How I Got Here: Generate’s Kym White on her ritual for personal success and balance

Kym White shares the proudest moment of her career.

Kym White

Kym White, chief corporate affairs officer at Generate:Biomedicines, has decades of experience in corporate affairs and healthcare communications. Most recently, White advised Verily and Isomorphic Labs within the Alphabet ecosystem before joining the biotechnology company.  She’s been recognized as a healthcare influencer by PR Week and Medical Marketing & Media. Beyond her professional commitments, she also extends her influence by serving on the boards of Public Policy Holding Co. (PPHC) and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF).

One way the CCAO maintains her work life balance is by walking. Whether starting or ending her day, she uses this time as she walks to and from work for reflection and preparation. “That transition period helps me to prepare and be fully where I need to be by the time I arrive,” said White.

I joined Generate:Biomedicines because: 

I spent the last three years working in the Alphabet ecosystem, running communications for Verily and Isomorphic Labs. I discovered that I loved the build – being a part of younger companies that were well capitalized and on strong growth trajectories, figuring out where we fit in the world and how to define and distinguish the company. I also became convinced that Generative AI would fundamentally change drug development. I wanted to be a part of the vanguard for this new era and to infuse more technology experience into my career in healthcare.

The moment I’m proudest of in my entire career is when I:

Led the “CVS Quits” campaign while at Edelman. That was the moment when CVS announced that they would voluntarily stop selling cigarettes and tobacco products in 2014. It was a bold, brave move to walk away from $2 billion in revenue. The company made this move of their own volition because they wanted to become a leader in healthcare and knew that selling cigarettes was not something they could reconcile with that goal. That move paved the way for CVS Health to emerge and become the company it is today – and to my joining them as CCO a few years later.

One thing that worries me about the future of my profession is:

The rise of disinformation and the decline of traditional news organizations. Each of these trends is concerning in its own right, but the combination is especially worrisome.

 I stay on top of trends by:

 Reading. Listening and watching voraciously – trade, business and consumer media. Good ideas come from so many places, and there are so many lessons to be learned from different industries. I also make it a point to maintain friendships with people of different ages – people older and younger than me sensitize me to things that may not come from my own experience.

 A book I am reading right now is: 

The Genius Makers by New York Times reporter Cade Metz. It’s about AI and the companies and academic centers that have been involved in its advancement since the 1950s. It’s a fascinating read that underscores the interconnectedness of academia and business, and that makes clear AI is not something that just emerged in the last few years with ChatGPT – it’s been in development for a long time.

 Outside of work, what is a hobby or passion that inspires you? 

 Travel. I have been fortunate through my work and personal life to have visited so many places around the world. Visiting places like Cuba, Indonesia, South Africa and China opens your eyes to how others live and makes you question your assumptions and biases. It can also make you grateful for what we may take for granted and aware that there are many ways of doing things.

Isis Simpson-Mersha is a conference producer/ reporter for Ragan. Follow her on LinkedIn.


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