Karen Katen

Senior Advisor, Houston
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University of Chicago
University of Chicago

Karen Katen has over 30 years of experience in senior executive level positions within the pharmaceutical industry. Karen retired as Vice Chairman of Pfizer Inc. and as President of Pfizer Human Health in 2007 after a career at Pfizer Inc. that spanned 33 years and 12 successive line promotions, culminating as President, Pfizer Human Health and Vice-Chairman of Pfizer Inc.

Human Health was the company’s principal operating group, responsible for the global discovery, development, manufacture, distribution and commercialization of prescription medicines, as well as for providing a broad array of innovative human-health services. Under her leadership, the Human Health organization – represented by over 90,000 colleagues – generated 94% of Pfizer’s annual revenues exceeding $45 billion and had an industry-leading portfolio, with three of the world’s 25 top-selling medicines and seven therapeutic-area leaders. 

She has served on several healthcare-related boards, including as Treasurer for PhRMA, an industry association representing America’s research-based pharmaceutical companies; and the National Alliance for Hispanic Health; she was also a member of the Healthcare Leadership Council.  Karen was also active on a variety of international policy bodies, including as Chairman, US-Japan Business Council. 

Karen is currently a director on the boards of Air Liquide, Home Depot, Takeda Global Advisory Board and the Economic Club of NY Board of Trustees, and she also serves as the Chairman of the ARMGO Pharm Board and RAND Health Board of Advisors.  Ms. Katen is a Trustee at the University of Chicago and a council member of the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago.

Karen’s achievements have received wide recognition. In 2005, Karen was named among the top ten in Fortune Magazine’s ranking of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Business,” a list which included her for eight consecutive years. For her commitment to community and improving public health, she received eleven distinct “Woman of the Year” or similar awards from civic groups, national associations and universities. 

Karen received her B.A degree and Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Chicago.  She joined Essex Woodlands as a Senior Advisor based in the New York office on October 2007.