March 20, 2018 (CAMBRIDGE, MA) – The Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio) today announced the appointment of Edie M. Stringfellow as its first ever Director of Diversity & Inclusion. In this position, Edie will drive strategy and manage the day-to-day implementation of MassBio’s on-going initiative to improve diversity and inclusion throughout the life sciences industry. She will serve as a resource and liaise with members, partners and all stakeholders within the community who share in the purpose of advancing an inclusive workplace environment. At its core, Edie will assist members with shifting mindset and “reframing the narrative” of diversity through education, outreach, and advocacy.
“Edie’s background, both personal and professional, has given her unique insights into the many organizational and cultural challenges that exist in any business setting and in any community. She understands that, although real change cannot happen overnight, every little action helps to move the needle,” said Robert K. Coughlin, President and CEO of MassBio. “MassBio is always at the forefront of change, and Edie is not afraid to have tough conversations and to educate our members and the industry at large that diversity and inclusion is not just the right thing to do, but is a good business decision.”
In early 2017, MassBio sent an open letter to the biopharma community, asking them to commit to improving gender equality within their companies. Hundreds of leaders signed the letter and committed to action. A few months later, MassBio released a comprehensive study examining the causes behind the lack of gender diversity within the Massachusetts life sciences sector, and offering a set of recommendations to help companies increase diversity and inclusion. Now, the organization is looking to expand to other areas of diversity and inclusion, and the Director of D&I will lead that charge.
“Creating an in-house, full-time diversity and inclusion role further emphasizes MassBio’s commitment to improving diversity and inclusion in the life sciences industry. I’m thrilled to see this vital step in building the resources and capabilities needed to guide and encourage members to embed D&I in their growth strategies and culture,” said Abbie Celniker, Ph.D., Chair of the Board of Directors at MassBio, and Partner at Third Rock Ventures. “Edie will serve as an incredible asset to these organizations and the industry at large, and I’m confident MassBio’s investment in D&I will have a true, measurable impact.”
Prior to joining MassBio, Edie was the Marketing Director for We Are Allies, a nonprofit organization focused on fighting the stigma of opioid addiction, driving policy, and increasing Narcan bystander access and training. At ClinEdge, a clinical research agency, she was the Director of Patient Recruitment & Retention Strategies. She has also worked in communication, marketing and business development roles at Philip Morris, Lawyers Weekly, Nutter LLP and the Boston Business Journal. As a former Adjunct Professor at Emerson College, she taught Marketing Research.
Edie has served as a Marketing Advisor for the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education and as an appointed Board Member on the Belmont Human Rights Commission. She is currently on the J1 Advisory Board at the Irish International Immigrant Center and supports awareness campaigns for the Sickle Cell Disease Association of Illinois. Edie earned a B.S. in Communications from Illinois State University and a M.S. in International Relations from Boston College.
Read more about Edie’s background here.