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Seema Kumar

Vice President of Innovation, Global Health and Science Policy Communication for Johnson & Johnson
Seema is Vice President of Innovation, Global Health and Science Policy Communication for Johnson & Johnson. In this role, she drives Johnson & Johnson's reputation as a pioneer and partner of choice in innovation, research and development (R&D), and public health.  Her responsibilities include enterprise-wide communications regarding Johnson & Johnson innovation and R&D in pharmaceuticals, medical devices and consumer products, as well as medical safety and ethics, domestic and international policy affecting the sciences, and public health. She leads communication for the Office of the Chief Scientific Officer, including the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centers and the Office of the Chief Medical Officer. As a champion of science and innovation, STEM, global health, and mentorship for women and minorities, she is a frequent guest speaker and lecturer at international forums.
Previously, Seema served as the Vice President, Enterprise Innovation and Global Health Communication, J&J, and as Vice President, Global R&D Communication for Janssen, the Pharmaceutical Companies of J&J, which included oversight of internal and external communications.   As part of the Pharmaceutical R&D management team, she led important initiatives to position Janssen, and J&J, as a pharmaceutical R&D leader and oversaw J&J-level R&D communication programs managing the reputation of the J&J pharmaceutical pipeline and products, and the Company's leadership in global health. Seema joined the J&J Family of Companies in 2003 as Vice President, Global Communications for J&J Pharmaceutical Research & Development, serving in that position until 2009.  During this time, she built a new J&J Global R&D Communications function and organization, setting and achieving ambitious goals to showcase J&J 's cutting-edge scientific research and innovative drug-development processes.
Prior to joining J&J, Seema was the Chief Communications Officer at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research /Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Center for Genome Research, the flagship center for the Human Genome Project.  She played a leadership role in enhancing worldwide public awareness and understanding of Project, the effort to map and sequence the genetic blueprint for a human being.  As a member of the Center's executive management, Seema was at the White House along with the Project team for the first global announcement of the Human Genome sequence. Seema also held positions of increasing leadership at the Whitehead Institute, the National Institutes of Health and the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, where she launched and led a variety of initiatives to communicate and position the latest scientific advances and policy implications and STEM initiatives for high school students.
Seema is active in many professional affiliations and serves on several external advisory boards.  She serves on the ESOF2016 Science to Business Committee, served on the ESOF14 Marketing and Media Committee and oversaw J&J's role in becoming a founder and continued sponsor of ESOF.  She is the author of more than 200 news and feature articles on science and medicine, for which she has won several awards, including an Award of Excellence in writing from the American Medical Writers Association and three Gold Medals for Media Relations, Science Education, and Digital Communication. She holds a master of arts degree in science journalism from the University of Maryland, which included a fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, and a bachelor of science and communication from the University of Maryland, and a bachelor of science in physics from Stella Maris College, in Madras, India.
Growing up in India, Seema was taught from an early age by her father, a physicist and an engineer, the importance of a STEM education to advance societal innovation and to her own career development. Today, Seema lives in New Jersey with her husband and teenage son. In her free time, she enjoys healthy cooking, reading and spending time with friends and family.