I joined Abbott in 2009 before AbbVie split from it in 2013. Prior to that, I was working at a law firm in Washington, D.C. but frankly I didn’t really enjoy the work and was questioning whether I wanted to be a lawyer. So, I applied to the FBI to be a special agent.
After doing a physical and written test, plus a panel interview, I was accepted to Quantico, one of only 2% of applicants. At the same time, I got the offer to work at Abbott and had to decide which way my career should go. I chose Abbott because I was not ready to give up on the law and I was inspired by helping people with medicines, devices and nutrition.
You’ve been with AbbVie since the company was formed 10 years ago. How has your career evolved since that time?
Since joining AbbVie, I’ve moved around quite a bit, taking on new challenges and opportunities every couple of years before landing in the role I have now. Across all the different roles I’ve held here, I’ve supported a lot of different teams, including commercial brands, market access, regulatory and legal compliance. This experience has really shaped me for the better because it’s given me the chance to learn about the business from many different angles, learn from multiple leaders and gain a more holistic view of AbbVie. All these experiences, I believe have helped shape me and allowed me to become a better partner for our business.
What is your team at the Office of Ethics and Compliance (OEC) accountable for?
Our mission is to figure out how we, as an organization, can continue to deliver medicines to patients while protecting AbbVie’s reputation and managing risk. Ultimately, it’s about embedding ethics into the decision-making process for each and every person who works here, so we’re always doing what’s right for the company and for the patients and customers that we serve. To do that, we need to understand the business as well as our clients so that OEC is viewed as forward-thinking partners that help find solutions so that patients can benefit.
What’s something people might be surprised to learn about the OEC?
We’re probably known as the team that provides training modules, but people may be surprised to realize that’s only a sliver of what we do. The OEC provides compliance advice to multiple areas of our global business, including our privacy, commercial, R&D and corporate staff functions. We’re also responsible for global internal investigations and monitoring. In many instances, one person wears multiple hats, from assisting with AbbVie’s integration with Allergan, to advising on new product launches, working with local management teams on internal audits, guiding on market access strategies and developing local country-specific training. Over the last year, a large focus of ours has been on harmonizing AbbVie and Allergan’s policy approaches while maintaining differences where possible, all the while ensuring minimal business disruption. In the seven months that I've been on the job, even I’ve been impressed by the breadth of areas that we touch.
What does being a leader mean to you?
Leadership for me is about being true to yourself and your beliefs. As a leader, you can’t really fake it. You have to be authentic, and people respond to that. So that for me is number one when it comes to my style.