Maria Rivas

Maria Rivas, MD

Chief Medical Officer, EMD

Dr. Rivas is a LatinX pharmaceutical executive, experienced mid-cap public corporate board director, and Columbia University Vagelos medical school trained physician and endocrinologist. At S&P 100 and international companies, she has launched several blockbuster medicines in numerous therapeutic areas and managed budgets of $0.5-1 billion dollars/year. Dr. Rivas’s work has enhanced products’ value propositions and market success throughout their lifecycles, positively impacted patient outcomes, and improved company reputation. Dr. Rivas has extensive experience in global operations, crisis and risk management, and digital transformation in highly regulated industries. Dr. Rivas has started-up, led and transformed high-performing virtual and remotely located global teams of up to 2000 professionals in over 90 countries. In 2018, Dr. Rivas joined EMD Serono (Merck KGaA) as the SVP for Global Medical Affairs and was soon promoted to Chief Medical Officer, with additional responsibility for Global Patient Safety and Global Evidence and Value Development. At EMD Serono, Dr. Rivas is transforming a team of 1300 global safety, medical and research staff from a supporting role to a specialty force focused on speeding drug development, product launch excellence and life cycle optimization. She is improving operating margin while building research, data analytics, and digital customer engagement, global capabilities tailored to the competitive specialty pharmaceutical market. Dr. Rivas is the Chair for the Medical Safety Evaluation Board, the highest safety and ethics review committee in the company, and co-chairs the First In Human committee, which evaluates appropriateness of studying company-specific experimental medicines in humans. From 2016 to 2018, Dr. Rivas was the SVP of Global Medical Affairs for Merck/MSD, leading 2000 medical and scientific communications specialists. She helped reestablish the collaboration between the Medical Affairs and R&D organization to improve external customer engagement and research partnerships. Her team partnered with over 500 hospitals around the world to establish antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) programs, educating more than 10,000 healthcare workers on this global health issue. Dr. Rivas’s team conducted research studies and provided critical evidence to enable formulary access, and inform government policy and clinical guidelines, such as cancer clinical care pathways in the US, hepatitis and diabetes treatment guidelines in Europe, and vaccination guidelines in Japan and China. Dr. Rivas successfully managed difficult co-development and co-marketing business alliances with other pharmaceutical companies. She was a member of the Executive Risk Management Committee, the highest-ranking committee to evaluate Maria Rivas MD Experienced Mid-Cap Public Board Director | Chief Medical Officer Biopharmaceuticals | Healthcare Product Launches | Global Operations | Risk Management | M&A Boston, MA | 765-894-5278 | | risk, and took part in the senior executive rapid response team managing the NotPetya cyber attack in 2017. At Abbvie from 2012 to 2015, Dr. Rivas, VP of Global Medical Affairs, led more than a 1000 global and medical affairs and pharmacovigilance staff in over 65 countries. She recruited and on-boarded in six months more than 400 professionals to launch a blockbuster Hepatitis C drug. She improved cost-efficiency and productivity in the department through lean methods and reinvested savings to launch Abbvie’s first US Medical Affairs department, which enhanced formulary access for Abbvie’s US portfolio, including Humira, a best-selling product. Dr. Rivas developed and implemented new Department of Justice CIA required SOPs and metrics with an impeccable compliance record over three years and no disruptions to the business. She was a member of the senior executive rapid response, enterprise-wide Issues Management Board. In 2010, Dr. Rivas joined Bayer Healthcare as VP of General Medicine and Diagnostic Imaging. Her risk management plan proposal to the FDA for Gadovist (an MRI contrast agent) enabled the product’s approval without onerous post-marketing requirements. Dr. Rivas turned around Riociguat’s severely lagging US drug development program, enabling Riociguat’s timely US regulatory approval. As VP of Global Oncology Medical Affairs from 2011 to 2012, Dr. Rivas led the global launch of two new oncology products. Dr. Rivas served in a variety of roles at Eli Lilly for 11 years from 1999-2010. As a Medical Director, she started the Medical Affairs organization in a Latin American affiliate. She was then promoted to US Medical Affairs Senior Medical Director for Women’s Health, Osteoporosis and Urology and led two major US product launches. In 2009, Dr. Rivas was named Oncology Product Development Team Leader for 3 investigational therapies in phases 2 and 3. Prior to joining the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Rivas had a private practice in Endocrinology, taught at the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, and worked as an Attending Physician at the VA Medical Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In 2018, Dr. Rivas was named to the board of directors for Medidata, serving on the Audit and Compensation Committees. During her tenure, Medidata was successfully acquired by Dassault Systemes in October 2019. In 2017, Dr. Rivas was appointed as a board director for the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and was a member of the Education Board Committee. Dr. Rivas obtained a BA in Biochemistry from Brandeis University, Waltham, MA and an MD from Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY. She completed a residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Endocrinology at NY-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY. Dr. Rivas is board certified in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. Dr. Rivas and her husband reside in Wellesley, Massachusetts.