President, Merck Vaccines and Infectious Diseases

Margie McGlynn, President of Merck Vaccines and Infectious Disease, champions women’s access to life-saving vaccines, treatment and health information worldwide.

McGlynn grew up aware of the importance of quality health care. Her parents lost an infant to complications from measles years before the vaccine was invented, and two of McGlynn’s sisters died from a genetic disorder. She began her career as an apprentice in her father’s pharmacy in Buffalo, NY, shoveling snow and delivering medicine to housebound customers.

Upon completing pharmacy school and earning her MBA, McGlynn expected to take over the family business. But an internship in research at Merck changed her path. She seized an opportunity to alleviate suffering on a much larger scale and rose through the ranks at Merck.

McGlynn and other executives at Merck show a commitment to women’s health through the company’s pricing policies and extensive engagement with governments and health agencies in low income countries. Merck sells HIV/AIDS medications at a drastically reduced cost to countries hard hit by the epidemic and provides vaccines at no profit through the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI). McGlynn also led the designation of three million free doses of the vaccine Gardasil, which can prevent cervical cancer, to low income nations.