Ms. Wasman is a strategic leader with almost 25 years in the biopharma industry, with extensive U.S. and international experience. An adaptable executive serving in both C-suite and board of director chair roles, she has achieved success in settings ranging from large, public multinational companies to privately held start-up companies. Her expertise includes M&A, strategic development, corporate governance, international, litigation, commercial, compliance and government affairs, as well as operational implementation.
Ms. Wasman is the Chair of the Board of Directors of Sellas Life Sciences (Nasdaq: SLS), an oncology-focused biotech company, as well as Chair of its Nominations & Governance Committee and member of its Audit, Compensation and Finance Committees. She also is on the Board of Rigel Pharmaceuticals, an immune/rare disease-focused public biotech company (Nasdaq: RIGL), and is a member of its Nominations & Governance/Compliance and Science Committees. She has served since 2007 on the board of NY BIO, including its Executive Committee and Public Policy Committee (Chair).
Ms. Wasman is Founder and President of JWasman Advisors, a consulting firm focused on strategic, operational and corporate governance matters for biopharma and life sciences organizations ranging from startups to publicly traded companies. Ms. Wasman previously served as President, International, General Counsel and Chief, Strategic Development at Acorda Therapeutics (Nasdaq: ACOR), where she led long-range planning and development in addition to international expansion. She played a central role in Acorda’s IPO and transition from a private, development stage entity to a public, commercial company, including as a lead member of the teams for commercialization, licensing/M&A strategy and implementation, investor relations, product pipeline development and government affairs activities. She also helped build Acorda’s corporate governance/board infrastructure, and worked closely with the board of directors on strategic, operational and governance matters.
Ms. Wasman built and managed Acorda’s legal, compliance, IP and quality functions. Her department was recognized as one of four "Best Legal Departments" nationally by Corporate Counsel. Additionally, she led the legal process for two key acquisitions - the $525M acquisition of Civitas Therapeutics and the first-ever acquisition of a dual stock exchange-listed Finnish company, Biotie Therapies, in a $400M transaction.
Prior to her 15 years at Acorda, Ms. Wasman spent over eight years at Schering-Plough Corporation in various leadership positions – including Staff Vice President and Associate General Counsel as well as Staff Vice President, European Operations – Legal and litigation & regulatory roles – that supported commercial, international, regulatory, licensing/M&A and global R&D activities. She was based in Europe for three years, establishing and running the company’s Europe/Canada/Mideast/Africa legal office.
Previously, Ms. Wasman was an attorney at two global law firms and Associate Counsel for the U.S. Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Her early career provided broad industry experience, including industrial, financial, real estate and communications.
Ms. Wasman graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University, and earned her J.D. from Harvard Law School. She currently resides in New York City.