Seema Kumar is a champion of science and innovation advancing societal appreciation for science’s positive impact on health and wellbeing around the world. In her role as Vice President, Innovation, Global Health and Science Policy Communication, she helps inform and shape scientific policymaking around the world, enhances worldwide communication of science through development of storytelling initiatives and programs that support science journalism, and convenes innovation and public health collaborations that create positive societal impact. Her responsibilities include enterprise-wide communications that advance Johnson & Johnson’s reputation as a pioneer and partner of choice in innovation and R&D across pharmaceuticals, medical devices and consumer products, as a standard bearer in medical safety and ethics, and as a leader in advancing holistic solutions for public health in the developed and developing worlds. She also leads communication for the Office of the Chief Scientific Officer, including the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centers and the Office of the Chief Medical Officer. As a champion of science and innovation, STEM, global health, science communication, and mentorship in science and entrepreneurship for women and minorities, she is a frequent guest speaker and lecturer at international forums. Her recent appearances include the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, Milken Global Conference, Next Einstein Forum Global Gathering, American Association for the Advancement of Science, MIT Solve, Aspen Institute and many others.
Prior to joining the J&J Family of Companies in 2003, Seema was the Chief Communications Officer at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research /Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Center for Genome Research, the flagship center for the Human Genome Project. She played a leadership role in enhancing worldwide public awareness and understanding of Project, the effort to map and sequence the genetic blueprint for a human being. Previously, Seema held positions of increasing leadership at the National Institutes of Health and the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, where she launched and led a variety of initiatives to communicate and position the latest scientific advances and policy implications and STEM initiatives for high school students.
Seema is active in many professional affiliations, serving on several external advisory boards including Science Counts, The New York Academy of Sciences, CorStone, Aspen Institute Science and Society, and The Biotechnology Institute. She is the author of more than 200 news and feature articles on science and medicine, for which she has won several awards. She holds a master of arts degree in science journalism from the University of Maryland, which included a fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, and a bachelor of science and communication from the University of Maryland, and a bachelor of science in physics from Stella Maris College, in Madras, India. Recently she was awarded the Women’s Venture Fund Highest Leaf and Biotechnology Innovation Organization’s BioInnovators Woman of the Year for her impact in advancing women in science. She founded a new publication, SEEMA, to unite and tell the stories of women of Indian heritage everywhere in the world.
Growing up in India, Seema was taught from an early age by her father, a physicist and an engineer, the importance of a STEM education to advance societal innovation and to her own career development. Today, Seema lives in New Jersey with her husband and teenage son. In her free time, she enjoys healthy cooking, reading and spending time with friends and family.