We also want to congratulate those that were honored by the HBA, a global nonprofit organization of individuals and organizations from across the industry, committed to achieving gender parity in leadership positions; facilitating career and business connections; and providing effective practices that enable organizations to realize the full potential of their female talent. These awards were given at WOTY, honoring a number of people who have made significant contributions to our industry. We are proud to recognize them here. All award winners were honored at the live event on May 11 in NYC.


The primary award (of course) is for Woman of the Year, which this year went to Bahija Jallal, PhD, executive vice president, Astra- Zeneca, and head of MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca. She has guided MedImmune through an unprecedented expansion of its pipeline; in 2007 MedImmune accounted for five percent of the overall AstraZeneca pipeline, and today it represents approximately 50 percent. Bahija has authored more than 70 peer-reviewed publications and holds more than 15 patents. She is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Association of the Advancement of Science, and is president of the board of directors of the Association of Women in Science.


Receiving the Honorable Mentor award was Joaquin Duato, worldwide chairman, pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson. The Honorable Mentor award recognizes an individual who demonstrates long-term advocacy for current and future women leaders.

Joaquin is a 32-year veteran of the industry. His current leadership team at Johnson & Johnson includes six female leaders—two of which lead the largest geographic regions for the company’s pharmaceutical business. He has played an instrumental role in leading the dramatic turnaround of the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceuticals business since 2011. Outside of J&J, he is current chairman of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), and an active board member of the U.S. Spain Council. His commitment to nurturing a culture of diversity was recognized in 2015 when he was named one of America’s Top 10 Hispanic Business Leaders by Hispanic Career World.


Ceci Zak received HBA’s STAR (Strategic Transformation Achievement Recognition) award. Ceci is principal and COO at Batten & Co., a strategic consulting firm within the Omnicom Group, which builds and activates ambition for corporations by operating at the intersection of business, brands and culture. The HBA STAR is someone who stands apart as a truly exemplary role model by demonstrating a long-term commitment to the HBA’s strategic goals of furthering the advancement and impact of women in the business of healthcare. Previously, Ceci was COO of healthcare at DAS/Omnicom, and has also held senior executive roles at Sanofi. She is also a board member of HealthRight International, a global NGO focused on empowering marginalized communities to live healthy lives; Julia’s Butterfly Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing funding to families with chronic and terminally ill children; and is actively involved with the Pachamama Alliance, a nonprofit that strives to empower indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest.


The HB A Luminary award was introduced in 2014 as part of the 25th anniversary of the WOTY. This year, the HB A honored 34 senior women, identified by their Corporate Partner companies, who serve as role models in their company, actively mentor and sponsor others, help advance other women’s careers, and exhibit dedication to the healthcare industry. These leaders each have more than 20 years of professional industry experience.

Also recognized at WOTY are Luminaries and Rising Stars, listed below.

Mary Lou Ambrus

SVP, communications

Pfizer Inc.

Heather Attra

VP, manufacturing and technical operations, vision care

Alcon, a Novartis division

Colleen Carter

EVP, applied innovation and customer solutions

JUICE Pharma Worldwide

Diana Cucos

SVP, global clinical monitoring

inVentiv Health

Claudia Curtis

chief employment counsel


Belinda Dale

VP, supply chain

Shionogi Inc.

Fran DeGrazio

VP, scientific affairs and technical services

West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc.

Leslie Donworth

VP, operations

McCann Managed Markets

Rossana Gray

VP, human resources NA


Kathy Haines


Deloitte LLP

Marie-Pierre Hellio

head of development, Japan

Pfizer Japan Inc.

Diane Holman

SVP, talent and culture


Julie Iskow

EVP, chief technology officer

Medidata Solutions

Tina Karunaratne

director, clinical and late stage project management

Astellas Pharma US, Inc.

Maria Eduarda Kertesz

president, US health

Johnson & Johnson

Simona King

head of finance, total company financial planning and analysis

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

Laurie Kowalevsky

senior director, global marketing immunology

Eli Lilly and Company

Christine LaFave

general manager

Indivior Canada Ltd

Maite Lasmarias

regional operations director

Quest Diagnostics

Beth Levine

SVP, associate general counsel and chief compliance officer

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Yolanda Lyle

VP and assistant general counsel

Pfizer Inc.

Teresa Montes

senior consultant


Melissa Morrow

partner/EVP, director of client services

Calcium USA

Michelle Parsons

SVP, finance

Horizon Pharma PLC

Amy Pott

group VP-head of US commercial operations


Cindy Powell-Steffen

senior director, US marketing, brand activation and inside sales


Kate Priestman

VP, R&D strategy and portfolio


Alisandra Rizzolo

VP/general manager global customer experience

Stryker Corporation

Amy Spears, DVP

creative advertising and design services

Walgreens Boots Alliance

Suneela Thatte

VP, global operations

QuintilesIMS India

Alexandra von Plato

group president, North America, communications and media

Publicis Health

Brianne Weingarten

head of LBD alliance management

Purdue Pharma L.P.

