Transforming Discovery into Opportunity

CDRD CEO Karimah Es Sabar Named a Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner


Women’s Executive Network Reveals 2013 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winners


TORONTO & VANCOUVER – December 4, 2013 – The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) is pleased to announce that its President and CEO, Ms Karimah Es Sabar has been named as a recipient of the Women’s Executive Network’s (WXN) 2013 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards to be presented at a national Leadership Summit and Gala in Toronto this evening, with a follow-up Summit and Luncheon to be held in Vancouver January 30th. Co-Presented by Scotiabank and KPMG, these Awards celebrate and highlight the professional achievements of women across the country in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors at a time when corporate Canada is under growing pressure to promote more female leaders into senior management and corporate director roles.

Through her professional career and volunteer activities, Karimah’s contribution to the life sciences and broader research and innovation community in British Columbia, Canada and globally has been extensive. With over 30 years of dynamic international business experience across start-up companies, not-for-profit organizations, and global industry, Karimah is currently responsible for spearheading the overall strategic direction of CDRD, and overseeing management decisions and activities of CDRD’s 100+ team members. Since joining the organization in 2009 (initially as Senior Vice President, Business and Strategic Affairs, then subsequently as CEO), Karimah has led CDRD to new levels of success, and positioned it as one of the world’s top translational research centres, thus building a considerable competitive advantage for Canada in the area of health research and commercialization.

“Every year we see the high quality of female leadership in this country as we review the applications for these Awards,” said Pamela Jeffery, WXN Founder. “The 2013 Top 100 Winners are a testament to the broad range of talent and leadership found in Canada and we believe that by recognizing and sharing the accomplishments of these women, we are encouraging the next generation to reach higher so that one day there will be no ceiling, just possibility.”

Dr. David Dolphin, Chair of CDRD commented, “On behalf of the Board of Directors and entire CDRD organization, I would like to congratulate Karimah on this outstanding and well-deserved honour. Her performance as CEO has been truly exemplary, as every day she leads the country’s most talented drug developers and business people in a highly-effective and motivating manner. She is inspirational to not only these individuals but to the entire national life sciences and health research community in which she has built a shining reputation for herself and all of the organizations with which she is involved.”

Karimah Es Sabar remarked, “I am truly humbled by this recognition, and want to sincerely thank all of the incredible people with whom I have had the privilege of working over the course of my career. It is the support and guidance of these exceptional individuals that has enabled my professional success; and it is to them that the true credit is due.”

Earlier this year, Karimah was also appointed the Founding Chair of the Global Alliance of Leading Drug Discovery and Development Centres, an association of top international peer organizations dedicated to translating health research into new medicines, the formation of which she also led; while she also continually volunteers her time to numerous organizations throughout our national and international community including as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Providence Healthcare Research Institute, Past-President of MOSAIC, a multilingual non-profit organization dedicated to addressing issues that affect immigrants and refugees in the course of their settlement and integration into Canadian society; and a member of the National Research Council’s IRAP Advisory Board among many others.

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About the Women’s Executive Network (WXN)
At WXN, we inspire smart women to lead. WXN creates and delivers innovative networking, mentoring, professional and personal development to inform, inspire, connect and recognize our community of 19,000 smart women and their organizations in the pursuit of excellence. WXN enables our Partners and Corporate Members to become and to be recognized as employers of choice and leaders in the advancement of women.

Founded in 1997, WXN is Canada’s leading organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of women in management, executive, professional and board roles. WXN is a Founding Member of the Canadian Board Diversity Council, dedicated to increasing the diversity of Canada’s corporate boards. In the fall of 2008, WXN launched in Ireland, a first step in creating an international community of female leaders.

In June 2012, WXN Founder, Pamela Jeffery was named the only Canadian resident to Fast Company’s 2012 League of Extraordinary Women, in the leadership category. In its inaugural year, the League of Extraordinary Women recognized 60 women from the world’s largest companies, innovative start-ups, philanthropic organizations, government and arts for their dedication to changing the lives of women and girls everywhere. WXN is the only Canadian-based organization on the list. Other Charter members include Hilary Clinton and Melinda Gates.

As individuals, we can inspire and be inspired. To our community of members and Partners, we thank you for inspiring WXN to lead.

More information and details are available at or

About CDRD
CDRD is Canada’s fully-integrated national drug development and commercialization centre, providing expertise and infrastructure to enable researchers from leading health research institutions to advance promising early-stage drug candidates. Its mandate is to de-risk discoveries stemming from publicly-funded health research and transform them into viable investment opportunities for the private sector — thus successfully bridging the commercialization gap between academia and industry, and translating research discoveries into new therapies for patients. Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence Program has recognized CDRD as a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR).



For additional information, please contact:

Barry Gee
Director, Communications
The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD)
Phone: (604) 827-1223

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