The Albert Schweitzer Leadership Award is presented to individuals who have distinguished themselves through their service to mankind and have contributed significantly through their leadership to the education and motivation of youth.
Heather Bresch is Chief Executive Officer of Mylan, one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies. She also serves on the company’s board of directors. As CEO, she is responsible for a workforce of more than 35,000, a powerful global research and development platform, a manufacturing footprint comprising approximately 50 facilities, and a portfolio of more than 7,500 generic and branded pharmaceuticals sold in more than 165 countries and territories.
Throughout her 25-year career with Mylan, Bresch, who started with the company as a data-entry clerk, has held roles of increasing responsibility in more than 15 functional areas. Prior to becoming CEO, Bresch served as President, responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company. Before that, she served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Integration Officer, leading the successful integration of two international acquisitions—Matrix Laboratories and Merck KGaA’s generics business—which more than doubled the size of the company and transformed Mylan from a U.S. company to a global one.
Mylan’s mission is to provide the world’s 7 billion people access to high quality medicine. To this end, Bresch has championed initiatives aimed at removing barriers to access. Some of Bresch’s key policy priorities include working to ensure that everyone living with HIV/AIDS has access to treatment; advocating for a viable abbreviated approval pathway for safe, effective and more affordable generic versions of biologic drugs; and ensuring immediate access to critical, life-saving therapies such as Epinephrine autoinjectors, the first-line treatment for life-threatening allergic reactions.
Bresch has been a leading advocate for one quality standard for all drugs sold in the U.S. She was instrumental in the development of the Generic Drug User Fee Act and advocated to change the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938 to arm the U.S. Food and Drug Administration with the resources and authority to regularly inspect U.S. and foreign plants at the same rate, both of which were included in the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA). Earlier in her career, Bresch played a vital role in passing the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act, which helped ensure consumer access to affordable pharmaceuticals.
Bresch served as Chair of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association’s Board of Directors in 2004, 2005, and 2016, as well as Vice Chair in 2003 and 2006. She frequently speaks on issues such as affordable healthcare and global competitiveness and has testified before the U.S. Congress and FDA on issues related to access to medicine. Bresch is the pharmaceutical industry’s first female CEO of a Fortune 500 company and was named by Fortune magazine as one of its “50 Most Powerful Women.”
HOBY is honored to present Ms. Bresch as a 2017 Albert Schweitzer Honoree. Her leadership and service inspires us all and knowing she shares and acts upon HOBY’s belief that young leaders can change the world motivates HOBY’s volunteers and ambassadors to new levels of excellence.
Join us in honoring our Albert Schweitzer Leadership Award honorees, Alumni Achievement Award winners and our Outstanding Young Alumni and celebrate our 59 years in developing young leaders at the Albert Schweitzer Leadership Awards Dinner in New York City on Wednesday, May 31, 2017. SEE EVENT ON FACEBOOK.