Who We Are

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 organizations 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.

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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 in the Political Science Department at Fordham University.

Melissa has authored numerous articles on nonprofit management and social justice issues, and has participated in many panel discussions and debates. She also holds volunteer leadership positions for several nonprofit organizations including the Correctional Association of New York and The Support Center on Nonprofit Management.

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.

Carson has recently joined the board of directors of Annexon Biosciences (NASDAQ GS: ANNX). He is also Chairman of his former organization, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development and Commercialization, Inc (OPDC). Additionally, he is on the board of directors of Excision Biotherapeutics using CRISPR-based therapies for viruses starting with HIV, and the board of trustees of Internet2. He was also on the board of Prevail Therapeutics which earlier this year was purchased by Eli Lilly for $ 1.04 billion.

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Prior to that, 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, S.C., Carson graduated from Harvard College. He received his M.D. degree from Case Western Reserve University and did his psychiatry residency at Tufts/New England Medical Center. Prior to joining 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 multi-national 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 our 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 to improve 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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