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2003 Catherine Angell Sohn

Catherine Angell Sohn recognized as 2003 Woman of the Year

The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) recognized Catherine Angell Sohn, Pharm.D., as its 2003 Woman of the Year. Sohn is honored for her outstanding achievements in business, her demonstrated leadership and team-building skills and her support for women’s career advancement. 

Sohn is celebrated by her colleagues for her strategic insight, ability to lead and manage change, her skills in negotiation and diplomacy both within the company and internationally, the courage to take risks, commitment to mentoring, her seemingly boundless energy and optimism and her devotion to family. A plaque on Sohn’s desk announces, “It can be done!”

“Cathy is a leader, a visionary and a mentor who exemplifies the best of the HBA,” said HBA chair emeritus, Nancy Larsen. “Cathy gives generously of her time and talent to her company, colleagues, community and family. As an active member of the HBA and our Advisory Board, she demonstrates her strong support for the important role of women in advancing health care in our society.”

At the time of receiving this award, Sohn held the position of vice president, worldwide business development and member of the executive committee at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare. Sohn has won wide recognition for her leadership in positioning GSK Consumer Healthcare as a major force in the global market. She headed the negotiations for the $1.25 billion acquisition of Block Drug and served as co-leader of the acquisition integration. Sohn also established a successful partnership with Taisho Pharmaceuticals Japan and has been responsible for licensing agreements with several U.S. and European companies.

At the former SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, where she was also a member of the Global Strategic Product Development Executive Committee, Sohn was instrumental in a major initiative to align markets, global marketing and clinical development. Sohn cites the introduction of important new medicines, such as the depression and anxiety disorder treatment, Paxil, and Engerix-B, a vaccine for hepatitis B, in the U.S. and the global strategic product development for Avandia, GSK’s diabetes treatment, as significant achievements “because of the improvements they have made in people’s lives.”

“Cathy deserves this recognition for her many industry achievements in business development, marketing and clinical research as well as her deep personal commitment to helping others,” said Dr. Jean-Pierre Garnier, CEO, GSK. “She is passionate about the business of healthcare and the value our industry brings to society.”

Sohn is also considered a role model and mentor to her colleagues. Doris Gormley, director of infectious disease, business and commercial analysis at GSK, wrote “While there are many intelligent and capable managers in the industry, it is a rare person who can lead by example and with such generosity of heart – but Catherine Sohn does so on a regular basis. Cathy infuses people with her high-level energy and her unflagging commitment to the goal at hand. Her positive thinking is dazzling and irresistible. She makes working towards a common objective rewarding and fun at the same time.”

The honoree’s sense of responsibility to the next generation is evident in her commitment to the education of people who, in Sohn’s words, “devote their lives to making a difference in healthcare and people’s quality of life.” Formerly a clinical associate professor of pharmacy at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and former member on the Health Advisory Board of the Johns Hopkins University. She has authored six book chapters and 15 publications on infectious disease, clinical pharmacy, OB-GYN, and non-prescription drug topics.

Read 2003 Woman of the Year Behind the Scenes

Read highlights from the 2003 Woman of the Year Luncheon 

About the HBA
The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) is a global nonprofit organization serving a community women and men in leading life sciences, biotech, pharmaceutical and supporting companies. The HBA has nearly 120 Corporate Partners and nearly 8,000 members served by more than 20 chapters and affiliates across the U.S. and Europe. advancement issues. HBA has nearly 5,000 individual members and over 130 Corporate Partners. It is widely recognized as the catalyst for leadership development of women in healthcare worldwide.