Panelists & Moderator
Diana Escoda-Abouchedid was born in Maracaibo, Venezuela where she developed a very early passion for science growing up among oil extraction fields and refineries. She pursued her passion by studying Chemical Engineering at USB with a specialization in Business Economics. She was born from Spanish immigrants in Venezuela making her a minority in her own country. This enabled her to appreciate the differences across diverse cultures, business dynamics and socio political systems. During her career she has been very involved in helping minorities to succeed. She has a vast experience in the field of Innovation and R&D with 20 years of experience at P&G and 5 years at the Coca–Cola company. She joined Clorox 3 years ago.
Kim Hillis is currently Vice President of US Field Operations for BioMarin, having been with BioMarin now for 9.5 years. She parlayed her education and experience as an ICU nurse into pharmaceutical sales, ultimately moving into executive leadership positions and gaining her MBA at Pepperdine. She has a 35-year history of building teams through multiple new commercial start-ups in the biotech/life sciences field.
Ever since Nina Orike, Ph.D, MSc., PMP looked at cells through a microscope in high school, she has been fascinated by human biology. She has over 20 years of experience working in research and development within academia and the biotechnology industry. She served as a Program Manager at Genentech Inc., for many years where she contributed to the development of numerous therapies for cancer treatment. She joined BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. a few years ago to manage their innovative Hemophilia A gene therapy development program. Nina currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area, but considers herself a world citizen having lived and worked in numerous countries around the world such as the UK.
Sandhya Pahwa-Khurana is a passionate professional when it comes to organizing work and solving problems. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley, her MBA from Santa Clara University, and her Six Sigma Black Belt in 2003 while working full time. She has over 20 years of pharmaceutical/ biotechnology experience and is the Senior Director of Program and Project Management at Revance Therapeutics, where she manages clinical programs and operational projects. Sandhya founded the site chapter of the Women’s Leadership Initiative. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion efforts and enjoys mentoring and coaching the next generation of leaders.
Professor Gina Dokko’s (moderator) research at UC Davis Graduate School of Management focuses on organizational theory and behavior, careers, social networks, and technology and innovation. Recently she’s been examining the consequences of job mobility, especially in light of today’s high unemployment rates. Before starting her doctoral studi es, Gina worked in strategy and marketing at American Express and 3M. Gina received her Ph.D. in management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She has a M.S. in industrial administration from Carnegie Mellon University and earned a B.S. in economics, also from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a former assistant professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business.