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Diversity Leadership: Rhonda Crichlow, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

Rhonda Crichlow, Novartis Pharmaceuticals CorporationRhonda Crichlow
Vice President and
Head, U.S. Diversity & Inclusion
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

Rhonda Crichlow began her career as a tax attorney specializing in corporate litigation. But after helping to negotiate a landmark settlement for Black farmers in a racial-discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture, her focus changed to community outreach and diversity.

“It was one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done,” she told DiversityInc, adding that she was interested in “a career that would allow me to come to work and leave each day recognizing I had made a contribution to helping others.” As the chief diversity officer at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Crichlow continues to advance the careers of talent from traditionally underserved communities and promote cultural diversity in the workplace.

Prior to joining Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation in 2006 as Executive Director of Philanthropy and Community Development, Crichlow worked as a corporate tax attorney and as a legal consultant for the Office of the Monitor.

Growing up in a military family in metro D.C., Crichlow was the first person in her family to finish college. She received her bachelor’s degree from George Washington University in 1987, a master’s in public policy from Duke University in 1988 and a juris doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1992.

Crichlow lives with her husband and two children in New Jersey and is active in local community organizations including the Human Needs Food Pantry, Greater Essex County Chapter of Jack and Jill of America and New Jersey After 3, a nonprofit that offers structured afterschool programs. She also serves as secretary of the Novartis Patient Assistance Foundation, which offers free medications to the uninsured. In 2010, Crichlow was honored with the Helping People Move Forward award by NewBridge Services, which provides community health and education programs throughout New Jersey.