Leadership Team

Richard Paulson

Executive Vice President and CEO, Ipsen NA

Richard Paulson joined Ipsen in February 2018 and brings more than 25 years of global biopharmaceutical industry experience to the company, with notable achievements for his leadership, vision, and exceptional execution in leading and growing businesses, both in the US and internationally. With a patient-focused mindset and strong track record of successfully building high-performing, customer-centric teams, Richard is responsible for driving continued growth in both the US and Canadian markets across key therapeutic areas of oncology, neurology, and rare diseases. Richard serves as a member of the Executive Leadership Team.

Richard joined Ipsen from Amgen, where he held varying leadership positions across Europe and North America during his 10 years at the company. In his most recent role as Vice President and General Manager, US Oncology Business Unit, Richard led numerous successful product launches in the oncology and hematology therapeutic areas. Richard also demonstrated his innate leadership ability and passion for employee growth and mentorship through the implementation of a highly successful engagement and people development strategy. Prior to leading the US Oncology Business, Richard served as the Vice President of marketing for the US Oncology Business; General Manager, Amgen Germany; and General Manager, Amgen Central & Eastern Europe. Prior to Amgen, Richard held a number of global leadership positions at Pfizer, including serving as General Manager of Pfizer South Africa and Pfizer Czech Republic. Richard also held a variety of sales, marketing, and market access roles with increasing seniority at GlaxoWellcome in Canada.

Richard earned his undergraduate degree in Commerce from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, and his MBA from the University of Toronto, Canada.

Shahrzad Amirani

Vice President, Head of New Products & Innovation

Shahrzad oversees the commercial performance of the Ipsen North America product platform, defining the strategy, design, and roadmap for our products and ensuring they can compete successfully in a highly competitive market across vertical and horizontal market segments. She also provides direction, leadership, and support for developing portfolio compounds and assessing external business opportunities.

Shahrzad has over 15 years of diverse experience across over 20 therapeutic areas in both small molecules and biologics. As a global biopharmaceutical executive, she has led commercial development and lifecycle planning for multiple marketed products. Most recently, she served as the Chief Strategy Officer for Iridium Therapeutics, an early venture focused on developing breast cancer adjuvant therapies. Prior to that, she was the Vice President and Product Innovation Head for Sanofi Global General Medicines and Emerging Markets, where she built a portfolio of value-added incremental innovations. She also served, among other successive leadership roles, as Sanofi’s North American VP of New Product Planning, Launch Excellence, and Alliance Management, overseeing portfolio commercial development, late-stage biologic assets’ launch preparations, and smooth operations of Sanofi strategic alliances in North America.

Shahrzad started her pharma career with Pfizer Pharmaceutical in Global New Product Market Analytics. She holds a PhD. in Business Administration and Applied Statistics and a BA in Chemistry from the University of Texas.

Kimberly Baldwin

Vice President, Franchise Head, Neuroscience Business Unit

Kimberly Baldwin brings nearly 20 years of experience in healthcare sales, marketing and market access across multiple therapeutic areas. In her role as Vice President, Franchise Head of Ipsen’s Neuroscience Business Unit, Kim drives strategy and execution for all activities related to the company’s neuroscience product portfolio and is responsible for developing and implementing long-term strategic growth initiatives for the franchise. 

Kim joined Ipsen in 2014 and has held roles spanning value and access, marketing and sales. Most recently, she served as Head of Oncology and Endocrinology Strategy and Operations, and before that, she was a key part of the Value and Access Leadership Team, developing and implementing strategic objectives across the Ipsen US portfolio and largest customer channels, including payors, group purchasing organizations (GPOs), key hospital systems and federal accounts. 

Kim was one of the founding members and currently serves as chair of Elevate, Ipsen’s first employee resource group dedicated to advancing opportunities for women.

Before joining Ipsen, Kim led the market access account management teams for Cubist Pharmaceuticals and Optimer Pharmaceuticals. She began her career in the healthcare industry at Johnson & Johnson where she managed national accounts for LifeScan, a former division of J&J focused on diagnostic systems for patients living with diabetes.

Kim earned a BS from Rochester Institute of Technology, and in 2018 was named ‘Best Woman Sales Director’ at the North America Women in Sales Awards.

