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Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Across Life Sciences R&D Meeting

Turn insights into action with meaningful exchange across life sciences research and development (R&D) fields.


  • Tamei  Elliott, MS

    Tamei Elliott, MS

    • Senior Manager, Scientific Programs
    • DIA, United States

    Tamei Elliott is the Senior Manager of Scientific Programs for the Americas Region at DIA. She is responsible for identifying and prioritizing content areas and topics of importance to DIA constituents, assessing the implications of important regulatory and health policy changes, and incorporating appropriate content into the development and advancement of content for DIA conferences and courses. Prior to DIA, Tamei worked as a Regulatory Affairs Specialist where she maintained a portfolio of INDs and protocols for clients and was responsible for the preparation, tracking, and submission of regulatory documents to regulatory health authorities. She has her master's degree in biotechnology and bachelor's degree in nutritional science.

  • Richardae  Araojo, PharmD, MS

    Richardae Araojo, PharmD, MS

    • Associate Commissioner for Minority Health, Director, Office of Minority Health
    • FDA, United States

    RADM Richardae Araojo serves as the Associate Commissioner for Minority Health and Director of the Office of Minority Health and Health Equity at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In this role she provides leadership, oversight, and direction on minority health, health disparity, and health equity matters for the Agency.

  • Dyan  Bryson

    Dyan Bryson

    • Founder, Patient Engagement Strategist
    • Inspired Health Strategies, United States

    Dyan Bryson is a patient engagement strategist and has forged the way for the patient engagement space since 2007. After spending 20+ years in traditional sales, sales leadership and marketing at Merck and Ciba-Geigy (now Novartis) Dyan has spent the last 15 years laser focused on patient engagement, patient advocacy, patient-centricity. Dyan makes the life sciences industry talk of being patient centered very real. In the last 2 years Dyan has used this patient centered lens to drive work in helping companies ensure diversity in clinical trials. She is currently working with ICON to support Janssen to develop and implement diversity in clinical trials efforts.

  • Diana  Foster, BSN, PhD, MSN

    Diana Foster, BSN, PhD, MSN

    • CEO
    • The Association of Diversity in Clinical Trials, United States

    Dr. Foster is a consultant to the Society for Clinical Research Sites and Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In her role, she is responsible for building relationships with the industry that help amplify the voice of the clinical research site. She has been integrally involved in that role for SCRS for over six years. Her responsibilities include oversite of the SCRS Diversity Project focused on on-site knowledge, education, and engagement in diversity in clinical trials. Over the past two decades, Diana has addressed audiences across five continents, published multiple papers and articles, and written five authoritative industry books, including “Global Issues in Patient Recruitment and Retention.”

  • Karen  Correa, PhD

    Karen Correa, PhD

    • Vice President, Head Global Clinical Operations
    • Takeda, United States

    Dr. Karen Correa is the Vice President, Head of Global Clinical Operations at Takeda; where she is responsible for the advancement of the portfolio and execution of global clinical trials. Her 30 years of clinical research experience cover a large range of settings and venues including, benchwork, clinical site, CRO, as well as both large and small pharma organizations and has spanned across multiple therapeutic areas. She also leads the “Diversity in Clinical Trials” at Takeda and is known as an SME on this topic for the past 25 years. Dr. Correa serves as a board member of East Carolina University Alumni Board and CAMcare Health Corporation, a Federally Qualified Healthcare Center in South Jersey.

  • Kevin  Freiert, MBA

    Kevin Freiert, MBA

    • Owner and Chief Executive Officer
    • Salem Oaks® Consulting, United States

    Kevin is a seasoned drug developer with outstanding people skills. During his 30-year career with Pfizer, he held many varied roles that have given him a broad and deep understanding of the Drug Discovery and Development Process. During much of his career he educated colleagues and others about Pharmaceutical R&D, including establishing and running Pfizer Research University. After retiring from Pfizer, Kevin started Salem Oaks® Our purpose is to empower patients to shape the future of medicine® by providing education about Drug Discovery and Development. He is also the VP and Board Member of Rare New England, a regional non-profit serving the rare community. Kevin also hosts Improbable Developments, Raising Rare and LEMS Aware podcasts.

  • Barbara  Goodman, MBA

    Barbara Goodman, MBA

    • President and Chief Executive Officer
    • Cures Within Reach, United States

    Barbara Goodman leads Cures Within Reach and its mission of testing of already approved therapies in new indications. She has 25 years of healthcare/life sciences experience, focused on strategic growth initiatives at both for-profit and nonprofit corporations. Prior to CWR, she led iBIO’s PROPEL Center for 10 years and its programs to increase the number and success rate of Illinois life sciences startups, and its international activities. She previously worked in corporate strategy and business development at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (now the SR AbilityLab), Cardinal Health, and Chesapeake Corporation. She earned a BA in International Relations from Univ of Minnesota and MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management.

