Dr. Dara Richardson-Heron
January 27, 2023
Dr. Dara Richardson-Heron is a former Fortune 100 corporate executive, current board director, physician, executive mentor/coach and public speaker with more than 25 years of leadership excellence in health care and the corporate, government, and nonprofit sectors. A frequent speaker on strategic leadership, health equity, clinical trial diversity, vaccine confidence, and women’s empowerment, she has a proven track record of successfully driving transformative change. She is well known for her creativity, authenticity, intellectual acumen, curiosity and unwavering determination to leverage her leadership skills, experience, expertise, and passion to make the world a better place.
Dr. Richardson-Heron spoke on the Hauenstein Center at GVSU stage as part of the Wheelhouse Talks speaker series, a signature program of the Peter C. Cook Leadership Academy, in partnership with Frederik Meijer Honors College for their Winter Meijer Lecture Series. A self-proclaimed “physician by trade and an advocate by choice,” Dara shared her experience of leading through great change, and provide insight into how we can each become change agents for good in our respective fields.
Dr. Dara Richardson-Heron
Dr. Richardson-Heron is a former Fortune 100 corporate executive, board director, physician, and public speaker with more than 25 years of leadership excellence in health care and the corporate, government, and nonprofit sectors. A frequent speaker on health equity, clinical trial diversity, vaccine confidence, strategic leadership, and women’s empowerment, she has a proven track record of successfully driving transformative change. She is well known for her creativity, authenticity, intellectual acumen, and unwavering determination to leverage her skills, experience, expertise, and passion to make the world a better and more equitable place.
Dr. Richardson-Heron currently serves as president and CEO of DRH Consulting, a strategic health care advisory organization; executive coach at The ExCo Leadership Group; and board director at Caribou Biosciences, a biopharmaceutical company.
Dr. Richardson-Heron recently served as the chief patient officer at Pfizer, where she played a pivotal role in advancing the organization’s efforts to increase diversity in the landmark Covid-19 clinical trial and developing the organization’s global strategy to advance patient-focused programs, health equity, and impactful interactions with the organization’s patients in over 180 countries.
Before joining Pfizer, Dr. Richardson-Heron served as the chief engagement officer and scientific executive for the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) All of Us Research Program. There, she served on the NIH executive leadership team and led outreach efforts to enroll and retain over one million volunteers in a landmark effort to advance diverse and innovative health research that may lead to more precise treatment and prevention strategies and the elimination of health disparities.
Dr. Richardson-Heron served as CEO of the YWCA USA where she led the 158-year-old organization‘s transformation, mission impact, member services, advocacy, communications, finance, development teams, and field directors nationwide. Together with her executive leadership team, she worked to develop and implement innovative, value-added solutions and supports for the 25th largest nonprofit in the United States, with a network of more than 220 local association members with net assets of nearly $1 billion offering life-changing community-based services.
Previously, she served as the CEO of the Greater NYC Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, national chief medical officer at the United Cerebral Palsy Association, assistant executive director and chief medical officer at United Cerebral Palsy of New York City, and special assistant to the CEO and executive medical director at Consolidated Edison Company of New York.
Dr. Richardson-Heron is a physician by trade and an advocate by choice who is passionate about leveraging her skills, experience, and expertise to engage key stakeholders around the world to advance groundbreaking and impactful efforts to make the world a healthier and more equitable place.
Dr. Richardson-Heron holds a doctorate in medicine from New York University School of Medicine and she completed her internal medicine residency at NYU Medical Center/Bellevue Hospital in NYC. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Barnard College and completed executive human resources leadership and management training at the University of Michigan.