Jennifer Benenson

Senior Vice President and NA General Counsel, Legal Affairs

Jennifer Benenson brings more than 20 years of experience as counsel in the pharmaceutical industry to her role as Senior Vice President and North American General Counsel. She is responsible for managing the delivery of legal services to Ipsen business units in North America and advising the leadership team on strategic matters.

Prior to joining Ipsen in 2011, Jennifer served as Vice President and General Counsel at Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., for 10 years; Vice President of Legal Affairs at Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, and Vice President, Legal, at Medco Health Solutions Inc.

Jennifer earned her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Brown University, including a year of study at the London School of Economics in political science, and her JD from Columbia University School of Law.

Stephanie Brown

Senior Vice President and Business Unit Head, Rare Disease – North America

Stephanie Brown joined Ipsen in June 2019 in the newly created role of Senior Vice President and Business Unit Head, Rare Disease – North America. In this role, she will drive strategy and execution across the Rare Disease franchise, including expansion of Ipsen’s industry-leading capabilities in patient services.

Before joining Ipsen, Stephanie was Vice President and US Head of Novartis’ Neuroscience Franchise. Prior to Novartis, she was Senior Vice President, US Head Specialty Business Unit at Takeda Pharmaceuticals US, where she built specialty capabilities in support of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease business.

Stephanie spent the beginning of her career at Merck, Genentech and Biogen where she held a variety of leadership roles, with direct P&L accountability for businesses in the US, Canada and globally. She has successfully commercialized highly specialized biologics and small molecules across multiple therapeutic areas including in Rare Disease.

Stephanie earned a B.S. in Chemistry with Biology from Mount Allison University, New Brunswick, Canada, and an MBA from Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Lisa DiPaolo

Senior Vice President, NA Human Resources & Global Talent Acquisition

In her role as Senior Vice President of North American Human Resources (HR), and Global Talent Acquisition, Lisa is responsible for developing and leading the North American HR strategy and driving global talent acquisition strategies. Lisa also serves as a member of the Global HR Leadership team.

Prior to joining Ipsen, Lisa spent nearly a decade at Biogen, most recently serving as Vice President of HR, Global Therapeutic Operations and Executive Search, providing strategic support to the US and European operations as well as supporting growth strategies and setting up new entities in Latin America and Asia Pacific. During her tenure at Biogen, she held a number of positions within the company, including Global Head of Executive Search, Vice President of Corporate Functions, and Head of HR for the Hemophilia Business Unit. Before Biogen, Lisa worked at Smiths Medical, where she led HR for North America for 2 years. Earlier in her career, Lisa spent 9 years at Novartis in various leadership roles and locations supporting Sales & Global Marketing organizations in addition to other roles, including Director of HR supporting the Corporate Group in New York, Head of HR supporting the Corporate Intellectual Property group in Basel, Switzerland, and Head of HR for the Vaccines Division in Massachusetts.

Lisa holds a Master’s of Human Resources Management from Rutgers University and an undergraduate degree in English from Montclair State University.

Ed Dybka

General Manager, Ipsen Canada

Ed was appointed to the role of General Manager at Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals Canada Inc. in October 2018. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing all of Ipsen’s operations across all therapeutic areas in Canada. Ed is a member of the Ipsen North America Leadership Team and the Ipsen Global Leadership Team.

Ed brings to Ipsen a wealth of experience and over 30 years in the pharmaceutical industry within the Canadian market. Prior to joining Ipsen, he led the development of an early stage biotech company as a joint venture between MaRS Innovation (Toronto) and The Center for Drug Research and Development (Vancouver). Ed also spent time as President & CEO of AstraZeneca Canada Inc., part of AstraZeneca PLC, one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies.

In 2012, Ed led the Canadian establishment of Almirall, a start-up biopharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of respiratory diseases. Prior to establishing Almirall in Canada, Ed held a number of executive roles at GlaxoSmithKline Canada, including Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Public Affairs & Reimbursement. During this time, he was accountable for the marketing and sales of all GSK pharmaceutical products, including specialty care, oncology, and vaccines, achieving strong commercial performance and employee engagement.