  • Christine  Lee, PharmD, PhD

    Christine Lee, PharmD, PhD

    • Strategic and Scientific Engagement Lead, OMHHE, OC
    • FDA, United States

    Dr. Christine Lee serves as the Lead for Strategic Research Engagement for the Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (OMHHE) in the Office of the Commissioner at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. She leads minority health and health disparity focused research and develops strategic partnerships to advance the health of diverse populations. Dr. Lee aims to develop research and strategic innovations that advance the health for all populations.

  • Alissa  Goodale, DrMed

    Alissa Goodale, DrMed

    • Regulatory Executive Director
    • Genentech, A Member of the Roche Group, United States

    Alissa Goodale currently serves as a Project Lead for Advancing Inclusive Research and Women’s Health Equity. She earned her Medical Degree from Southampton University. After briefly practicing medicine, she moved to Pharma and has over 26 years’ experience in a variety of Regulatory Affairs roles and therapeutic areas. Prior to taking on her current role, she was the Personalized Healthcare/Digital Health Regulatory lead for 3 years. Previously to this she served as a Global Regulatory Franchise Head, where she was responsible for a portfolio of oncology projects in solid tumors (focusing on Breast/Gynecological cancers) and hematological malignancies across all stages of development and across all global regions.

  • Amy  Sitnick, MA

    Amy Sitnick, MA

    • Vice President, Marketing
    • Greenphire, United States

    Amy Sitnick is Vice President of Marketing at Greenphire, a dynamic fintech company focused on clinical trial financial automation. She is responsible for showcasing the innovation of the company, from the product and IT departments to the client-focused operations teams, to increase brand awareness and create loyalty amongst clinical research stakeholders across the globe. Prior to joining Greenphire in 2018, Amy held Marketing leadership roles within business-to-business financial services companies, including PNC bank, FS Investments and SEI. In addition, she has been a community activist since the age of 18, leading and participating in organizations both in an outside of work that focus on inclusion.

  • Jacqueline  Woodruff, MA

    Jacqueline Woodruff, MA

    • Clinical Researcher / Anthropologist
    • Researcher, United States

    Jacqueline has over 30 years of life sciences experience, including product development and clinical research. As a researcher and anthropologist, she strives to identify the needs and interests of ordinary people, elevate the concerns of underrepresented groups, and provide information important to all stakeholders to advance healthcare and reduce disparities. She has a BSc in Chemistry and an MA in Anthropology.

  • Stephanie  Young Moss, PharmD, MS

    Stephanie Young Moss, PharmD, MS

    • Pharmacist, Owner
    • Integrative Pharmacy Outcomes and Consulting, United States

    Dr. Stephanie Young Moss received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy and a Masters of Health Services Administration with a concentration in Health Economics from The University of Wyoming. She has worked in various areas in pharmacy, Community, Regulatory Compliance, Managed Care, and Health Economics and Outcomes Research. Over the past 20 years Dr. Moss has advocated for decreasing disparities in health care through her volunteer work. She is also the owner of Integrative Pharmacy Outcomes and Consulting, which focuses on educating underserved communities on ways to reduce and prevent health disparities. This is achieved through health literacy, cultural competency, and technology.

  • Laura  Meloney, MPH, MSc

    Laura Meloney, MPH, MSc

    • Program Director
    • Multi-Regional Clinical Trials Center of Brigham & Women's Hospital and Harvard, United States

    Laura Meloney, MSc, MPH, is a Program Director at the Multi-Regional Clinical Trials Center of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard (MRCT Center). Her work at the MRCT Center has primarily focused on diversity, inclusion, and equity in clinical research; capacity building and strengthening; and ethics, conduct, and oversight in the clinical research enterprise. Laura has a variety of experience in designing, implementing, and managing clinical research and international development programs in East Africa and the United States of America.

  • Rose  Blackburne, MD, MBA

    Rose Blackburne, MD, MBA

    • Vice President, Global Head General Medicine, Clinical Research
    • PPD, A Thermo Fisher Scientific Company, United States

    Rose Blackburne, MD, MBA is Vice President and Global Head of Women’s Health/General Medicine, in this role she provides input and oversight for a portfolio of pharmaceutical and medical device product development opportunities across multiple therapeutic areas. Dr. Blackburne is board certified in Obstetrics/Gynecology with over 25 years of experience in Health Care, including 17 years in clinical research. Dr. Blackburne is a globally recognized leader in product development and has been instrumental in numerous approvals for pharmaceuticals, vaccines, medical devices, and diagnostic tests. Since 2016 Dr. Blackburne has served on the FDA Patient Industry Representative Alternate to the FDA Patient Engagement Advisory Committee (PEAC).

