Quita Highsmith is Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at Genentech, a member of the Roche Group.
She is responsible for leading Genentech’s Diversity and Inclusion enterprise strategy, including recruiting, retaining, and developing diverse talent, investing in patient initiatives and supporting science education. She is the co-founder of Advancing Inclusive Research®. and Chair of Genentech’s Diversity and Inclusion Board.
Quita has co-authored several publications regarding health disparities including in the Journal of Oncology Practice and Contemporary Clinical Trials. She frequently presents at national and international forums.
Quita is well-known in the biotech industry for being an award- winning visionary and promoting patient inclusion. In 2021, she was named as the Inspire Award Winner by San Francisco Business Times. She was honored as the inaugural Visionary Award winner by Women of Color in Pharma (WOCIP). She was also named PharmaVOICE Magazine Top 100 Most Inspiring People, received the Trailblazer Award from Lead360, selected as one of the Top 15 Champions of Diversity by Diversity Global Magazine and named Top 100 Diversity Officers by The National Diversity Council.
Quita is committed to community service and serves on several local non-profit boards including, The Delta San Francisco-Peninsula Foundation Board which provides College scholarships for Black girls and Leadership Council San Mateo County.
Prior to her role as Chief Diversity Officer, Quita held several leadership roles in wide ranging disease areas across the Commercial organization and in Government Affairs at both Genentech and Sanofi-Aventis.
Quita received her Master of Business Administration from the Johnson School at Cornell University and her undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky.
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