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Women in Bio - HERstory Gala 2020

December 10, 2020

7:00pm - 9:00pm

Virtual Event

HERstory: Honoring Outstanding Women in Biotech.

The HERstory Gala is the premier event for the Women in Bio - Capital  Region chapter and its supporters. The annual gala honors women trailblazers in the life sciences who make significant impacts in the region. This year we will recognize women in the Capital Region who are contributing to the fight against COVID-19.

Speaker Bios


Dr. Tonya Villafana, Vice President, Global Franchise Head, Infection, MedImmune/AstraZeneca.

 Dr. Tonya Villafana joined MedImmune/Astra Zeneca in 2009. She has been responsible for leading cross-functional global product development teams for vaccines and monoclonal antibodies including AZD1222 (ChAdOx1-S vaccine), MEDI8897 (nirsevimab), MEDI7510, MEDI8852, MEDI5537, MEDI534, and MEDI559. From 2011-2013, Tonya was seconded from AZ to the World Bank and served as the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) World Bank Fellow. In this role, she supported the Global Medicines Regulatory Harmonization Initiative including raising financing, with a focus on strengthening regulatory systems in Africa, and co-authored the Bank’s position on Non-Communicable Diseases for the UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs in 2011.

Prior to joining AZ, Tonya was Director of Portfolio Management at the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) where she had oversight of MVI’s vaccine candidate portfolio. She served as Chair of MVI’s Portfolio Management Committee and was a member of the RTS,S malaria vaccine team (GSK’s Mosquirix, first malaria vaccine to receive regulatory approval), leading teams for PATH in Tanzania and Gabon.
From 2001-2006 Tonya was the Site Director of the HIV Vaccine Initiative at the Botswana Harvard School of Public Health AIDS Initiative Partnership for HIV Research and Education in Gaborone, Botswana, where she established clinical sites to conduct the first HIV vaccine studies in the southern African nation, in collaboration with the US NIH HIV Vaccine Trials Network. While in Botswana, she served on the Botswana National HIV Vaccine Committee collaborating with local and international institutions including WHO, the Debswana Mining company, and Botswana Police Service.

Tonya has served on several scientific committees and advisory boards including the Malaria Clinical Trials Alliance, International Society of Vaccines, and the NIH Integrated Preclinical/Clinical AIDS Vaccine Development Program. She has worked closely on global health initiatives with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, PAHO, WHO, IFPMA, and UK Development Agency for International Development. She received a PhD in immunology from Weill Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences and an MPH from Harvard School of Public Health. Tonya is committed to developing novel vaccines and drugs to prevent diseases in the most vulnerable populations around the world.


Katy Strei, EVP, Human Resources / Global Communications & Public Affairs and Chief Human Resources Officer, Emergent BioSolutions.

Ms. Strei joined Emergent BioSolutions in 2016 and has served as executive vice president, human resources, and chief human resources officer since April 2017. She previously served as senior vice president and chief human resources officer from January 2016 to March 2017. Prior to joining Emergent, Ms. Strei was an independent consultant, specializing in leadership and organization development from February 2014 to January 2016.

Ms. Strei has extensive experience in human resource leadership roles, having previously served as vice president of global leadership and organization development at MedImmune from June 2005 to January 2014, director of executive development at Fannie Mae from May 1999 to May 2005, and program director, director of training, as well as corporate manager for ManorCare Health Services from August 1992 to May 1999.

Ms. Strei received a B.A. in Sociology from Lawrence University and an M.S. in Organization Development from American University/NTL Institute. Ms. Strei also holds a certificate for Leadership Coaching from Georgetown University. 



Linda Lecomte Betroune, Director, Immune Response in the infection and Immune Diagnostics Franchise, Qiagen

In her role, she is responsible for directing global marketing innovative initiatives, market solutions and leading global business teams that drive the success of QIAGEN’s immune response technologies, including QuantiFERON TB Gold Plus and QIAreach worldwide.

Linda has over 10 years of experience in International Sales and Marketing. The depth and breadth of her experience spans from Global Business Manager to a Commercial Partners Sales leader across Europe, the Middle East, Russia, Nordics, Turkey, and Africa. She has a proven track record for delivering double digit growth as a Sales leader. Developing and implementing short, mid, and long term strategies that sustain and develop new business as well as building and directing operational teams are her passions.

Linda’s specific expertise is in microbiology, molecular biology, immunology and laboratory automation. She excels in translating the voice of customer into strategic guidance and portfolio development; project management; delivering differentiated products to market; brand and KOL management; and, communicating value through integrated marketing programs and communication campaigns. Linda’s best qualities are in her stellar interpersonal and communication skills; facilitating persuasive presentations and productive relationships with customers, partners and employees.

Linda received her Masters in Business Marketing from the Université Paris Dauphine and is a graduate of a the Université Claude Bernard (Lyon I) where she received a Masters in Science, concentrating in microbiology, immunology, molecular biology, and oncology. She resides in metro- Washington, D.C. with her family and works from QIAGEN’s Germantown US headquarters. 

Disclaimer: This event may be recorded. We encourage you to join with video, but if you are uncomfortable, please be sure to turn off your webcam.

Pricing Information

Members: Free

Non-members*: $25

*To access the Member rate, please click here to purchase a WIB membership.

Note: Zoom meeting link will be sent along with confirmation email, after registration has been completed.

Special Pricing

Members can register guests at member pricing.

Maximum Capacity 


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