In addition to his role at Ipsen, Ed is currently Vice-Chair of the board of Life Sciences Ontario and a Director on the board of Clinical Trials Ontario. He is also Vice-Chair of the Health & Biosciences Economic Strategy Table for the Federal Ministry of Health and Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, which recently published a set of foundational recommendations to accelerate the growth of the health & biosciences sector in Canada.

Bob Feeney

Vice President, NA Government Affairs and Public Policy

Bob serves as Vice President, North American Government Affairs and Public Policy, responsible for leading strategy development as well as liaising with government officials, public agencies, industry organizations, policy-setting bodies ,and third-party advocates regarding legislation, rulemaking, and general healthcare issues.

Prior to joining Ipsen, Bob was at Sanofi for 7 years, most recently serving as the Head of Public Affairs Competitive Intelligence, where he created a novel competitive intelligence group for North American public affairs activities. While at Sanofi, he also led the public policy function for all of Sanofi’s US and Canadian functional units and subsidiaries, covering prescription drugs, R&D, consumer products, and animal health.

Prior to Sanofi, Bob worked for Eisai Inc. for 12 years in roles of increasing responsibility. At Eisai, he launched and managed US Federal/State Government Relations and Public Policy. He also led regulatory strategies and government stakeholder engagement for all ex-US jurisdictions in North and South America as the Senior Director, Strategic and Public Policy for the Americas, New Markets Group for Eisai.

Bob earned his MBA from Columbia University Graduate School of Business and his BA in Business Economics from Canisius College.

Al Garrido

Vice President, Ethics and Compliance, NA

Al is an accomplished attorney with more than 20 years of experience in corporate and international law. At Ipsen, Al is responsible for driving and maintaining a comprehensive and effective domestic Ethics and Compliance program, leading the way in fostering a culture of integrity and ethical business practices across the company.

Most recently, Al was President and founder of Valcore, a consulting firm specializing in designing and implementing customized compliance solutions for companies in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, among other highly regulated industries. In this capacity, Al functioned as his clients’ virtual Chief Compliance & Privacy Officer, overseeing compliance communication and marketing strategies, risk assessments, auditing and monitoring plans, policy and training development, investigative strategies, third-party due diligence and compliance program effectiveness. Prior to Valcore, Al served for 5 years as Vice President of Compliance and Ethics for Diageo, a British multinational alcoholic beverages company headquartered in London, leading the company’s Compliance and Ethics program for its North American region. Al also spent 7 years at Merck & Co., Inc., serving first as Director of Legal Affairs, overseeing legal aspects of the company’s operations in 13 Latin American countries, and then as Regional Business Practices and Compliance Officer, where he led the development of a standard business practices and compliance program for Latin America and Puerto Rico, managing, designing, and implementing global programs.

Al received his law degree (JD equivalent) from the Universidad Santa Maria, Caracas – Venezuela, and later attended the University of Miami School of Law, where he received his US JD. He is admitted to the New York Bar and the Caracas Bar and received the Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional (CCEP) accreditation from the Compliance Certification Board.

Ron Graybill

Senior Vice President, Value and Access

Ron is Senior Vice President of Value and Access. In this role, he leads the Strategic Pricing, Account Management, Trade & Distribution, Reimbursement, and Patient Services functions. He is an accomplished managed-markets professional with expertise in consultative sales, marketing, pricing strategies, product revitalization, and life-cycle management.

Prior to joining Ipsen in 2014, Ron was Vice President, Managed Markets, at Mylan Specialty, where he provided strategic direction to senior executives to ensure long-term growth and profitability for Mylan’s branded, generic, and biosimilar businesses. He has also held positions at Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc., Novartis, and Hoechst Roussel Pharmaceuticals, Inc,.

Ron earned his MBA in Finance from Fairleigh Dickinson and an undergraduate degree in Economics from Rutgers University–New Brunswick.

Bill Ippolito

Vice President, Business Operations

Bill brings over 20 years of experience in maximizing business results in complex global organizations to his role as Vice President of Business Operations at Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. Bill is responsible for the analytical needs of the organization, including forecasting, market research and analytics, competitive intelligence, IT, digital, and commercial operations.

