As President of Novartis Oncology, Susanne Schaffert is pursuing a bold strategy to reimagine the research, development and commercialization of innovative treatments that will help improve and extend the lives of people with cancer and related blood disorders.
Susanne has held positions of increasing seniority across a range of business areas during her career at Novartis, having first joined the company as a sales representative in Germany in 1995. The majority of her roles have been in oncology, where she has a passion for making a difference in the lives of patients. Prior to her current position, she served as President of Advanced Accelerator Applications, a Novartis company focused on the development of products for targeted radioligand therapy and precision imaging. Today, she leads more than 10 000 employees in 85 countries working to transform cancer care across four distinct therapeutic platforms.
I want to make Novartis the place to be in oncology, where individuals can thrive by being themselves, and to keep raising the bar for cancer treatment and care. We shouldn't forget there are people who are counting on us – people who expect us to keep pushing ahead so they can live longer and better lives.
Susanne is a respected business leader and scientist who was featured in Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women International” list in both 2019 and 2020. She actively mentors women at Novartis and encourages them to seek leadership roles.
Susanne has a background in science and holds a doctorate in organic chemistry from the University of Erlangen in Germany, but as a former ballet dancer, she is also passionate about the arts. This dual interest informs her leadership philosophy, which celebrates diversity of thought and ideas as one of the keys to bold innovation.
Diversity isn’t just about different gender, background and education; it also means different thinking styles, different approaches. If you allow every voice to be heard and every idea to be considered, that’s when teams come up with wonderful solutions.
Susanne also holds leadership positions in the broader pharmaceutical industry. She serves on the board and executive committee of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), and is vice chair of EFPIA’s Patient Access Committee.