  • Shonta  Chambers

    Shonta Chambers

    • Executive Vice President-Health Equity Initiatives and Community Engagement
    • Patient Advocate Foundation, United States

  • Tesheia H. Johnson, MHS, MBA

    Tesheia H. Johnson, MHS, MBA

    • Deputy Director and Chief Operations Officer, YCCI; Director, Clinical Research
    • Yale University School of Medicine, United States

    Tesheia H. Johnson, MBA, MHS, is Deputy Director and Chief Operations Officer of YCCI and the Director of Clinical Research for Yale School of Medicine, where she provides leadership and direction in the area of clinical research. She is co-founder, along with the community leaders of the AME Zion Church and Junta for Progressive Action, of the Yale Cultural Ambassadors Program, launched more than ten years ago with a mission to catalyze the sustainable advancement of patient diversity, equity, and inclusion in clinical research. Ms. Johnson is nationally recognized for her expertise in the design and setup of clinical research programs.

  • Maimah  Karmo

    Maimah Karmo

    • President and Chief Executive Officer
    • Tigerlily Foundation, United States

    Maimah Karmo is the Founder/CEO of the Tigerlily Foundation and a sixteen-year survivor of triple negative breast cancer. Tigerlily Foundation has launched national and global health initiatives and provided breast health, educational, empowerment, wellness and transformational programs focused on ending disparities age, stage and color for black women in our lifetime.. Maimah has advocated with Members of Congress to pass legislation, worked with the CDC to launch national campaigns, and has been featured in numerous magazines and TV shows including the Oprah Winfrey show and USA Today. Most dear to her heart is her 18-year-old daughter, Noelle.

  • Jonathan David Jackson, PhD

    Jonathan David Jackson, PhD

    • Assistant Professor, Neurology, Executive Director,
    • Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, United States

    Jonathan Jackson, PhD, is the executive director of the Community Access, Recruitment, and Engagement (CARE) Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital and is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. CARE investigates the impact of diversity and inclusion on the quality of human subjects research and leverages deep community entrenchment to overcome barriers to clinical trial participation. He serves in an advisory capacity for several organizations focused on equity in clinical research, and has written guidance for local, statewide, national, and federal organizations on research access, engagement, and recruitment.

  • Rita  Ko, MBA

    Rita Ko, MBA

    • Chief Data Officer & Director, Racial Equity Analytics Lab
    • Urban Institute, United States

    Rita Ko is an award winning global data strategy and social impact executive with 15 years of experience as a trusted leader. Prior to Urban, Rita was the Head of The Hive and USA for UNHCR’s innovation lab, recognized as 'One of the Most Innovative Non Profits in the World' by Fast Company. Her leadership is based in taking missions and visions to execution by leading multidisciplinary teams, designing technical roadmaps that build capacity, and operationalizing initiatives across organizations. Ko founded the USA for UNHCR Data Advisory Board and is a member of the Harvard Data Science Review Advisory Board. She received a bachelor of economics degree from the University of Toronto and an MBA from Cornell University.

  • LaShell  Robinson, MS

    LaShell Robinson, MS

    • Director, Diversity & Inclusion in Clinical Trials
    • Takeda Pharmaceutical Limited, United States

    LaShell Robinson has a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering from the University of South Florida. She is a proud alumna of Tuskegee University where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in both Biology & Physics. Here she saw firsthand the impact historical clinical trial patient experiences had on communities of color perception of research. This continues to fuel and influence her passion for educating others about clinical research and patient engagement. She brings 10 years of clinical trial experience across therapeutic areas including neuroscience, immunology, and cardiovascular. LaShell is currently the Clinical Operations Lead for Diversity & Inclusion in Clinical Trials department.

  • Dan Octavian Sfera, MBA

    Dan Octavian Sfera, MBA

    • Co-Founder
    • Latinos in Clinical Research, United States

    Dan Sfera, BS, MBA, is involved in many aspects of the clinical research industry. He’s currently a site owner in Yuma, AZ, he runs a clinical trial website called "The Clinical Trials Guru". He has also co-authored a book called "The Comprehensive Guide to Clinical Research". Co-founder for CRC & CRA academy, LICR. In addition, he partners with, consult, and advise for various clinical trial companies across the United States. Dan has served as a clinical research associate, clinical trial manager, site director, and external auditor amongst other things. Dan blogs daily on his YouTube and various other social media platforms and considers himself an ambassador to clinical research.

