2009 Woman Of The Year
Dr. Deborah Dunsire, President and CEO of Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company.
Deborah Dunsire, president and chief executive officer of Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company named The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) 2009 Woman of the Year.
“I have spent my career focused on combining novel science and medicine to transform cancer from a dreaded killer to a treatable illness, and I am deeply honored to be named Woman of the Year by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association,” said Dr. Dunsire. “I have had the privilege of being involved with the HBA for many years, and it continues to serve as the preeminent industry organization that mentors and inspires female executives in healthcare.”
Dr. Dunsire will be honored at the HBA’s 20th annual Woman of the Year (WOTY) Luncheon on Thursday, May 7, at the Hilton New York. This is the event of the year for the healthcare community attended by over 2,000 leaders in the industry. Awards for Honorable Mentor, the Star Volunteer, and a group of “Rising Stars,” noted for their accomplishments and contributions to the healthcare industry, will also be presented at the luncheon.
While the HBA received many compelling nominations for the 2009 WOTY, the HBA Nominating Committee overwhelmingly agreed that Dr. Dunsire’s many accomplishments embodied the criteria for Woman of the Year, which includes success in the healthcare industry, strong leadership capabilities, proven mentoring skills, dedication, a commitment to giving back to women, and contributions to the community.
“The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association is proud to honor Deborah Dunsire as our 20th annual Woman of the Year, and we applaud her commitment to healthcare leadership," said Ceci Zak, President of the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association. "Leaders like Dr. Dunsire continue to serve as role models for all women entering the healthcare industry and set new standards for accomplishment. The advancements that she has helped pioneer in oncology have truly made an overwhelming impact in the field, and are an inspiration to us as healthcare executives."
Dr. Dunsire joined Millennium in July 2005, and has led the company through its growth into a fully-integrated biopharmaceutical company focused on developing innovative medicines to treat cancer and inflammatory diseases. Its lead product, VELCADE, is a highly successful anti-cancer agent founded on Nobel Prize winning science. It has been prescribed to more than 100,000 people in 87 countries worldwide, treating patients with multiple myeloma and relapsed mantle cell lymphoma, a sub-type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Dr. Dunsire presided over Millennium’s acquisition by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited in May 2008, and was instrumental in the successful transition of the company to becoming Takeda’s global center of excellence in oncology.
"Deborah's distinctive leadership has had an incomparable impact on Millennium and all of its employees," said Yasuchika Hasegawa, President, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited. "Deborah brings great energy and passion to her role, and her goal to improve the lives of cancer patients is at the forefront of everything she does."
Dr. Dunsire draws on more than 20 years of experience in the scientific, clinical, operational and commercial aspects of the biological/pharmaceutical business. Her illustrious career has focused on advancing the fields of oncology, hematology and inflammatory diseases. Prior to Millennium, Dr. Dunsire spent nearly 10 years at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, where she was most recently Senior Vice President and Head of North American Oncology. During her tenure at Novartis, Dr. Dunsire led teams through six new product launches for treatments in breast and bone cancer, leukemia and other diseases. She began her industry career with Sandoz Pharmaceuticals in Johannesburg, South Africa, and held several roles throughout the company in Basel and in the United States.
Dr. Dunsire serves on the boards of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), Allergan, Inc., CancerCare (New York), the Museum of Science in Boston, and the G&P Foundation for Cancer Research. She is a member of the Boston Biotech CEO Roundtable, the HBA and the Massachusetts Women’s Forum. She holds a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Witwatersand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
A previous HBA “Rising Star” and speaker at HBA’s annual Leadership Conference, Dr. Dunsire has received many accolades and honors for her work in the industry, including an honorary Doctor of Science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, the American Cancer Society's Excalibur Award, the Creative Spirit Award from the Creative Center for Women with Cancer, the New Jersey Women’s Fund Achievement Award and the Gilda’s Club NYC Corporate Honoree award.
Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, a leading biopharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, Mass., markets VELCADE, a first-in-class cancer product, and has a robust clinical development pipeline of product candidates. Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. was acquired by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. ("Takeda", TSE: 4502) in May, 2008. The Company's research, development and commercialization activities are focused in oncology. Additional information about Millennium is available through its website.
About The HBA
The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA; www.hbanet.org) is in its fourth decade as a global not-for-profit organization dedicated to furthering the advancement of women in healthcare worldwide. With 14 chapters and affiliates throughout the U.S. and in Europe, the HBA is headquartered in New Jersey with offices in Philadelphia and Research Triangle Park. The HBA provides educational opportunities for women and men to develop cutting-edge healthcare industry knowledge and leadership skills; recognizes outstanding women and men in the industry; provides opportunities for networking; creates greater visibility for women in the industry; fosters mentoring relationships and serves as a conduit and sponsor for research on career advancement issues. HBA has nearly 5,000 individual members and over 130 Corporate Partners. It is widely recognized as the catalyst for leadership development of women in healthcare worldwide.
Click here to read the Woman of the Year Luncheon opening comments by Susan Torroella
Click here to read the HBA Year in Review by Laurie Cooke, RPh
Click here to read the introduction of the 2009 Star Volunteer by Ceci Zak
Click here to read the speech by 2009 Star Volunteer Barbara Pritchard
Click here to read the introduction of the 2009 Honorable Mentor by Elizabeth Mutisya
Click here to read the speech by 2009 Honorable Mentor Alex Gorsky
Click here to read 2008 Woman of the Year remarks by Charlotte Sibley
Click here to read the introduction of he 2009 Woman of the Year by Yasuchika Hasegawa
Click here to read the speech by 2009 Woman of the Year Deborah Dunsire, MD
Click here to read 2009 HBA Woman of the Year Luncheon closing remarks by Ceci Zak