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Adrienne Graves

The Power List 2021 – Power List


Former President and CEO, Santen Inc; Board of Directors: Iveric Bio, Nicox, Oxurion, Surface Ophthalmics, TherOptix, Qlaris Bio, Greenbrook TMS, based in North Carolina, USA

What can be done to make the field more diverse?

This sounds simple, but I think the key is to very consciously keep diversity top of mind in decision-making. As a former CEO, I know it is tempting to repeatedly turn to those who have performed in the past for key roles, such as Scientific Advisory Boards, named lectures, panel discussions, and corporate boards. Thinking about diversity in these choices can create change, as well as many overall “wins.” It develops new leaders, and diversity of thought leads to optimal strategic decisions and outcomes.

What is your proudest professional achievement?

I’m proud to have contributed to ophthalmic innovation in a variety of roles: as a bench scientist, a drug developer, a corporate leader, a strategic advisor for public and private companies, and as a patient advocate. I feel very fortunate to continue to work with so many friends and colleagues who have dedicated their lives to preserving and restoring vision.

Outside of work, what makes you happy?

As a scientist by training, curiosity and exploration drive me. I love travel, food and wine, getting together with friends and family, music, theater, hiking, and fashion. And I love keeping up with the ever-evolving innovations in ophthalmic technologies and therapeutic interventions.


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