Prior to joining Ipsen, Bill spent 2 years at Kadmon Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company in New York City, as its Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer. As a member of the executive team at Kadmon, Bill had overall accountability for leveraging IT to drive innovation, operational excellence, and shareholder value for all areas of the business, including R&D, Commercial, and Corporate. Prior to that, Bill spent 17 years with Daiichi Sankyo, serving for 14 of them as the company’s Chief Information Officer, where he chaired the Global IT Steering C,ommittee and sat on the North American executive leadership team. In these roles, he was accountable for setting strategic direction for enterprise systems (Commercial, Corporate, and R&D) and governing all global IT standards, shared operations, programs, and policies for all areas of the business.

Bill earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.,

Karla MacDonald

Vice President, Communications and Patient Advocacy

Karla MacDonald is a global life sciences leader who brings to Ipsen 20 years’ experience guiding business strategy, leading communications and building talent for companies ranging from small biotechs to large pharma. At Ipsen, Karla is responsible for leading communications and patient advocacy across the US and Canada.

Prior to joining Ipsen, Karla held numerous senior positions at Merck & Co, Inc., and served on Merck’s Global Communications and R&D division’s leadership teams. Most recently, she led International and Corporate Responsibility Communications, where she was responsible for advancing and aligning Merck’s communications strategy across its 140 markets outside of the US. Before that, Karla led communications for Merck Research Laboratories, Merck’s R&D division.

Karla also held strategic communications client counsel roles at MacDougall Biomedical Communications and Feinstein Kean Healthcare, and managed investor relations for Creative BioMolecules.

Karla is a Board member and volunteer mentor with the Canadian Entrepreneurs in New England, working with leaders of Canadian-led companies expanding into the US. She is also a lead mentor with Canadian Technology Accelerator, helping tech and biotech companies gain access to in-market entrepreneurial resources to help them grow and compete internationally.

Karla holds a bachelor’s degree in Education and a diploma in Communications from McGill University in Montréal, Canada.

Harry O'Grady

Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Ipsen NA

Harry brings more than 30 years of business experience and a keen understanding of the pharmaceutical industry to his role as Chief Financial Officer for Ipsen North America.

Prior to joining Ipsen, Harry held Chief Financial Officer positions at CorMedix Inc. and Mylan Specialty. Harry previously oversaw Finance and Finance Operations for the Sterile Business Unit as a Vice President of Finance at Catalent Pharma Solutions. Before joining Catalent, Harry spent 13 years at Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc., in the roles of Vice President of Business Planning and Administration, Controller, and Executive Director for Managed Markets. At Bayer, he implemented an efficient global business unit model for a $2 billion business unit and spearheaded strategic and operative planning, portfolio analysis, business development support ,and integration.

Harry is a certified public accountant with a BBA in Accounting from Pace University and an MBA from Lehigh University.

Eduardo Obraczka

Chief of Staff and Strategic Initiatives

Eduardo brings extensive industry experience, most recently serving as Managing Director for Merck KGaA’s operations in Colombia, where he oversaw the primary care, specialty care and rare diseases businesses. During his career, Eduardo has held various international roles with Merck Sharp & Dohme and Sanofi Pasteur, gaining marketing, commercial leadership, brand development, product launch, strategic planning, and organizational design experience.  Eduardo received a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and an MBA from Yale University.

Awny Farajallah

Senior Vice President, North America Medical Affairs

Awny Farajallah, MD, FACP joined Ipsen in April 2020 as Senior Vice President, North America Medical Affairs. As a key member of North America Leadership Team, Awny is responsible for leading efforts to enhance our Medical Affairs capabilities with the goal of deepening our impact for patients through medical stakeholder partnerships across Oncology, Neuroscience and Rare Diseases.

Awny has over 25 years combined experience in both academic and industry settings related to clinical R&D and medical affairs. Prior to joining Ipsen, he served as Vice President and Head of US Medical Affairs at BMS, where he was leading functions such as field medical, disease areas, medical education, biomarkers, promotional material review, portfolio strategy, and strategic collaborations across oncology, immunoscience, cardiovascular, and mature brands.

Awny earned his MD from Cairo University and completed an internal medicine residency and infectious disease fellowship at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and New Jersey Medical School, respectively.

© Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. 2019