  • Kaveeta  Vasisht, DrMed, MD, PharmD

    Kaveeta Vasisht, DrMed, MD, PharmD

    • Associate Commissioner for Women's Health, Director of the Office of Women’s Hea
    • FDA, United States

    Dr. Vasisht leads the FDA Office of Women’s Health in their work to protect and advance the health of women through scientific programs, policy, research, education, stakeholder collaboration, and outreach that incorporate an understanding of sex and gender differences to facilitate FDA decision making. She also serves as advisor to the Commissioner and key Agency officials on scientific, ethical, and policy issues and represents FDA on cross Agency expert committees focused on the health of women. She is board-certified in internal medicine and adult endocrinology. She completed her internal medicine and fellowship at the University of Chicago Hospitals and obtained her medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ.

  • Kayt  Leonard, MA

    Kayt Leonard, MA

    • Global Health Care and Life Sciences Strategic Advisor
    • SAS, United States

    Kayt Leonard is the Global Health Care and Life Sciences Strategic Advisor at SAS, an organization working to transform the world through the power of advanced analytics. Kayt is dedicated to understanding the challenges that patients, payers, providers, drug developers, and regulators face, and conducts academic and industry-based research on global access to health care and international health disparities. Working all over the world to increase access to care for diverse, underserved, and underrepresented populations, Kayt’s work has been recognized by the World Health Organization, the Food and Drug Administration, the European Medicines Agency, the Centers for Disease Control, and the U.S. Agency of International Development.

  • Sandra  Retzky, DO, JD, MPH

    Sandra Retzky, DO, JD, MPH

    • Director, Office of Orphan Product Development, Office of the Commissioner
    • FDA, United States

    Dr. Sandra “Sandy” Retzky is the Director of the Office of Orphan Product Development at FDA. Sandy joined the Agency in 2016. Sandy initially trained as a pharmacist. She is also a physician with board certification in Obstetrics and Gynecology and fellowship training in Urogynecology. After practicing medicine for many years, Sandy received an MBA degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and worked in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries for more than a decade. In 2010, Sandy transitioned to a career in public health. To make the change, she obtained an MPH degree from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2011 and a J.D. degree from Widener University in 2014.

  • Del  Smith, PhD

    Del Smith, PhD

    • CEO
    • Acclinate, United States

    Del is the co-founder and CEO of Acclinate, a trusted digital health company focused on greater health equity through inclusive research. He has built a diverse team and AI/ML platform to help the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry access and engage communities of color so that research is more inclusive. Del’s experience spans healthcare, IT, government, and higher education. As recovering business school dean, he has an unrelenting passion for using business principles to make a difference in the world. Del earned a Ph.D. in Management from the University of Alabama.

  • Owen  Garrick, MD, MBA

    Owen Garrick, MD, MBA

    • Chief Medical Officer, Clinical Trial Services
    • CVS Health, United States

    Owen Garrick, MD, is Chief Medical Officer of CVS Health Clinical Trial Services. In this role, Dr. Garrick is responsible for the overall medical strategy across the portfolio, overseeing medical compliance, clinical insights, publications and clinical innovation. He will build out the medical affairs function across CTS. Dr. Garrick will continue to be the Executive Sponsor for the CTS-wide health equity efforts, including diversity in clinical trials. Dr. Garrick earned his MD from Yale School of Medicine and his MBA from Wharton School of Business. He holds an AB in Psychology from Princeton University.

  • Spencer  James, MD, MPH

    Spencer James, MD, MPH

    • Principal Data Scientist
    • Genentech, United States

    Spencer James, MD MPH is a Principal Data Scientist at Genentech. His work has focused on advancing inclusive research for Genentech and Roche through the use of real world data and evidence and by developing novel methods and metrics such as the R-index. Spencer's background includes medicine, population health, and biochemistry. Prior to Roche, he held leadership roles leading teams with the Global Burden of Disease Study at University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, led grants focused on respiratory disease epidemiology and biomedical data ontologies, and developed disease surveillance technologies for respiratory, diarrheal, and non-communicable diseases.