Debbie Weitzman

SVP, GM Cardinal Health Puerto Rico

Cardinal Health

Ling Wu

VP, medical sciences, education and digital strategy

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

Kristie Zinselmeier

VP, national and strategic accounts

Baxter International Inc.


HBA Rising Stars are professionals in various sectors of the healthcare industry, including pharmaceutical, biotechnology, advertising, public relations, medical education and market research, among other fields. Also nominated by the HB A’s Corporate Partners, the Rising Stars represent various career stages and disciplines, and have demonstrated noteworthy achievements and proven attention to furthering their careers.

Tanya Botelho Silva Alcorn

VP, global supply chain

Pfizer Inc.

Jasmin Breitenbach

manager, global life sciences advisory services


Susan Browne

director, discovery research and head of vivo neurobiology

Teva Pharmaceuticals

Neely Burkhardt

VP, marketing

Magellan Rx Management

Jennifer Cahill


North Highland

Elena Cant

VP, head of commercial—global vaccine business unit

Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Eileen Cheigh Nakamura

senior director, portfolio management

Pfizer Inc.

Rui Che

managing director


Alexandria Cherry

director oncology marketing, Americas

Eisai Inc.

Barbra Churco

senior director, client services

Doximity, Inc.

Crystal Darby

PhD, VP, client services

The Scienomics Group

Jennifer Dee

VP, director of integrated production

McCann Torre Lazur

Anisa Dhalla

head of ethics and compliance, Americas

UCB, Inc.

Jennifer DiBenedetto

group VP, strategic services

The Lockwood Group LLC

Monique Dolecki

VP, investor relations


Megan Fabry

SVP, director of engagement strategy

The Bloc

Silvia Freyre

manager, clinical operations


Linda Gray

VP, program direction

Health & Wellness Partners, LLC

Jennifer Gudeman

VP, medical affairs maternal health

AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Libby Howe

regional business manager


Amy Jamison

senior director, client services

Publicis Touchpoint Solutions, Inc.

Sonali Jasmin

SVP, planner

Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide

Stephanie Krogmeier

senior director, regulatory

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated

Saré Largay

head, commercial operations and project management


Beatrice Lavery

senior group director, regulatory affairs

Genentech, Inc.

Susan Logan

executive director marketing

Amgen Inc.

Leverne Marsh

executive director, marketing

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

Allyson McMillan

executive director, lung and head and neck, US commercial lead

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

April Meijer

SVP, advocacy

Discovery USA

Susana Moreira

group account director

Beacon Healthcare Communications, Inc.

Adrienne Morgan

SVP, director of client services

H4B Chelsea

Elizabeth Murphy O’Keeffe

senior regional business director, neurology sales


Casey Myburgh



Maja Nelson

senior director, training and development

Actelion Pharmaceuticals US, Inc

Estelle Odet

brand activator

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt Germany

Lindsay Olson

associate creative director

Giant Creative Strategy

Carrie Palmer

VP and deputy general counsel

Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Nicole Paraggio

strategy senior manager


Neena Patil

VP, legal affairs

Novo Nordisk

Karin Payne

global compliance quality director


Magdalene Pedersen

chief of staff, global president R&D


Megan Persson

VP, management supervisor

McCann Echo

Melissa Pirolli

COE lead, RWI oncology


Els Poff

executive director, data integrity center of excellence

Merck & Co., Inc.

Alexandra Rancier

SVP, creative director

CDM New York

Michele Robertson

general counsel, hospital therapies

Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals

Lynn Rochon

SVP, group account director


Krystle Rodrigues

tax director


Christine Romean

VP, client services

M3 USA Corporation

Puja Sapra

VP and CSO, oncology research and development

Pfizer Inc.

Gerianne Sarte

senior finance director, cardiovascular and specialty solutions

Johnson & Johnson

Fabienne Schlup-Hasselmann

manufacturing director, Couvet site

Celgene Corporation

Maggie Smith

group account supervisor

Concentric Health Experience

Katharine Spayde

general manager, US commercial operations


Ariane Spidel

manager, design control

Roche Diagnostics

Heidi Spurling

associate director, corporate strategy

Ironwood Pharmaceuticals

Nicole Sweeny

product strategy lead, global hematology


Maria Tereno

VP and global chief D&I officer

Boehringer Ingelheim

Lindsey Thompson

SVP, brand business leader

Marina Maher Communications

Anna Trudel Fleming

senior manager, life sciences advisory services


Lerryn Trzcinski

executive business director, regional accounts

Daiichi Sankyo, Inc.

René van der Merwe

senior director, clinical development


Emily Wert

manager, marketing and communications

ISPO R—International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research

Adilka White

director of healthcare solutions and implementations