FAIRFIELD, NJ, 30 June, 2021 — The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association Board of Directors announced the appointment of Susan O’Connor as Chief Executive Officer of the global not-for-profit association, ushering in a new chapter in its mission of advancing women in healthcare. Ms. O’Connor will succeed current President and CEO Laurie Cooke, who will step down for a well-earned retirement after leading the organization since 2006.
Ms. O’Connor was previously a global healthcare executive with Pfizer for twenty-six years, where she grew $300-400 million businesses by 7-14 percent through science and technology innovations and partnerships with various Ministries of Health. Additionally, she served as Vice President and Chief of Staff to the Head of the Global Innovative Business, managing executive team operations, Board of Director and Analyst communications.
More recently, as the CEO & Business Strategy Consultant at PranaHealth, Ms. O’Connor developed business plans to commercialize science-based wellness innovations in healthcare with a total estimated sales potential of $285 million. In 2018, she delivered the keynote at HBA’s Annual Conference with more than 1,000 attendees.
“As a transformational leader, Susan is perfectly suited to lead the HBA as it cultivates the improvements necessary in the international healthcare ecosystem. Her commitment to gender parity and dedication to fostering a supportive and healthy workplace culture throughout her multi-faceted career is in perfect alignment with our mission,” said Shideh Sedgh Bina, Chair for the Global Board of Directors of HBA.
“Her globe-spanning career with Pfizer make her thoroughly familiar with the concerns of our many corporate partners, while her experience as a UN Women Board Member and work as an entrepreneur give her a unique understanding of the challenges women face in the rapidly changing landscape of the healthcare industry,” Ms. Bina added.
“I am honored to lead the HBA during this critical time, advancing gender parity around the world to transform healthcare for societal impact,” said Ms. O’Connor.
For decades, Ms. O’Connor has served in not-for-profit and for-profit leadership roles advancing gender parity and empowering women. As a Board Member of the UN Women USA NY, she is helping address critical issues that impact women globally through fund raising, member engagement and recruiting diverse Board Members.
At Pfizer, Ms. O’Connor’s membership of the Global Women’s Council and leadership of Regional Councils in Africa Middle East and the U.S., improved gender parity metrics at the Vice President level and developed the capabilities of many emerging leaders. Wholeheartedly committed to gender parity for all, Ms. O’Connor also served on the Board of Step Up, mentoring under-resourced high school girls.
Ms. O’Connor will assume her leadership role in July as Laurie Cooke departs the organization after 15 years at the helm. During her tenure at HBA, she led efforts that quadrupled both the individual and corporate partners memberships, grew the supporting community to 60,000, expanded member representation locations and grew HBA’s footprint beyond the United States to 60 countries across Europe, Canada, Latin America and Asia Pacific. Her leadership also inspired the founding of the HBA’s Gender Parity Collaborative--the industry’s first consortium committed to systemically accelerating gender parity and equity. Ms. Cooke also had an enormous personal impact on thousands of people as a mentor, leader, advocate, and inspirational speaker.
About the HBA
The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) is a global not-for-profit organization dedicated to furthering the advancement and impact of women in the business of healthcare. With more than 60 locations throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia Pacific and Europe, the HBA serves a community of more than 60,000 individuals and 170 corporate partners. The HBA provides networking forums to build relationships; access to industry thought leaders to broaden perspective; educational programs to develop leadership skills and global recognition of outstanding individuals and companies to promote visibility of their achievements in advancing gender parity in the workplace.
For more information, visit HBAnet.org. #HBAimpact #4GenParity
Karen Sodomick, 917-565-2335