Linda Distlerath, member of APCO Worldwide’s International Advisory Council, is a senior executive in the healthcare industry with over three decades of experience in the global biopharmaceutical sector, bringing substantial expertise in public affairs and building favorable policy environments for business success in markets around the world. Highly regarded as an international leader in forging innovative and strategic alliances and partnerships, Dr. Distlerath excels in engaging a diverse range of stakeholders to impact market access, regulatory and legal policies across highly regulated health and technology industries.
Dr. Distlerath most recently served as the Deputy Vice President of Advocacy and Strategic Alliances for the Pharmaceutical and Research Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), which represents the leading global biopharmaceutical companies. With a portfolio spanning China, India, South East Asia, Mexico and Canada, Dr. Distlerath led numerous multi-stakeholder partnerships and alliances, raising public awareness and securing government action on counterfeit medicines, chronic disease, intellectual property protection, health technology assessment, and drug pricing & reimbursement.
Dr. Distlerath also previously led the global health practice at APCO Worldwide, where she worked closely with executive leaders to develop strategies for reputation management, crisis management, social responsibility, and market access in the U.S., Europe and emerging markets. Dr. Distlerath spent most of her career as a senior executive and corporate officer at Merck & Co., Inc., a Fortune 100 global biopharmaceutical firm, where she led corporate public affairs and global health policy.
Dr. Distlerath has been active in several professional and charitable organizations. She is an elected member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., Senior Advisor at the National Bureau of Asian Research, a Trustee of the South Carolina Research Authority, board member of the National Academy of Certified Care Managers, and on the advisory board for the Aging Life Care Association. She is a former board chair of the Community Foundation of New Jersey, the African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnership and the China-MSD HIV/AIDS Partnership, and served on the boards of Project HOPE, the Committee for Economic Development and the Africa-America Institute. She holds a B.S. in Medical Technology from the University of Michigan, a Ph.D. in Environmental Health/Toxicology from the University of Cincinnati, a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Molecular Biochemistry from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and a J.D. from Rutgers University Law School.