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2016 Deborah Coogan Seltzer

Deborah Coogan Seltzer honored as 2016 STAR (Strategic Transformation Achievement Recognition)

The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) recognized Deborah Coogan Seltzer, director, enhanced serach - North America of Spencer Stuart, as its 2016 Strategic Transformation Achievement Recognition (STAR) during the 27th annual Woman of the Year event. Each year, the HBA honors a STAR 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.

Deborah has held numerous association and chapter-level board and leadership positions and played a leading role in countless initiatives to help the HBA grow and thrive since joining the association in 1997. “From her leadership founding our first chapter, to her current work on HBA Next creating a new structure for the HBA, Deb demonstrates visionary leadership and unending dedication,” says Laurie Cooke, HBA CEO. “Deb’s mentoring supports new leaders and strengthens seasoned leaders in the healthcare industry.”

Deborah has played a vital role in supporting the HBA’s transition from its early days as a single entity focused on the greater New York area and the pharmaceutical industry, to the multi-faceted organization it is today. In 2015, Deborah was a member of the task force in charge of defining the HBA’s new operating model and served as a key advisor in the launch of the Dallas affiliate. Deborah held many leadership roles at the HBA, before becoming president in 2011. She was a founding board member of the first HBA chapter (Atlanta) and served as the chapter president from 2003 to 2005.

“Deb has always demonstrated her loyalty and passion for the HBA and has jumped in with no hesitation whenever the HBA has needed her counsel and support, “says Buket Grau, vice president and asset executive at Biogen Idec, and HBA chair emeritus. “She is a very resourceful and trusted leader and is a mentor to many women in the industry.”

During a 20-plus year career in executive search, Deborah has worked extensively in the pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and services sectors of the life sciences industry, serving clients ranging from startups to Fortune 100 organizations. Her work spans functional areas, including executive/general management, sales, marketing, human resources, business development, finance and technically-oriented executives in areas such as R&D, clinical and pre-clinical development, technical operations/manufacturing, scientific affairs/regulatory and quality assurance.

Upon receiving the award, Deborah stated, “The HBA is a very special organization. We embrace the concept of ‘radical hospitality,’ where new people can come in and quickly feel like they are part of something bigger —  at the level of engagement that feels right for them personally. For me, the HBA offers the opportunity to grow, to try new things that I wouldn’t have the chance — or courage — to do in my day-to-day life. I am proud of my work in supporting the HBA's transformation and therefore its ability to pursue its important mission more.”

Graham Galloway, who leads Spencer Stuart’s global life sciences practice, sees a strong connection between the HBA’s mission and what Spencer Stuart stands for. “We at Spencer Stuart believe leadership matters and are motivated by the power of our work to make a difference in the lives of individuals and the performance of client organizations,” he said. “The HBA is dedicated to developing strong leaders for today and the future and, more specifically, it focuses on the development, advancement and impact of women leaders. We see a mutual commitment with the HBA to developing leaders and applaud its efforts in improving the diversity of leadership teams. And, this year especially, we couldn’t be prouder to be aligned with the HBA as they recognize and honor Deborah.”

Read "A Conversation with Deb" from the HBAdvantage magazine.
Read Deb's remarks from the Woman of the Year event.


About the HBA

The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) is a global nonprofit organization serving a community women and men in leading life sciences, biotech, pharmaceutical and supporting companies. The HBA has nearly 120 Corporate Partners and nearly 8,000 members served by more than 20 chapters and affiliates across the U.S. and Europe.