Speaker: Michelle Gadsden-Williams
Vice-President and Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion Novartis AG
Date: October 22, 2009
Venue: CAS 106, Kean University
The event is open to the public
Michelle Gadsden-Williams is Vice President and Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. In this role, she provides strategic direction, leadership and champions the development of an inclusive environment by integrating diversity into all aspects of the business on a global scale. An exemplary role model, Michelle works tirelessly at refining processes, policies and programs that support an inclusive work environment. Examples include the re-vitalization of the Global Pharma Diversity Council, the formation of the Executive Diversity Council in the US, the development of a comprehensive Diversity Training Curriculum and her role in the start-up of several active employee resource groups. Michelle has acquired a number of community service awards and accolades for her work in Diversity. She has been profiled in Black Enterprise Magazine in 2002, 2006 and 2007, DiversityInc, Ebony, Essence, Fortune, Jet, New Vision, Science Magazine, Sister to Sister, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Target Market News, to name a few, and recognized as one of 40 Outstanding Executives Under 40 in America by the Network Journal in 2006. She was also one of 75 women honored for her accomplishments at the 2005 Tribute to Women in Industry (TWIN) Gala, the 2008 Harvard Black Men’s Forum Businesswoman of the Year, the Rainbow Push Coalition’s Bridge Builder Award by the honorable Rev Jesse L. Jackson and more recently appointed to the Women’s Leadership Board of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters Degree from Kean University for her outstanding personal and professional accomplishments in the field of Diversity and Inclusion.
Michelle is a seasoned Diversity Practitioner with several years of experience working in the pharmaceutical industry. She has held positions of increasing responsibility in the Diversity Management and Staffing functions at Merck & Co., Inc. where she was responsible for driving the diversity recruiting and branding strategies and also developed a comprehensive university relations program. Prior to Merck, Michelle has also held positions in Human Resources and Product Management in the Consumer Goods industry. Michelle has a B.A. in Communications from Kean College and an M.S. in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania. Michelle is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated and a Board Member of the Jackie Robinson Foundation and the SLE Lupus Foundation in New York City. Her permanent residence is in Somerset, New Jersey with her husband David. Currently, Michelle and her husband are living in Basel, Switzerland on a 5-year international assignment as of January 2007.