Best Practices for Hiring, Developing, and Retaining Women Leaders Panel Discussion


How do we REALLY develop women leaders? Come learn from experts. Join us for a provocative panel presentation and interactive dialogue highlighting best practices in hiring, retaining, developing, and advancing women leaders. Panelists will share lessons learned and effective approaches for moving toward gender balance at all levels. Come to network with other movers and shakers in the science and technology community and be inspired. 



Jessica Ballinger, Senior Director, PO&T Patient Insights & Experience, Biogen

Lloyd Johnston, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President R&D, Selecta Biosciences

Julia Rashba-Step, Senior Director, Novel Delivery Technologies, Pfizer BioTherapeutics


Mary Ann O'Loughlin, Regional Corporate Relations Director in Executive Education, Harvard Business School


Jessica Ballinger, Senior Director, PO&T Patient Insights & Experience, Biogen

Jessica Ballinger is the Senior Director, PO&T Patient Insights & Experience, accountable to provide & prioritize actionable insights to drive product development focused on patients and caregiver unmet needs. Jessica joined Biogen Idec in 2012 as the Sr Director, Protein Pharmaceutical Development, accountable for the development of protein formulations, process development activities, biophysical characterization, primary container development and device development. Prior to joining Biogen Idec , she was employed at Pfizer where she held several positions including roles in protein fermentation, downstream protein purification, bioanalytical, quality & compliance, drug product sterile manufacturing, research inhalation, and device product development. She received her Bachelors of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana in 1993 prior to joining Monsanto at the beginning of her career in Pfizer.

Lloyd Johnston, Ph.D. — Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President R&D, Selecta Biosciences 

Dr. Lloyd Johnston has a 15+ year track record of success developing and translating novel academic innovations from discovery to clinical use in the fields of drug delivery and nanotechnology. He has been the first employee of two biotech startup companies, building these organizations to substantial size and leading large teams, bringing over a dozen therapeutics into clinical testing, product development and some to commercialization. Dr. Johnston was the first employee and currently is the Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of R&D of Selecta Biosciences, a clinical stage biotech company focusing on immune modulating nanomedicines to generate antigen-specific immune responses to prevent and treat disease. Selecta received the World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer Award in 2014, based on technologies developed by Dr. Johnston and his team. Prior to joining Selecta Biosciences, Dr. Johnston was Vice President of Operations for Alkermes having responsibilities for process development, scale-up, and clinical manufacturing for pulmonary and sustained release injectable products as well as leadership of Alkermes 90,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Chelsea, MA. Dr. Johnston was part of the initial team of Advanced Inhalation Research (AIR®) Inc., a private company developing a novel pulmonary drug delivery platform acquired by Alkermes in 1999. Prior to joining AIR, Lloyd was a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. He received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Queen's University in Canada, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

Julia Rashba-Step, Senior Director, Novel Delivery Technologies, BioTherapeutcs, PFIZER 

Julia is Sr. Director of Novel Delivery Technologies in BioTherapeutics Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pfizer. Julia joined Wyeth/Pfizer seven years ago where she has been building novel drug delivery group. In this role Julia is responsible for developing the strategy for Biotherapeutics drug products and life cycle management. In addition, Julia is an active member of licensing management team and involved in various technology and product opportunity evaluations. Prior to joining Wyeth/Pfizer, Julia worked at Epic Therapeutics, subsidiary of Baxter Healthcare Corporation as a Director of Research and Development and Alliance Management. In this role Julia was responsible for developing proprietary technology and applying to both to internal and external projects as well as managing partner collaborations. Julia has received her PhD in Biophysics from Russian Academy of Sciences. She had her Postdoctoral training at Mount Sinai Medical School; followed by Associate professor position at USC. Julia is serving on the Advisory Board of different professional organizations including Controlled release society, Drug delivery partnerships, etc. Julia is passionate about personal and professional development; served as a Mentor at Healthcare Business Women Association and on the Board of Women’s Leadership of Greater Boston, Pfizer Colleague Resource Group.

Mary Ann O’Loughlin, Regional Corporate Relations Director in Executive Education at Harvard Business School, WEST Board Member

Mary Ann O’Loughlin is Regional Corporate Relations Director in Executive Education at Harvard Business School (HBS); she is also a Board member of WEST. Her global business career has spanned sales, marketing, consulting, and senior management roles in large corporations and small start-ups. She has lived and worked in Canada, France, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Prior to joining HBS in 2007, Mary Ann spent ten years with the UK research and consulting company Ovum in both London and Boston. In addition to her own work as a telecoms sector Principal Consultant, she managed Ovum’s US operation as President of Ovum North America for five years. Earlier in her career, she worked for IBM Canada, Hewlett Packard and Alcatel in senior sales and product marketing positions. Mary Ann holds a BS in Physics from McMaster University (Ontario), an MS in Biophysics from the University of Toronto, and an MBA from Insead. She is also a certified executive coach.



Date and Time:

February 23, 2016
6:00 - 8:30 PM

Evening’s Schedule

5:50-6:10pm: Registration, mingling, and light dinner
6:10-6:30pm: Facilitated networking
6:30-8:00pm: Panel Discussion
8:00-8:30pm: Optional networking

Microsoft New England Conference Center, 1 Memorial, 11th Floor Commons, Cambridge, MA 02142

We appreciate Microsoft New England Conference Center donating the use of their event space.


Members: $35, Non-members: $55
Membership package: $120 for admission and an annual membership

Cancellation Policy:
All programs are non-refundable.


To Register


Become a sponsor and contribute to a great cause.  For more information, email [email protected], or call 617-682-3703.   






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