Jennifer Hawks Bland, JD was placed as the chief executive officer of NewYorkBIO in New York City. Founded in 1991, NewYorkBIO is the premier trade association for the life sciences in New York State, supporting the development and growth of the industry and serving its members and the life science community by providing a network for public policy, industry advocacy, and community development. NewYorkBIO brings together over 250 of New York's leading research universities and institutions, early-stage start-ups, global biopharmaceutical leaders, and others dedicated to advancing life science research and commercialization, with approximately 450 members around the world. In her role, Jennifer will work to expand the impact and brand of the organization, bringing a vision for its future that maximizes its potential. She will be directly responsible for developing and executing a strategic plan with actionable endpoints to increase NewYorkBIO's membership, revenues, and staff, and will manage all aspects of external engagement, serving as the association's lead spokesperson in elevating awareness of the biomedical community in New York City and New York State before public policy makers and affiliated healthcare and economic development organizations.
Jennifer comes to NewYorkBIO from Merck & Co., where she served as the executive director of the federal and state government relations and policy departments. She was responsible for developing and executing policy positions for Merck, directing outside counsel's work on behalf of the company, serving as a key point of contact for trade associations, and coordinating and leading Merck's executive reaction and response to select issues, including over-the-counter medicine issues, federal track and trace legislation, and disposal of unused medicines. Jennifer successfully worked to preempt a California law that would serialize drugs down to the unit level for the California market; ultimately, through leading a cross-functional team, working with trade associations, and pushing PhRMA to become engaged, she accomplished the passage of a bill in response.
Previously, Jennifer served as the manager of federal government relations for GlaxoSmithKline and as the director of government relations and government relations counsel for the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. She began her career as an attorney with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and with a law firm in Mississippi, as well as working in the office of U.S. Senator Thad Cochran.
Jennifer is originally from northern Mississippi and holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Mississippi State University and a Juris Doctor from University of Mississippi School of Law. Outside of work, Jennifer enjoys skiing and tennis. She and her husband are the parents of two children.