"Leadership is about creating futures that are not a direct path," says the Broad Institute's Samantha Singer. "It's about being courageous and being willing to speak about and talk about futures that aren't obvious to other people. Take a stand for a future you can see, one you know can happen even when you can't see how." As for the future we can see? It's one that includes putting those they've inspired on this list sometime soon. -- Carly Helfand

Below are leaders that are taking a stand and creating futures in the Biopharma industry

1.Samantha Du

1SamanthaDu
China Biotech Pioneer
Company: ZAI Lab
Title: Chairman and CEO
Overall, the biotech has successfully taken 5 novel drug candidates into clinical trials in China, conducted multiple IND trials in the U.S. and brought the first China-discovered drug into global Phase III trials. Not bad for a company that got its start in 2013. And with great insight comes great responsibility.
"We make an effort to recruit women not for show but because they are part of the dream too," Du said. "When they come and ask to work at the company though--it is even better and a validation of what we have done and proof of what we can do, as past success is a predictor of future success." -- EJ Lane

2.Belén Garijo


Company: Merck KGaA
Title: CEO of Merck Healthcare
When it comes to developing managerial expertise, Garijo brushes aside the idea of a "magic recipe."
"I learned by making mistakes. I learned by taking risks. I learned by consulting with others. I don't think it's a magic recipe, but you know, just being aware of what do you do well and what can you do better?" she told the WSJ. "I think self-awareness is actually something that's super important. You have to be very self-confident because you have to give this confidence to others every day. But at the same time, if you cross the line of going from self-awareness and self-confidence to egocentrism, then you lose it." -- Amirah Al Idrus

3.Kristen Hege

3Kristen Hege

Company: Celgene
Title: VP of Translational Development, Hematology/Oncology
Since taking the position, Hege has said she's proud to bring the "biotech attitude" of being able to "do things faster and more efficiently than is often done in large companies with complex organizational structures." For this interview, Celgene's EVP of research and early development, Thomas Daniel, told Hege that she brings a "deep, deep commitment," "high energy," and a "can-do attitude that's infectious" to her position.

4.Annalisa Jenkins

4Annalisa Jenkins
"Embracing Risk with Big Pharma in the Rear View"
Company: Dimension Therapeutics
Title: CEO
Jenkins' experience throughout the industry has made her a frequent recipient of career-minded questions from biopharma newbies surveying the probability of success in the drug development world, and to them Jenkins preaches an approach that is as applicable in companies with payrolls in the thousands as those with employee rosters that can be counted on a single hand.
"I'm very keen to help young people learn the lessons of history, but also to be optimistic," she said at last year's GapSummit. "But to understand that embracing ambiguity, to looking at their careers in the long game--as a marathon, not a 100-meter dash--and to view the future as one of an ecosystem where culture and leadership--those qualities are going to be key to future professional success." -- Damian Garde

5.Cynthia Kenyon

5Cynthia Kenyon
"Continuing Her Life's Work on Aging with the Power of Google"
Company: Calico (Google)
Title: Vice President of Aging Research
Kenyon is a renowned geneticist who left UCSF last year for Calico after advising the startup in its first few months. Though she has remained an emeritus professor at the school, she serves as the vice president of aging research at the Google-owned company, joining CEO Art Levinson and R&D chief Hal Barron, in a "who's who" of biotech insiders.
In Kenyon's second shot at the biotech industry, she seems to be doing all the right moves: she joined a world-renowned team that is backed by a company with not only the coffers available to finance cutting-edge science, but also enough faith in its vision to let that team lead the way. And she's all in.
Kenyon once wrote, as reported by SFGate: "To me, it seems possible that a fountain of youth, made of molecules and not simply dreams, will someday be a reality." -- Michael Gibney

6. Melinda Richter

6Melinda Richter
Company: Johnson & Johnson
Title: Head of JLABS
There are now four JLABS outposts online: one center in San Diego and Boston, and two in the San Francisco area. Soon to come is a hub within Houston's Texas Medical Center and another in Toronto, each slated to open next year.
"As we look out into the industry, what we're trying to do is take down the hurdles that stop great science from becoming great patient solutions," Richter told FierceBiotech. "These locations are beachheads that help enable and empower all the innovators in the area, not just those in JLABS." And that, Richter said, is consistent with the plan she devised on that Beijing hospital bed nearly 20 years ago. -- Damian Garde

7.Denise Scots-Knight

7Denise Scots-Knight
"Bringing operational, finance savvy to off-balance sheet pharma R&D"
Company: Mereo BioPharma
Title: CEO and co-founder
Scots-Knight envisions Mereo evolving into a specialty pharma company, but, of course, she's not closing off any other opportunities. "At the moment we can be open. And some of the products, if they are successful in development you can see a specialty pharma company there," she said. "But it's too early for us to say which of those avenues we will pursue. The old adage is--you build a company." -- Stacy Lawrence

8.Beth Seidenberg

8Beth Seidenberg
"A champion to even the odds for women in biotech"
Company: Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Title: Partner
Beth learned that women made up only 15% of the founders and CEOs in business after analyzing data gathered since the initiation of Pao's gender discrimination lawsuit.
As a scientist, she wondered what was underlying the data. She found there was a "leaky pipeline":  women who study science from women are more likely to be drawn to careers in science. She learned about the unconscious bias that anyone may display. She wants to take what she has learned and help more women and minorities.
"It is a 50-50 world, but we see that 15% of founders or CEOs are women. Only 15% in the 50% that are women have good ideas?" Seidenberg asks rhetorically. "Come on. There are a lot of good ideas that are waiting to happen. People like me and many of the other women that you feature show it is possible to make it to a leadership and influencer role. We need to be the champions." -- Eric Palmer

9. Christi Shaw

9Christi Shaw
"Challenging Big Pharma's status quo"
Company: Novartis Pharmaceuticals
Title: U.S. Country Head
Shaw continued to challenge the status quo at Novartis, and including putting an emphasis on diversity. That priority has resulted in about 60% of her direct reports being women, according to PharmaVoice.
Shaw is active in promoting women's leadership and empowerment outside her own workplace, too. She currently serves on the board of the Young Women's Leadership Network--which works to break the poverty cycle through education--and co-chairs the advisory board of the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association.
"I believe that it is important to pay it forward and support other women who have the potential to contribute so much to our society, and that education is one of the strongest tools for this," she told PharmaVoice. -- Carly Helfand

10.Samantha Singer

10Samantha Singer
"Forging a nontraditional path"
Company: The Broad Institute
Title: Chief Operating Officer
Singer credits a willingness to 'look outside the box' and a strong sense of self for her professional accomplishments. Throughout her career, she looked for opportunities to "grow and stretch," even when it meant taking a risk. Singer now gives the same advice to anyone pursuing a career in the industry.

Other Top Lists: