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Maria Rivas, MD

Life Sciences Council Member
Chief Medical Officer, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Maria Rivas, MD, is Chief Medical Officer at the biopharmaceutical business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

Dr. Rivas and her team are responsible for the benefit and risk assessment of the company’s medicines and for translating R&D innovation into commercially promising medicines to positively impact the lives of patients.

Dr. Rivas joined Merck KGaA, Darmstadt Germany from Merck & Co., where she held the position of Senior Vice President, Head of Medical Affairs, overseeing 2,000 employees from 90 countries in therapeutic areas including oncology, immunology, biosimilars and neurosciences, amongst others. She was responsible for establishing a strong collaboration between Medical Affairs and the R&D organization and enhancing the Medical Affairs contributions to the research and commercialization strategy.

Prior to Merck & Co., Dr. Rivas was Vice President and Head of Global Medical Affairs at AbbVie, where she worked to design and implement a new medical organization following the AbbVie spin-off from Abbott. Dr. Rivas joined AbbVie from Bayer, where she served as Vice President, Global Medical Affairs, Oncology, and Vice President, General Medicine and Diagnostic Imaging. Her earlier experience also includes Global Product Development Leader at Lilly.

Dr. Rivas received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry from Brandeis University, and an MD in medicine from Columbia University, New York, where she also completed her post-doc clinical training.

In her role as Chief Medical Officer for Merck KGaA (Darmstadt, Germany)/EMD Serono (Boston, USA), Dr. Rivas serves as a member of the R&D Executive Leadership Team.