Diversity Leadership: Kenneth Frazier, Merck & Co.

Kenneth Frazier
Chairman and CEO

“As a leader in global healthcare, we are committed to addressing critical social, environmental and economic challenges to ensure not only the vitality of our business, but also the health of our world,” Kenneth Frazier said in Merck’s 2011 Corporate Responsibility Report.

Frazier ties executive compensation to diversity metrics, personally signs off on diversity goals and meets with resource groups regularly. In 2011, he signed the CEO statement of support for the Women’s Empowerment Principles, a project of the United Nations Development Fund for Women and the United Nations Global Compact. He is Merck’s first Black CEO and one of six Black CEOs at Fortune 500 companies.

Prior to becoming CEO, Frazier served as President in charge of Merck’s three major divisions: Global Human Health, Merck Manufacturing Division and Merck Research Laboratories. He joined the company in 1992 as Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of the Astra Merck Group. He has also been Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Merck & Co. and Executive Vice President and President, Global Human. Before joining Merck, Frazier was a partner with the law firm Drinker Biddle & Reath in Philadelphia.

Frazier received a bachelor’s degree from Penn State University and a juris doctor from Harvard Law School. He is the treasurer of the board of directors of PhRMA and a member of the boards of Weill Cornell Medical College, Penn State, the Cornerstone Christian Academy in Philadelphia and the American Law Institute. In addition, he is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, The Business Council, the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Bar Association.