New Alnylam CEO is trailblazing the pharma industry 

Georgina Gonzalez (Twitter) -

Yvonne Greenstreet, MD, has become one of the six women worldwide heading up a pharmaceutical company worth over $5 billion as she steps into the role of CEO at Cambridge, Mass.-based Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. As a woman of color, she is a rare leader in the industry,  The Boston Globe reported Nov. 28. 

Dr. Greenstreet has served as COO of Alnylam since 2016. Prior to Alnylam, Dr. Greenstreet held senior positions at both Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline. Former CEO John Maraganore, PhD, said about Dr. Greenstreet, "She's a very clear and bold thinker who really understands how to push the frontiers of medicine forward."

"I've been in this business for 30 years, and when I started and I looked around, there weren't a lot of people that looked like me in leadership positions," Dr. Greenstreet told the Globe

"Fast-forward 30 years, I'm now in the C-suite, and I look around, and there's still not a lot of people that look like me."

Women, especially women of color, are still hugely underrepresented in senior leadership positions, particularly CEO roles. In fact, women make up only 15 percent of healthcare CEOs. Dr. Greenstreet taking on this role, then, is historic.  

Before she accepted the offer to head up the pharmaceutical giant, Dr. Greenstreet called both her ,other and daughter. Her daughter told her to take the role, saying, "You have no idea what it's going to mean to young women like myself to see you in the position."

According to Dr. Greenstreet, Alnylam is rapidly growing, with its workforce over five times as large as it was in 2016 with 1,600 employees worldwide. It has a market value of more than $23 billion. The company is looking to push into more RNA interference techniques. 

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