  • Pat  Merryweather-Arges, MA

    Pat Merryweather-Arges, MA

    • Executive Director
    • Project Patient Care, United States

    Pat Merryweather-Arges is the executive director of Project Patient Care, a nonprofit that brings together patients, families, and caregivers to improve health care. At PPC, she has led nationwide patient and family engagement initiatives with 140,000 clinicians and an 18-month project on diagnostic research. Previously, Pat served as executive director of a Medicare QIO covering five states; senior vice president at the Illinois Health and Hospital Association; and Chicago City Planner. Pat is a Rotary International Board Director and has worked in LMICs on health care and WASH with Rotary. She is chair of a Chicago hospital board; serves on hospital quality and safety committees and local, national, and international not-for-profit boards

  • Amanda  Rangel, MS

    Amanda Rangel, MS

    • Senior Vice President, Diversity Business Development
    • Total Diversity Clinical Trial Management, United States

    Amanda Rangel, MS, CCRC, serves as senior vice president of business development for Total Diversity Clinical Trial Management (TOTAL). Bringing to the team 20 years of clinical research experience, Amanda is well established and an expert in building relationships within the clinical trials industry. Her broad skill set covers business development, marketing, patient recruitment and operational roles within various organization types, including small sites, large global site networks, CROs, technology providers and startups.

  • Stephen  Walker, MLIS

    Stephen Walker, MLIS

    • Director of Performance Improvement and Innovation
    • CSL Behring, United States

    I have worked in the fields of education and social work, spending the last 24 years in the pharma industry. My pharma focus has always been on clinical development of medicines and vaccines, with particular experience in clinical operations, regulatory and medical affairs.

  • Trishna  Bharadia

    Trishna Bharadia

    • Patient Advocate, International Speaker, Writer, Advisor and Content Reviewer
    • The Spark Global, United Kingdom

    Multiple award-winning patient advocate Trishna Bharadia raises awareness & improves support for people affected by chronic illness. She aims to put the patient voice into the entire healthcare journey. She collaborates with organisations globally, including from industry, the third sector, and HCPs, to improve support, services and patient engagement. She writes, reviews content & is a highly sought after speaker. She advises on patient centricity & diversity issues, and is a media contributor on health. She's also a patron/ambassador for several health-related and disability-related charities and sits on various advisory committees. Awards include being a "Points of Light" recipient from the UK Prime Minister's Office.

  • Kate  Wilson

    Kate Wilson

    • Head of Health Equity, Global Clinical Operations
    • Biogen, United States

    Kate Wilson is the Head of Health Equity in Global Clinical Operations at Biogen. Kate has over 20 years of experience in clinical research with an undergraduate degree in Chemistry. She’s held multiple roles within Global Clinical Operations at and worked across many therapeutic areas including multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. Currently at Biogen, Kate is leading the Health Equity and DE&I in Clinical Trials capabilities to increase the awareness, access and participation of diverse and representative participants in their clinical trials.

  • Jorge  Hechavarria, PhD, MBA

    Jorge Hechavarria, PhD, MBA

    • Senior Director, Diversity in Clinical Trials, Operations Administration
    • Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, United States

    Jorge Hechavarria is the Senior Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Clinical Trials?(DEICT), part of the Patient & Portfolio Solutions (PPS), in Janssen.? In this role, his primary responsibilities are to develop, deliver and continuously evolve the future vision for DEICT at Janssen and will lead a team that co-develops and delivers diversity and inclusion strategies related to DEICT across all Therapeutic Areas and regions.? Jorge serves as an advisor to Therapeutic Area and Global Development leaders to partner to continuously design and scale DEICT capabilities to enable better clinical trial design, operational optimization across all Janssen clinical trials. In this role, Jorge will lead & support select business transformation

  • Cassandra  Smith, MBA

    Cassandra Smith, MBA

    • Director, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Clinical Trials
    • Janssen Research & Development, United States

    Cassandra Smith currently serves as the Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Clinical Trials at Janssen Research & Development, LLC, part of the Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. Cassandra has over twenty years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry in various R&D roles. Cassandra has a passion for health equity and advancing efforts around diversity, equity, and inclusion in clinical trials. She has been involved in various internal and external working groups, councils and collaboratives focused on advancing DEICT and is a well-respected industry thought leader on this topic.

  • Leroy O Perry, PhD

    Leroy O Perry, PhD

    • Pastor
    • St. Stephens AME Zion Church, United States

    Rev. Dr. Leroy O. Perry pastors St. Stephens AME Zion Church. He earned a BA from Livingstone College, MDiv from Yale Divinity School, and STM and doctoral degree from NY Theological Seminary. He served on Mayor O'Leary's diversity commission (Waterbury, CT) and as chair of the Clergy Support committee for Waterbury Opportunities Industrialization Center. For over five years, he served as director of New Opportunities Fatherhood Program. He has led the Yale Cultural Ambassadors for over 12 years and is a passionate advocate within the African American and larger minority communities. He feels the partnership with Yale is a valuable exchange and necessary adhesive to bridge an effective community relationship for advancing clinical research.

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