How To Be a Decisive and Thoughtful Leader with Biopharma’s Dr. Annalisa Jenkins

How To Be a Decisive and Thoughtful Leader with Biopharma’s Dr. Annalisa Jenkins

A good leader sets the tone for an organization. Without good leadership, employees won’t know the right direction to take or what they can improve upon. While men and women may generally have different needs and motivations, the qualities that make a good leader are the same for both. What is also important and needed for all leaders to succeed is to continuously seek out next level mentors with fresh perspective so they don’t get caught up in their own echo chamber and get left behind.

Dr. Annalisa Jenkins, M.B.B.S., F.R.C.P. is a biopharma thought leader and a board member for several growing companies. She shares with us her experiences, from the British military to the boardroom, and what it’s been like to work in this age of life science innovation and digital advances. Coming from a generation where male mentors were common, Dr. Jenkins speaks about working as a woman in her industry and how she’s learned to be a “tough but fair” leader under their direction. Her broad array of experiences in health sciences shows us how to bring vision to our workplace as leaders.


[02:27] Annalisa’s global background
[05:09] Annalisa’s career goals
[08:08] What five things make a successful leader
[13:35] Is there a difference between male and female leaders?
[16:08] Other important qualities of a leader in the workplace
[19:52] Identifying potential leadership mentors
[29:21] Coping with division created by making decisions
[35:19] The importance of feedback and not taking it personally
[42:38] Working in the age of life science innovation and digital age
[46:56] Identifying the waves that affect your industry
[50:51] What book has greatly influenced Annalisa?
[51:47] Annalisa’s favorite quote
[52:50] Annalisa’s moniker to describe herself
[53:19] One habit that makes a big difference in Annalisa’s life
[55:00] Annalisa’s power song
[56:41] How to connect with Annalisa


“Great leaders have a clarity of vision.” – Dr. Annalisa Jenkins

“People that can bring teams together and get them to collaborate are always going to be successful.” – Dr. Annalisa Jenkins

“Great leadership comes from those who are willing to lean in and take decisions.” – Dr. Annalisa Jenkins

Lightning Round Questions:

What book has greatly influenced you?

- Who Says Elephants Can't Dance? By Louis V. Gerstner, Jr.

What is your favorite inspiring quote or saying?

- “Live the life you love and love the life you live.”|

What is one word or moniker you would use to describe yourself?

- Gracious

What is one change you've implanted that made your life better?

- Carving out two hours every morning to go to the gym. To think, reflect, prepare myself. It creates mindfulness.

What power song would you want playing as you walk out onto a stage?

- “Paradise” by Coldplay, the song and video.

About Dr. Annalisa Jenkins:

Annalisa Jenkins, M.B.B.S., F.R.C.P. is a biopharma thought leader with over 25 years of industry experience. Dr. Jenkins has extensive recent experience in building and financing biotech companies pursuing cures for the most challenging rare diseases to address important medical issues globally. She has consistently built and led teams advancing programs from scientific research through clinical development, regulatory approval, and into healthcare systems around the world. In addition, she is an advocate for diversity and inclusion, particularly for women in science. Dr. Jenkins served as president and CEO of Dimension Therapeutics a leading gene therapy company that she took public on the NASDAQ and subsequently sold to Ultragenyx. Prior senior leadership roles have included the head of global research and development at Merck Serono Pharmaceuticals from 2013 to 2014, where she also served as executive vice president global development and medical from 2011 to 2013 and several leadership roles at Bristol Myers-Squibb (BMS) from 1997 to 2011, most recently serving as senior vice president and head of global medical affairs. Earlier in her career, Dr. Jenkins was a medical officer in the British Royal Navy during the Gulf Conflict, achieving the rank of surgeon lieutenant commander. Dr. Jenkins graduated with a degree in medicine from St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in the University of London and subsequently trained in cardiovascular medicine in the U.K. National Health Service.

Dr. Jenkins is a board member of several growing companies, including Oncimmune, AVROBIO, COMPASS Pathways, AOBiome, AgeX, Phaim Pharma, Conduit Connect, Affimed, Genomics England, Blue Advent Ltd, Cocoon Biotech Inc. (Non-Executive Chair), and Kuur Therapeutics (Non-Executive Chair). She also is a medical trustee for the British Heart Foundation and a committee member of the Science Board to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, which advises FDA leadership on complex scientific and technical issues, board member at Faster Cures a center of The Milken Institute and Chair of The Court of The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Additional appointments reflect Dr. Jenkins’ commitment to advancing the opportunities of women in science and the need for new models of health care in resource poor settings. She serves on the boards of Women in Bio, an organization promoting careers, leadership, and entrepreneurship for women in the life sciences, and the Center for Talent Innovation (U.K.), dedicated to driving ground-breaking research that leverages talent across gender, generation, geography, and culture. She also is an executive committee member of Springboard Enterprises, and is on the Advisory Panel of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, which elected Dr. Jenkins as Woman of the Year in 2014. She co-founded and serves on the board of directors of YouBelong, a UK based charity developing and delivering new models of care to people currently living with mental health diseases and incarcerated in institutions in sub Saharan Africa.





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