Marcia Brown-Rayford

VP, Life Sciences R&D Leader - RGP Healthcare

2
Articles
25
Years' Experience

Expert and frequent commentator on R&D transformation, clinical trials optimization, and process excellence. Integrated program, project and change management leader. Passionate about getting drugs, medical devices and diagnostics to market. Nonprofit founder.

Marcia’s Perspective

“When it comes to life sciences R&D, clinical trials development and research, there is a huge lack of diversity both in the execution of the trials themselves and in the patient populations. Currently, African Americans make up less than 2% of clinical trials patients. Even with respect to being good for the bottom line, diversity is a requirement for the future of R&D, clinical trials and their optimization to ensure the medicines we develop are designed for all those that are treated by them.”

More About Marcia

With over two decades of experience, Marcia joined RGP in 2017. She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis and three MBAs—in strategic and entrepreneurial management, as well as finance—all from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Marcia is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, given to those with a mastery of all aspects of Lean enterprise concepts to enhance and/or revolutionize multidisciplinary processes. She’s also certified and highly skilled in organizational change management which focuses on the people side of transformation.

During her time working for the pharmaceutical company Merck, Marcia received the Award of Excellence for her scientific research, designing and deploying a clinical trials simulation capability that saved the company millions of dollars. She is a two-time recipient of the Wharton School’s Shils-Zeidman Achievement Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence. Residing in Atlanta, Georgia, Marcia spends her spare time managing her nonprofit, BrightPath STEAM Academy, which teaches underserved African American youths science, technology, engineering, art and math.

3 Questions

What sort of disruption has happened in your career that has spurred personal and professional growth?

COVID-19 has caused many in my field to think about R&D and clinical trials in innovative ways—including approaches we’ve been encouraging clients to take for years. The pandemic has put those initiatives on steroids, resulting in huge, explosive growth to my profession and making what I do even more critical.

What does human agility mean to you?

Human agility means flexibility, providing a custom fit that satisfies purpose and approach.

What excites you the most when you think about the future of work?

Being able to work in a borderless talent space and leverage the skills and expertise to deliver faster, better, cheaper drugs, medical devices and diagnostics to market for the benefit of human health.

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