Our Leadership Galvanizes Us

Melissa M. Beck, Esq.
Executive Director

Melissa is the inaugural Executive Director of the Sozosei Foundation. She brings 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, managing and growing large-scale, nonprofit, and philanthropic organizations. Prior to joining the Sozosei Foundation, she served as Executive Director of The Educational Foundation of America (EFA), a family foundation that supports a range of issues through grantmaking and impact investing activities. Before joining EFA, Melissa was CEO of Legal Information for Families Today (LIFT), a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing access to justice for children and families throughout New York State. Prior to her role at LIFT, she championed criminal justice reform on a national and local scale with a focus on decriminalizing mental illness.

Before joining the nonprofit sector, Melissa was a litigator, working as a prosecutor in the Brooklyn DA's Office and as a criminal defense attorney. She was also an adjunct professor of Nonprofit Management at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service, and an adjunct professor of Political Science at Fordham University.

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Melissa has authored numerous articles on nonprofit management and social justice issues and has delivered keynotes, participated in panel discussions, and debates on these topics. She holds volunteer leadership positions for several nonprofit organizations, including as a member of the Leadership Council of The Support Center on Nonprofit Management, and as a member of the Board of Directors at the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Research Institute (NRI).

A graduate of Hampshire College, Melissa earned her JD from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and holds a certificate in nonprofit management from the Columbia Business School.

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William H. Carson, MD
Chair of the Board

Bill Carson is a pharmaceutical leader, data and technology innovator, and a board-certified psychiatrist who has led the development of blockbuster drugs and a world-leading R & D organization.

Dr. Carson is on the board of directors of Annexon Biosciences (NASDAQ: ANNX), Excision Biotherapeutics, using CRISPR-based therapies for viruses and on the board of privately held Lutron Electronics.  He was previously Chairman of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development and Commercialization, Inc (OPDC)., Board Chair of Decibel Therapeutics (NASDAQ: DBTX), Board member of Prevail Therapeutics (NASDAQ: PRVL), Board member of Saama Technologies, and Trustee of Internet2.

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Prior to that, Dr. Carson served as President and CEO of OPDC (2010-2019), having co-founded Otsuka’s presence in Princeton, NJ, in 2002 to support the launch of Abilify in partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb. Under his leadership, Otsuka was able to launch the Abilify follow-on, Rexulti, and Jynarque for polycystic kidney disease and, ultimately, the first FDA-approved digital medicine, Abilify MyCite.

Born and raised in Columbia, SC, Dr. Carson graduated from Harvard College. He received his MD degree from Case Western Reserve University and did his psychiatry residency at Tufts/New England Medical Center. Prior to joining the industry, he was a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina from 1988-1998.

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Mary Chi Michael
Board Member

As Vice President of Patient Advocacy and Stakeholder Management at Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. (OAPI), Mary has the unique opportunity to work with trailblazing leaders both inside and outside the clinic walls to create innovative patient-centered solutions. She is responsible for understanding how the world is changing across multiple disease categories, and pulling together the thoughts, ideas, and research from a global array of key opinion leaders, patient advocates, technologists, caregivers, and more to incubate novel business solutions. Mary brings innovation to Otsuka by engaging with stakeholders from the world’s most prestigious medical centers to local advocacy chapters.

Mary has more than 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry, developing and incubating novel business solutions across a diverse portfolio of healthcare arenas—biopharmaceuticals, orphan disease, digital health, and technology alliance partnerships. She has worked in both large multinational and start-up environments across nearly 20 different therapeutic categories.

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Before coming to Otsuka, Mary spent nine years with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in Opinion Leader and Advocacy Relations, where she developed and executed Global Opinion Leader business strategies across the Specialty products portfolio. Prior to Wyeth, Mary was at Bristol-Myers Squibb for 13 years, in a variety of positions. At Otsuka, she has spearheaded the launch of the Global Council on Alzheimer’s Disease (GCAD), a collection of preeminent experts who influence the Alzheimer’s space, including science, medicine, technology, policy, advocacy, and caregiving. Through GCAD, Mary has jumpstarted technological innovation, framed a patient navigation model for Alzheimer’s, and helped improve communications between families and healthcare providers.

Mary is a graduate of Virginia Tech as well as Singularity University.

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Tarek Rabah
Board Member

Throughout his career, Tarek has brought together high-functioning teams that challenge conventional thinking and deliver results in complex, challenging business environments. His commitment to empowering and supporting those around him has unlocked innovation and directly impacted the lives of patients. As a citizen of the world, Tarek brings an intuitive global perspective that infuses diversity, transparency, and performance accountability as key tenets in his business philosophy.

Tarek is a growth-oriented executive with extensive experience leading large, multifaceted commercial organizations. In his more than 20 years of experience, he has successfully launched brands and led divisions with AstraZeneca and Novartis in the United States, Europe, South America, Japan, and the Middle East. His expertise spans therapeutic areas in highly competitive and complex healthcare categories. For Tarek, leadership is not about having all the answers, rather, it is about creating an environment where Otsuka-people are deeply connected to their purpose, and the people they serve.

Read More Tarek joined Otsuka in 2022 as President & CEO of Otsuka’s North America Pharmaceutical Business, with responsibility in the US and Canada. Driven by his personal passion for improving the lives of people, Tarek is leading Otsuka’s commercial organization efforts to introduce products, programs, policies, and advocacy initiatives that help address unmet medical needs and untapped market opportunities.

He holds a BS in Biology and a BA in Business from the American University of Beirut, and an MBA from McGill University. He is fluent in five languages.

“We truly work to change lives at Otsuka—I am continuously inspired by Otsuka-people to uncover new ways to advance innovative health solutions, and for the opportunity to make an impact in the lives of those we serve.”

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Karen Gally
Board Member

Karen is passionate about using her legal acumen to positively contribute to Otsuka’s business, mission and employee culture. Her leadership style is firmly rooted in Otsuka’s purpose to defy limitation, so that others can too. Driven by the belief that people perform best when they are challenged, she actively seeks ways to continuously encourage those around her to reach their full potential and fulfillment.

As Vice President & General Counsel, Karen focuses on legal issues related to clinical development, product commercialization, and corporate governance. Karen loves the diversity of the opportunities she has had in her Otsuka career, which has afforded her the ability to work on the legal issues for a compound from Phase I studies through its full lifecycle. In addition, Karen supports the Boards of Directors of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc. (OPDC) and Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. (OAPI).

Read More Karen’s ability to evolve and learn has served her well throughout her career. Prior to joining Otsuka in 2003, Karen was an Associate with Epstein, Becker & Green in the Washington, D.C. office in the national health law practice group. From 1996 through 2003, she represented national healthcare companies in the areas of durable medical equipment, home healthcare, and pharmaceuticals in criminal and civil investigations. Before earning her JD from the University of Maryland Carey Law School in Baltimore, Karen worked in public relations and public policy in Albany. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH.

Outside of Otsuka and the Sozosei Foundation, Karen is on the Board of Directors of the Alliance of Aging Research and the Alumni Board of the University of Maryland Carey Law School.

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