Awards Program recognizes women Leaders in Massachusetts demonstrating impact, inspiration and innovation across healthcare industry
Lesley Solomon, senior vice president for innovation and chief innovation officer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has received the 2020 Extraordinary Women Advancing Healthcare Award by The Commonwealth Institute (TCI), the leading nonprofit organization devoted to advancing all women leaders. The inaugural Extraordinary Women Advancing Healthcare(EWAH) Awards is the first of its kind that recognizes and celebrates the remarkable healthcare leaders in Massachusetts for their outstanding career achievements and impact.
Solomon joined Dana-Farber in 2017. Prior to that she served as the founding executive director of Brigham and Women’s Hospital's Innovation Hub, and as director of strategy and innovation in the Brigham Research Institute.
At Dana-Farber, Solomon leads a team focused on commercializing Dana-Farber’s science and technology and working with industry, academic and investment partners to accelerate the pace of getting that work to patients. Her work centers around developing innovative models for partnerships to sustain the Institute’s research funding and is creating new ways to expand the reach of Dana-Farber’s clinical care.
Solomon has more than 25 years of experience as an executive working in business development, strategy, and marketing at startups, early-stage, and large companies such as the Food Network, Barnes & Noble.com, and Yoga Works. She received her MBA from Harvard Business School and has a BA in English from Cornell University. She is a co-founder of the Food Allergy Science Initiative at The Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, which brings together experts across disciplines to unlock the biology of food allergy and change the field to develop new treatments and more.
Barri Blauvelt, founder and co-Chair of the EWAH Awards, proposed EWAH awards in late 2018. “I was researching women in executive leadership across diverse sectors of healthcare. I noticed that few from Massachusetts were being acknowledged for their contributions. That was when I realized that for our amazing emerging leaders to be recognized, we need to help them. That was the true beginning."
Over 150 nominations were received for the 2020 Awards. Ten finalists were selected for their impact and innovating ways of advancing healthcare, for their inspiring and leading others, and fostering diversity.
“The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a global leader in the healthcare industry so it is fitting that The Commonwealth Institute – an organization founded over 24 years ago to help women leaders in Massachusetts achieve greater success – would celebrate and honor emerging women leaders in the industry,” said Elizabeth L. Hailer, Executive Director of The Commonwealth Institute and EWAH co-Chair. “This award is a testament to the dedication, innovation and influence of each of these extraordinary women leaders.”
Solomon will be honored at the virtual EWAH celebration on September 24, 2020. A full list of the Extraordinary Women Advancing Healthcare Award winners can be found at http://commonwealthinstitute.org/programs-events/extraordinary-women-in-healthcare/.