News

Pharma Cluster Accelerator Announces New Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lead

New position ensures access to opportunities created by the Advanced Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturing Cluster regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or geographic location.

Richmond, VA –  The Cluster Accelerator for Advanced Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturing, an entity launched to fast-track the development of a globally competitive essential medicines manufacturing hub across Central Virginia, announced the hiring of Vanessa Womack as its lead for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The new position will oversee efforts to ensure the diverse rural-urban community that comprises the Greater Richmond-Petersburg MSA can participate in opportunities created by the emerging Advanced Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturing industry.

Jeff Gallagher, interim Executive Director of the Cluster Accelerator said, “We are excited to have Ms. Womack as part of our team and we will lean on her expertise in diversity, equity and inclusion, to help us craft and execute on a strategy to support these efforts in life sciences. We are building a global industry and we are scaling up quickly, and the selection of Vanessa will ensure the opportunities and benefits of this emerging industry extend to the diverse population in the region.” The Central Virginia region is diverse, covering five cities and twelve counties with both urban and rural populations.

The New Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lead role will be responsible for driving a region-wide diversity, equity and inclusion strategy, and will coordinate and implement regional efforts to support an inclusive culture for life sciences, focusing initially on the DEI plan component of the Build Back Better Regional Competition grant award from the US Economic Development Administration (EDA). Working collaboratively with public and private sector organizations, Ms. Womack will design and execute the strategy to engage the community training, employment and supplier for life sciences and act as an important community liaison.

Prior to this role, Ms. Womack served as Programs, Training and Technical Assistance Planner at the Virginia Community Healthcare Association for nearly nine years developing strategic training programming and advancing efforts to grow an educational resource for healthcare leaders. She also has significant experience in DEI initiatives through her consulting company, Vanessa Womack Consulting, working with organizations on managing diverse teams, improving organizational culture, and board training.

The Advanced Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Research & Development (R&D) Cluster Accelerator is built upon regional research, innovation and manufacturing assets with a goal of building a world-class hub to research and manufacture essential medicines for Americans by leveraging our competitive assets.

The regional cluster accelerator’s goal is to help build a globally competitive pharmaceutical manufacturing and R&D industry in the Central Virginia region. The work will fast-track regional efforts to reshore and secure the production of essential medicines in the United States, lower their costs and ensure access to quality medicines in the U.S. and around the world. Many organizations will support scale-up in infrastructure, workforce development, and supply chain development.

Read more here.

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