VP of U.S. Government Affairs and Policy, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Current residence: Washington D.C.
- MS, health sciences and public health, Trident University International, 2010
Selected work history
- Vice President of U.S. Government Affairs and Policy, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 2019-present
- Head of Federal Executive-Branch Strategy and State Government Affairs, Bristol Myers Squibb, 2015-2019
- Vice president, ADVI Health, LLC, 2013-2015
- Vice President of Value-Based Purchasing and Health Policy, Kimbell & Associates, 2009-2013
- Senior manager, Avalere Health, 2009
- Director of Health Policy and Reimbursement, Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 2008
- Manager of Health Care Economics, Bracco, 2006-2008
- Reimbursement Project Manager, GE Healthcare, 2005-2007
- Claims Manager, ValueOptions, 1998-2000
- Director of Claims, LifeSynch/Humana, 1996-1998
The racial-justice and health care challenges exacerbated by 2020 present a “perfect storm” that Tamar Thompson feels called to address. As vice president of U.S. government affairs and policy at Alexion Pharmaceuticals, she is one of the leaders best equipped to tackle them.
One of only three Black female pharmaceutical heads of office, Thompson works closely with the company’s chief diversity officer. She says she believes a diverse workforce is beneficial to all organizations but especially important in her industry, as companies work to make sure clinical trials reflect real-world patients. To that end, Thompson has prioritized representation, despite the fact that Alexion’s focus on treatments of rare diseases makes it difficult to get enough participants for trials in the first place.
Her perspective on diversity is shaped by her reflections on previous generations of racial-justice advocates, particularly following the death of civil-rights leader John Lewis. She says she sometimes finds herself considering whether the current generation of activists are cognizant of their teachings.
Thompson joined Alexion at the end of 2019, partially because its leadership team reflected a diverse workforce. Before that, she held government-affairs leadership roles at prominent companies like Kimbell & Associates, ADVI Health, and Bristol Myers Squibb. She has managed a variety of clients, including pharmaceutical, biotech, specialty-drug, and medical-device companies. Over the course of her career, her experience has helped her foster relationships with a variety of groups, from private payers to patient-advocacy organizations, congressional leaders, and government agencies.
Thompson did it all, even while being an Air Force wife kept her from staying in the same place for an extended period of time. In 2010, she completed her master’s degree in health sciences and public health at an online university.
Thompson’s path into the industry started with clinical coding and handling medical records. She has a long-standing interest in health care; she originally wanted to be a nurse, before a mentor helped her discover that administrative work was a better fit. Now, that interest extends beyond her day job. She serves on the boards of directors for HealthyWomen, an organization focused on educating women about their medical choices, and MassBio, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting work in the life sciences in Massachusetts. She is also chair of the board at Alexion Charitable Foundation, which aims to create a sense of belonging among those affected by rare diseases.
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