BOSTON, Aug. 01, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gender equality momentum continues, as an additional 20 accomplished female life sciences executives will comprise the second cohort of Women In Bio’s (WIB) Boardroom Ready program, the organization announced today.

The women will complete an executive-level board certification program at George Washington University in preparation to serve as corporate Boards of Directors. WIB’s Boardroom Ready selection committee, comprised of six men and women with extensive board experience in the biotechnology and pharma industries, conducted an in-depth review of applications and chose the 20 outstanding candidates most qualified for corporate board service.

“Women In Bio launched the program in June 2016, and we are very pleased with the five successful board placements to date,” said Dawn Hocevar, WIB President. “Although there is good progress, we know WIB and our partners have a long journey ahead to achieve our goal of gender equity on boards and in the C-suite.”

The newly selected 2017 class participants include:

Teresa Bitelli, Senior Vice President - US Oncology, Bristol Myers Squibb

Sophie Chapelle, Managing Director, Golden Seeds

Dominique Côté, Vice President and Head of Global Marketing Excellence, UCB

Daniella Cramp, Global Vice President, Cardio Metabolic Business Unit, Alere Inc.

Rosamond Deegan, CBO and President, Bicycle Therapeutics

Rebecca Frey, Vice President, Operations and Portfolio Management, Alexion Pharmaceuticals

Brenda Furlow, Senior Vice President, Corporate Secretary and General Counsel, Bio-Techne Corporation

Renee Gala, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Theravance Biopharma

Nancy Griffin, VP and Head, Alliance Management, Global Business Development & Licensing, Novartis Pharmaceuticals

Jane Gross, CSO, Senior Vice President Research and Development, Aptevo Therapeutics

Angela Justice, Chief Learning Officer, Biogen

Nerissa Kreher, Chief Medical Officer, AVROBIO

Tina Liedtky, Vice President, Global Marketing & Product Development, Cardio Metabolic, Alere, Inc.

Monica Luchi, Chief Medical Officer, EVP Global Clinical Development, Immune Pharmaceuticals

Sandra Orta, SVP Global Marketing, Corp. Strategy & Business Development, Evofem Biosciences

Lauren Sabella, Chief Commercial Officer, Acorda

Natascha Schill, Managing Director, Biogen

Birgit Schoeberl, Head of Discovery and Early Development, SVP Merrimack

Jane Wasman, President, International & General Counsel, Acorda Therapeutics

Jaime Welch, VP Marketing & Communications, OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

“We consistently heard from board members and executives that they couldn’t find qualified women to join their board. The Boardroom Ready program is designed to provide companies with access to vetted, exceptionally qualified executives who are ready for board service,” said Boardroom Ready Co-Chair Carolyn Brougham. 

WIB will host an intensive board competency building and certification program at George Washington University this fall to help candidates understand the duties, responsibilities, and commitments related to serving on both public and private boards. The course has been tailored for the Boardroom Ready candidates based on their current skill sets and backgrounds, as well as specific case studies.  Course topics include fiduciary responsibility, corporate governance, investor relations, legal liability, corporate strategy, and risk management. 

In addition to the board certification class, candidates will be paired with a seasoned board coach, and will participate in networking events designed to facilitate board appointments. With the combination of class completion and the resources provided to the graduates, WIB can achieve its goals to place a majority of Boardroom Ready graduates on Boards, and continue to progress towards equal gender representation on Boards.

LifeSci Advisors, an investor relations consultancy focused in the life sciences sector, is the Founding Sponsor of the Boardroom Ready program, with additional support provided by MassBio and Biogen. 

“We could not be more impressed by the extensive knowledge and depth of experience exhibited by both the inaugural and current classes of participants in the Boardroom Ready program,” said Michael Rice, Founding Partner of LifeSci Advisors. “LifeSci is incredibly proud to be sponsoring this program, and we look forward to continuing to help the Boardroom Ready class participants make meaningful connections, with the goal of getting placed on corporate boards.”

The Boardroom Ready training class is held on an annual basis, with applications accepted each spring. If you are aware of available board positions, interested in sponsoring this important program, and/or interested in becoming a mentor to one of the class participants please email

For more information, please visit

Women In Bio (WIB) is an organization of professionals committed to promoting careers, leadership, and entrepreneurship of women in the life sciences. Each local chapter hosts numerous events throughout the year, that vary from networking events to career development, to professional education, to executive level-focused events. In addition to events, WIB hosts a mentorship program which offers women the chance to mentor or be mentored, a Young Women In Bio program, which offers events and encouragement to middle-school aged girls, webinars, and the support of a large national organization with 13 chapters and growing. As a volunteer organization, WIB offers leadership opportunities at every stage of your career, and a chance to expand your network in a supportive and professional environment. For more information, visit

Contact: Stacie D. Byars, National Marketing Director, Women In Bio 
Mobile: (206) 660-2588