For this edition of Sanofi Stories, we connected with Kalahn Taylor-Clark, US Head of Public Affairs in the Cardiovascular Business Unit at Sanofi US, who was recently appointed to the Board of Trustees at her alma mater Tufts University. Read on to learn more about the changes she is seeing in providing support – both in academia and the corporate world.
Congratulations on being named to the Board of Trustee at Tufts University. Let’s start by talking about your connection to the University.
I earned my BA in International Relations and my Masters in Public Health from Tufts and have continued to maintain close ties with the University. For three summers after I completed my Master’s degree, I taught in the Tufts in Talloires program in France. This is a six-week summer program for college students who live with a French family while attending classes. It was wonderful!
While completing my PhD at Harvard, I was a Scholar-in-Residence at Tufts. I lived in a residential hall and worked with students on several programmatic efforts. Further, on the very same day I defended my dissertation, I began teaching at Tufts. I loved being part of the Tufts faculty, and I’ve stayed connected with my Tufts’ friends, faculty and staff, and I have continued to mentor my former students even 10 years later. I have a deep appreciation for the foundation Tufts gave me.
Tell us about your election to Trustee.
I was nominated as an Alumni Trustee by a graduate who attended a young alumni program I held at my home, and my nomination was approved by the Board. Alumni Trustees, who comprise 25% of the Board, are elected by alumni ballot, so I have my fellow alumni to thank for this honor, as well as the Board for confirming my appointment.
My road to this appointment wasn’t exactly traditional. While I don’t have the financial means many of the Trustees have, I’ve always done my part to give back. I believe that my election signals where the University wants to go in the future and that there is a space to give back in unique and impactful ways.
Let’s talk about your position at Sanofi US.
My current role is US Head of Public Affairs in the Cardiovascular Business Unit. I’m the liaison between the company and key external stakeholder groups in the marketplace – patient and provider groups, scientific societies and think tanks. I work to establish collaboration and partnerships with them. It’s not marketing. It’s not a commercial role, but we do address challenges faced by our commercial team – challenges like patients’ and providers’ access to products for treating cardiovascular disease.
What most excites you about your work at Sanofi?
The best part about my work is the people I work with — I’m so thankful for them. They keep me inspired, motivated, and appreciative. Also, we have moved CV Public Affairs from sponsorship to partnership – true collaborators with the organizations and groups with whom we work.
A great example is my Public Affairs colleague Mike Capaldi. Earlier in his 20-year Sanofi career, Mike led our training team. As part of his job responsibilities, he recently worked with the Mended Hearts organization to train 600+ patient advocates on issues around specialty pharmacy processes and overcoming authorization challenges to cardiovascular therapies. I am proud of the work he is doing – I am proud of the work that we are doing together. I am proud of being part of the Sanofi family.