and seeing them grow professionally and personally are the best parts of my job,” Jennifer says. “Being back at SSW and partnering with amazing, like-minded people who inspire me and push me is just great.”

Jennifer’s leadership style is grounded in authenticity, compassion, and directness. And she prides herself on knowing how to lead and motivate different people in different ways. “I really enjoy and work hard at getting to deeply know my clients and my teams, and that allows me to tailor my leadership style to meet them where they are,” she says. “Building trust and inspiring people through genuine, heartfelt connections is what excites me most as a leader.”

Jennifer also believes it’s important for leaders to pay it forward; for her, that means showing women, who are early in their careers, that they can “have it all.”
“It’s not easy, but having a family, growing a career, and striking balance is achievable,” she says. “The best part of mentoring is demonstrating through actions and role modeling that caring for yourself, your family, and your career are not mutually exclusive. You don’t have to make trade-offs to succeed.”

One of the pieces of advice that she imparts is that it’s okay not to have all of the answers. “Many women often feel the need to be 100% certain and secure before taking the next big step in our careers, so my advice is to be brave and not to worry so much about having all of the answers,” she says. “Simply having the confidence to know you can tap into what made you successful in the past will give you courage for your next role.” (PV)

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Jennifer Curtis
Pursuing Professional Excellence

Consulting is a people business, and it’s a career that ideally suits Jennifer Curtis’ personality and her approach to solving industry challenges.

“Consulting is all about building relationships to solve complex problems,” she says. “When I started at the company, it was supposed to only be for a few years before moving out of consulting; but 12 years later, I am still here and finding new challenges and opportunities to grow, learn, and evolve.

“The best parts of my job are the people who I work with and having the ability to shape my own path and explore my own interests and passions in a way that reflects my values,” she adds. “I feel really lucky to have found this at ZS.”

Consulting requires keeping the needs of the clients top of mind to help them and their customers thrive, which means having frank, and sometimes, uncomfortable conversations.

As an approachable and direct leader, Jennifer has found that prioritizing honesty is the best approach when giving feedback to her teams or clients.

“I make sure that these conversations come from a place of respect and that my team members know I believe they are capable of excellence and have my full support in pursuing it,” she says.

Jennifer notes this requires balancing being empathetic to your team, understanding where they are and what they need, while ensuring excellence is what gets delivered to clients.

In her role as an associate principal, Jennifer’s areas of focus includes working with companies in the oncology and rare disease space. “The amazing potential of these therapies can dramatically change the lives of so many patients,” she says.

“However, the complexities of getting these therapies to patients are forcing us to re-evaluate healthcare structures and commercial models to ensure patients can get access to benefit.”

Jennifer notes leaders in oncology drug manufacturing are starting to think beyond the best-in-class drug or molecule to stay ahead in an increasingly competitive marketplace. As the market shifts from disease leadership to ecosystem leadership, she believes companies can succeed during this transformation, and in the future, by adding value beyond what’s traditionally been about the product. She says companies need to apply a customer-centric lens. “Although it used to be acceptable for pharma companies to come in at the end of the customer journey, when the patient was already receiving advanced cancer care, ecosystem leadership demands a reevaluation of pharma’s role,” Jennifer says. “This requires a deep understanding of both the customer journey and existing customer needs that are currently unmet.”

Second, she says companies need to focus on specific opportunities. “Once companies understand the greater system at play, they can — and should — choose what needs they can best meet.”

Third, she says, companies should consider partnerships. “It used to be that pharma companies had the monopoly on treatment-related patient data,” Jennifer says. “Now, groups outside of pharma, such as tech companies and healthcare startups, are gathering and aggregating patient data. Instead of maintaining the old mindset of working alone, oncology companies should shift to partnering both with their customers and with new industry disruptors.”

In addition to being a sought-after industry expert, Jennifer is dedicated to mentoring, coaching, and investing in the women she works with. “This is one of my passions and one of the things in my work that gives me meaning,” she says.

“Consulting can be a challenging career and balancing competing demands for time across work, family, and personal development is an ongoing challenge for me — as well as for many of the women I work with. Rather than avoiding or minimizing these challenges, I want to create environments where women can also be open, honest, and vulnerable to express what they want to achieve in their careers and support them as they pursue those goals.”

Seeing people pursue their goals and being an active supporter in that journey is incredibly meaningful, rewarding, and motivating for Jennifer.

“Reflecting on my own career, there were times when I felt frustrated, stuck, or just not sure how to get to the next level, and the mentors and sponsors who came forward made all the difference in helping me to break through my own mental blocks,” she says. “When I started my career I was constantly overwhelmed with feeling inadequate and had a major case of imposter syndrome. This changed once I met people who really believed in me, coached me, and invested in me. That experience is something I always share with new women who join the organization to help them realize that it’s a journey ­­— not a race — and they will get there. I can do the same to support others to achieve their personal goals, which is a great source of personal fulfillment.”  (PV)

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