Quita Highsmith is Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at Genentech, a member of the Roche Group. 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 and has co-authored abstracts at peer-reviewed conferences, including the American Association of Cancer Research’s conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved.
She is responsible for leading Genentech’s Diversity and Inclusion strategy, including recruiting, retaining, and developing diverse talent, investing in initiatives to support science education, and addressing barriers in clinical trial participation via Advancing Inclusive Research™.
Quita is well-known in the biotech industry for being an award-winning visionary and promoting patient inclusion. In 2021, she received the Trailblazer Award from Lead360, recognized as one of the Top 15 Champions of Diversity by Diversity Global Magazine and was named Top 100 Diversity Officers by The National Diversity Council. In 2020, she was recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Business by the San Francisco Business Times. 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 students and Leadership Council San Mateo County.
Prior to her role as Chief Diversity Officer, Quita held leadership roles in Government Affairs and the Commercial organizations 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.
We are deeply committed to addressing barriers to clinical trial participation. Learn more about how we are taking action and advancing inclusive research.