Women in Business Profile: Susan Desmond-Hellmann

March 11, 2013

Facebook added its second female board member March 6, with the addition of Susan Desmond-Hellmann. Desmond-Hellmann is no stranger to leadership roles, serving as University of California – San Francisco’s chancellor since August 2009.

Prior to that, Desmond-Hellman oversaw product development at Genentech, a biotechnology industry focused on healthcare. She ascended the ladder of leadership there beginning in 1995 as a clinical scientist. By 1999, she became executive vice president of development and product operations. In 2004, that role blossomed into one with much larger responsibilities. Desmond-Hellman has a medical degree from the University of Nevada – Reno and a master’s in public health from the University of California – Berkley.

In addition to her long list of accomplishments, Desmond-Hellman served as an adjunct professor at UCSF, a visiting faculty member at the Uganda Cancer Institute, a member of California’s Academy of Science and a private oncologist for two years.

Her experience with public policy and running public companies makes this healthcare pro ideal for the social media giant. And as one of the world’s seven “most powerful innovators”, according to Forbes and among the “Top 50 Women in Business” according to Fortune, it only makes sense for Facebook to employ her skills.