The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) announces the 2023 Woman of the Year, Honorable Mentor, and STAR. Recognized for their outstanding contributions to healthcare and the advancement of women in the workplace, the honorees will be celebrated at HBA’s 33rd annual Woman of the Year event on 16 May in New York City and virtually around the globe.
Christi Shaw, Chief Executive Officer, Kite, a Gilead Company, was selected as the 2023 Woman of the Year. Jag Dosanjh, President, U.S. Neuroscience and Eye Care, AbbVie, is the recipient of the Honorable Mentor award. Liz Paulson, Associate Vice President, Life Sciences for the Healthcare Business of LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, is recognized with HBA’s Strategic Transformation Achievement Recognition (STAR) volunteer honor.
“Advancing medicine, advancing patient care, and advancing equity in our global workforce are shared values of this year’s honorees driving transformational change and impact,” said Wendy White, interim CEO and 2022 STAR, HBA. “The HBA is proud to recognize these leaders for their significant contributions to our community, for women in the workforce and for the greater global good.”
The HBA Woman of the Year award honors a female senior executive whose accomplishments have resulted in significant contributions to the healthcare industry.
Woman of the Year—Christi Shaw, Kite, a Gilead Company
This year’s awardee, Christi Shaw, has been a recognized trailblazer for decades, serving in senior leadership positions at Lilly, Novartis, and Johnson & Johnson. During the course of her more than 30 years in the industry, she has spanned a broad range of therapeutic areas, including oncology, immunology, infectious disease, cardiology, neuroscience, Alzheimer’s disease, medical devices, and more. She has been responsible for overseeing the full lifecycle of product portfolios, from discovery and development to commercialization and manufacturing.
Christi joined Kite, a Gilead Company, in 2019 as CEO to advance what was then considered almost science fiction – creating potentially curative cancer treatments from a patient’s own cells (CAR T-cell therapy) – into what is reality today for thousands of patients around the world with specific types of blood cancer. In three short years, Kite has grown to be the largest CAR T-cell therapy company in the world, with an extensive in-house manufacturing network devoted to creating this specialized treatment for patients.
Christi has built a highly coordinated, patient-focused team at Kite united around the mission to cure cancer, which has led to a period of explosive growth for the company. The Kite team now includes more than 4,000 employees dedicated to all aspects of cell therapy from business development and R&D to commercial and manufacturing.
Believing that it is only through great teamwork that great healthcare can be delivered is a hallmark of Christi’s authentic leadership. She understands everyone has been touched by cancer in some way, and for her, it’s personal after losing both her mother and sister to the disease. These experiences have empowered Christi to become a leading industry voice advocating fiercely for patients. In addition to her role at Kite, Christi is the co-founder of a foundation that helps patients access oncology clinical trials and she sits on the board of directors of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO).
In addition to serving as an advocate for patients, Christi has been a role model and mentor for women throughout her career. She holds a unique position as one of the rare female CEOs in a male-dominated industry, where more than nine in 10 biopharma CEOs are men.
The HBA Honorable Mentor award recognizes individuals who demonstrate long-term support for the advancement of women in healthcare, have a personal dedication to developing, mentoring, and promoting women in the industry, and support HBA’s mission.
Honorable Mentor—Jag Dosanjh, AbbVie
This year’s Honorable Mentor award goes to Jag Dosanjh, President of Neuroscience and Eye Care, AbbVie, who has been instrumental in bringing both AbbVie and Allergan into the HBA. In 2019, Jag spearheaded Allergan’s efforts to form its first women’s leadership initiative and ensured that this progress carried over with AbbVie. As a leader, Jag championed integrating diverse perspectives into the work culture, bringing people together to identify hidden strengths and unleash talent.
Jag continues to be an inspiration when it comes to giving back to the HBA community. As AbbVie’s co-executive sponsor of its U.S. Commercial Diversity Council, he has demonstrated a clear dedication to advancing women of all backgrounds including championing the Rising Star and Luminary awards. He has volunteered time both as a speaker and sponsor at HBA events as he continues to act on his commitment to advance gender parity. With a long history of mentorship, thought leadership, and supporting female talent, Jag epitomizes the HBA Honorable Mentor award.
Finally, for over two decades, the HBA has been recognizing a volunteer leader with the Strategic Transformation Achievement Recognition (STAR).
STAR—Liz Paulson, LexisNexis® Risk Solutions
This year, Liz Paulson, Associate Vice President, Life Sciences for the Healthcare Business of LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, will be honored for her outstanding efforts to grow and expand the HBA and advance its strategic goals. As an icon and trusted source of information for nearly 20 years, Liz helped establish and springboard many of HBA’s most successful programs.
She played a lead role in launching the HBA Next Operating Model, resulting in global expansion including the establishment of regional governing boards across the world. Liz served on HBA’s global board for five years, and was recently invited to HBA’s Advisory Board. She has been recognized with many HBA honors including the 2018 HBA Chair award, one of the organization’s highest honors; the Chapter Excellence Award while president of the Boston Chapter in 2016; and the LEAD Award in 2015.
Liz is a respected mentor at LexisNexis® Risk Solutions and with the HBA, and recently served as mentor in HBA’s inaugural Honoring Opportunities for Partnerships & Equity (HOPE) program. She was selected as a LexisNexis® Risk Solutions HBA Luminary in 2019 for her strong track record of helping advance other women’s careers. In addition to her commitment to the HBA, Liz has spent her career championing the use of data to improve healthcare. She serves as a shining example of transformational leadership and never fails to bring her whole self to every role, project, or initiative she leads.
About the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA)
The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) is a global not-for-profit organization dedicated to furthering the advancement and impact of women in the business of healthcare. With representation in countries across the globe, the HBA serves a community of nearly 70,000 individuals and 180 Corporate Partners. The HBA provides networking forums to build relationships; knowledge sharing and access to thought leaders to broaden perspective; educational programs to develop leadership skills; and high-profile industry recognition of outstanding women and companies to promote visibility of their achievements.