40 Under 40 2020 | Lauren-Jei McCarthy, AstraZeneca, 39

40 Under 40 2020 | Lauren-Jei McCarthy, AstraZeneca, 39

Lauren-Jei McCarthy was studying chemistry in college when she had a realization: She wanted to reach more than one person at a time. In that moment McCarthy recognized the potential influence she could have on the wellbeing of millions by going into communications.

After honing her PR chops for three years at Edelman to start her career, McCarthy had a “once in a lifetime” opportunity as director of communications for the Black Women’s Health Imperative, where she learned how to focus on the most impactful projects and take a “scrappier” approach to tough issues in a nonprofit environment.

While there, McCarthy led a rebranding effort to develop a new look and feel appealing to younger women, critical to ensuring health disparities were identified and addressed. She was also charged with communicating why Black women’s health is central to family health and how policy changes to improve it result in economic improvement and widespread community health and improvement.

At AstraZeneca, she communicates about advances in cancer treatment and care every day. As associate director, U.S. oncology communications, McCarthy spearheaded corporate affairs communications for three oncology brands across five tumor types. Since September 2018, McCarthy has been at the forefront of 18 critical data and regulatory milestone announcements and four U.S. Food and Drug Administration approvals for new cancer treatment indications.

This past August, she joined the U.S. FDA as a public affairs specialist.

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