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West Coast Conference Guest Speakers

Guest Speakers

Quita Highsmith, Head of Alliance and Advocacy Relations and Co-Lead for Advancing Inclusive Research – GENENTECH

Quita HighsmithHer team engages, partners and represents the full pipeline and commercial portfolio with patient advocacy organizations and health alliances, plus works closely with clinical development.

Prior to her current role, Quita served as the commercial lead for the Tamiflu Franchise. In this role she was responsible for strategy, financial targets, business development, product supply, extensive Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) partnering and ensuring Tamiflu access to 4 to 8 million Americans annually.

Before joining Genentech in 2010, Quita held roles of increasing responsibility in Advocacy/Government Affairs, Marketing and Sales at Sanofi and predecessor companies.

Quita’s lifelong passion for patient inclusion, developing others, creating vision and followership are well known throughout the industry. In 2018, BlackDoctor.org and The Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University honored her as one of the Top Blacks in Healthcare. She was an author on an abstract published at the 2018 ASCO conference entitled – Strategies associated with enhanced inclusion of racial and ethnic minorities in clinical cancer research. She is also 1 of 50 invited thought leaders for the 2018 AACR Think Tank on Cancer Health Disparities.

In 2017, she was recognized as one of the 100 Most Inspiring People by PharmaVoice and was one of 16 women named to the Medical Marketing and Media Hall of Femme.

In addition, Quita contributes leadership to nonprofit and professional organizations, including serving as the Vice Chair of the Alliance Development Committee for Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO); Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) Global Nominating Board and past president of the SF Chapter; Delta San Fran-Peninsula Foundation Scholarship Board; and Genentech’s Political Action Committee Board.

Quita received her Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Johnson School at Cornell University and her undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky. ). Her family is known as the “Q-Crew,” so-named for her husband Quincy and children Quintin and Quinlyn.


Gregory D. Barnes, Executive Director and Chief Information Security Officer – AMGEN

Greg is an Executive Director in the Global Information Protection organization, and Amgen’s Chief Information Security Officer. Prior to joining Amgen, Mr. Barnes worked within the Blue Cross and Blue Shield system of plans in multiple roles, the latest of which were as the Chief Information Security Officer for Horizon BCBS of New Jersey, and a principal advisor to the national BCBS Association Board of Directors on Cyber Security matters.

Prior to his time at BCBS, Mr. Barnes worked for Lucent Technologies as a Managing Principal, leading multiple highly skilled teams in the design of advanced technology networks for large telecommunications companies such as MCI/Worldcom, as well as conducting numerous security design, test and program management engagements for Exxon, Washington Mutual, Cisco, State Farm, Williams Communications, Walmart, and others.

Mr. Barnes has over 20 years of experience in the security industry. He began his career in the United States Air Force, where he managed classified intelligence and cyber operations systems. He is a Board Member of the National Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center and currently chairs the HHS (Healthcare Human Services) Cyber Working Group on Intellectual Property Protection.

Mr. Barnes received his Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology from University of Phoenix and his Master of Science degree in Information Assurance form the National Security Agency -designated Center of Academic Excellence in Advanced Cyber Operations at Northeastern University, and maintains both Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) designations.