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Career Stories of Lorena Kuri & Nancy Rivera-Sosa: Latinx Leaders in Clinical Trial Diversity

November 18, 2021
Global Drug DevelopmentInclusion & DiversityWomen Leaders
Careers Home  /  Career Stories  /  Career Stories of Lorena Kuri & Nancy Rivera-Sosa: Latinx Leaders in Clinical Trial Diversity

We’re proud of the fulfilling and successful careers our team members are able to create for themselves. Today, we’re shining a light on two Latinx leaders who are driving the success of clinical trial diversity in Global Development Operations (GDO).

Lorena Kuri, head of clinical trial diversity strategy, and Nancy Rivera-Sosa, vice president of regional clinical operations, are taking their careers in a meaningful direction while positively impacting the lives of patients on a global scale.

From Mexico to the United States

Lorena Kuri, head of clinical trial diversity strategy, Global Drug Development
Lorena Kuri, head of clinical trial diversity strategy, Global Drug Development

Working in sales and marketing roles in her home country of Mexico in 2007, Lorena saw a need for more clinical trial diversity in hematology. She said, “Our health authorities would come back to us saying, ‘Great data, great efficacy, wrong demographics. Please come back with real-world evidence or post-approval information that will help us understand how your drug is going to help our population.’”

Lorena’s frustration with this process fueled a passion for diversity, which she was able to turn into a career with BMS.

“I was working mostly with hematology, and I’ve always been very passionate about patients,” Lorena said. “When I found that BMS had a role solely dedicated to clinical trial diversity, I took a leap of faith, and BMS took a risk with me. I was able to shift my career from a commercial path to something truly embedded in health equities and in clinical trial diversity. I connected my passion with my purpose.”

What makes this Lorena’s dream job is also the interconnectedness of the company.

“Our interdependencies are very close, not only within the GDO organization, regional clinical operations and all the R&D team, but now this has become part of the individual study teams’ conversations,” she described. In fact, Lorena was part of the Diversity in Clinical Trial team that created an advisory committee to work directly with BMS’ People and Business Resource Groups (PBRGs), ensuring that all company materials are reviewed and deemed culturally appropriate.

Taking a more strategic role

Nancy Rivera-Sosa, vice president of regional clinical operations, Global Development Operations
Nancy Rivera-Sosa, vice president of regional clinical operations, Global Development Operations

Lorena isn’t alone in finding a dream job within BMS. According to Nancy Rivera-Sosa, supportive leadership is there every step of the way to encourage your career growth at BMS.

“There’s always this desire by leaders to ensure their team members are well supported in their development, and in particular, that we help them to navigate opportunities that exist,” she said.

Regional Clinical Operations (RCO) is the hands-on group that oversees and helps guide execution of BMS’ clinical trials worldwide. When Nancy first joined RCO in 2018, she led the North American and South American teams—now, just a few years later, she helms a team across 40 different countries.

“For me, I was looking for an opportunity to contribute to an inclusive, patient-centric organization from a global perspective,” Nancy said. “At prior companies, my focus was within the local market and I may never have had the opportunity to develop global strategies like I do with BMS.” Nancy credits this to BMS giving its teams exposure to different areas of the organization, allowing them to gain greater business perspective and growth. “There’s a multitude of opportunities across GDO for our employees to develop, from continuous improvement efforts to career opportunities across its nine functional areas. For me personally, those have been the times I’ve learned the most in my career.”

Both Lorena and Nancy are quick to point out that BMS understands that increasing the diverse patient participation in clinical trials accelerates innovation and development of transformative medicines to all patients. The company also understands that having diverse and inclusive representation within our own teams is integral to that goal. “I’m comfortable being the first Latinx in the team that I work,” Lorena said. “I’m comfortable as a woman of color, as an immigrant and as a working parent as well. But more importantly, I’m comfortable making sure that we all listen to each other’s voice.”

Nancy agreed and added, “The company values diverse perspectives, and it’s not something that is just written down as a value. You see it, you hear it in people when they talk about what they do. The passion is tangible.”

Diversity in action

Lorena’s and Nancy’s work in clinical trial diversity continues to help ensure the data collected will provide scientific evidence about those therapies’ safety and effectiveness in treating the disease or condition in multiple patient subgroups.

“We think about the patient population that needs to be in our trials with intention from the very beginning,” Lorena said. “From looking into how we write our protocols to what our eligibility criteria looks like to the selection of our research sites, BMS is at the forefront of the industry in addressing health equities.”

If you’re passionate about transforming patients’ lives through science, there’s a place for you at BMS.

In Global Development Operations, the opportunities to find the right career are plentiful. If you have a particular interest in interacting with investigators directly, you might want to look for a path toward clinical trial monitor. Passionate about quality and compliance or organizational strategy and support? Our GDO operations team might be for you. It’s a chance to discover and design your own career. Search open roles in Global Development Operations today.