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Managing the Learning Function, Life Sciences Special Interest Group (SIG) Kickoff Meeting

  • 27 Jan 2012
  • 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb, 3551 Lawrenceville Rd, Princeton, NJ 08648
  • 1

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PLEASE NOTE: Registration will close when the meeting has reached the registration limit or on Wednesday, January 25th, whichever comes first.
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Life Sciences Special Interest Group (SIG) Kickoff Meeting

Executive Learning Leaders from Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck Discuss

“Managing the Learning Function”

Join us for this SIG kickoff meeting which will include an interactive discussion with Life Sciences Executive Learning Leadership. Hear from our esteemed learning leaders:

  • Donna Beccaria, Global Executive Director of the Learning and Collaboration team within R&D, for Bristol-Myers Squibb, and
  • John Constantine, Executive Director and Dean, Merck Polytechnic Institute,

as they share how they have established and continue to build, and manage the learning function within the R&D organizations at their global Life Science companies.  Both speakers have diversified experience as leaders in the field of workplace learning and performance and believe that the essential core elements of a learning strategy span across learning departments and across industries. Attend and engage in dialogue regarding R&D learning strategies that are also applicable across other broader learning functions. 

Hear “war stories” from these talented professionals with proven track records in both centralized and globally distributed learning organizations.  From building the right team to collaborating across departments and divisions to successfully implement global learning strategies, the discussion will provide valuable insights into managing the learning function in the highly complex and regulated field of Life Sciences.

This discussion is focused on sharing and learning from others.  It is invaluable to those who are trying to organize and implement a learning strategy within the Life Sciences industry, regardless of operational department.


8:30 AM     Check-in, Breakfast, and Networking

 9:15 AM     SIG and Mid New Jersey ASTD Chapter Announcements

 9:30 AM     Managing the Learning Function Discussion Part 1

10:30 AM    Break

10:45 AM    Managing the Learning Function Discussion Part 2

11:30 AM to Noon     Q & A


This event is being hosted by Bristol-Myers Squibb and limited space is available.  Prompt registration is recommended to ensure a reserved seat to this SIG meeting.

Security at Bristol-Myers Squibb will require a photo ID in order to access the meeting.  Specific gate, parking, and access information will be provided to all registrants.


Donna Beccaria is the Global Executive Director of the Learning and Collaboration team within R&D, for Bristol-Myers Squibb, and is responsible for leading a 45 person global team. The team supports a broad portfolio of learning services that span the global drug development process; this includes six disease areas, several clinical programs and teams, business process, multiple clinical and data systems, strategic initiatives, and regulatory learning requirements.  The learning programs are delivered across multiple modalities - instructor led; web-based, and social media.

Donna's adult learning experience has evolved over the past 20 years, and at BMS she has introduced the infusion of "blended learning modalities" which incorporates social media learning - learning outside the traditional classroom. In addition, Donna is leading an organizational initiative which, through digital media, is strengthening global disease area communities and networks to optimize knowledge transfer, collaboration and the open sharing of information.

Before joining BMS, Donna was principal in her own consulting firm servicing Fortune 500 companies.  Prior to that, she held various leadership roles within Learning, Talent Management, Organizational Development, and Human Resources.  She has planned and implemented a wide range of strategic business solutions during her career.  The include collaboration processes, learning programs, eLearning solutions, change management plans, acquisition integration, performance management, organization assessment, and design.

Donna has a BA in Psychology and a MS in Human Resource Management from Rutgers University.

John Constantine is a veteran of 24 years in the pharmaceutical industry, first at GlaxoSmithKline prior to joining Merck as Executive Director and Dean, Merck Polytechnic Institute in 2008. The Institute has a staff of 95 Learning professionals in 11 countries. His background includes Sales, Marketing, Corporate Staffs, Information Technology, Research and Development, and 16 years in Learning & Development.

John's expertise lies in the application of learning to business strategy to drive workforce effectiveness and the application of technology to learning to drive learning effectiveness and efficiency.


John holds a BA in Economics (magna cum laude) from Boston College.

He has served on the Board of Directors of the Society of Pharmaceutical and Biotech Trainers (SPBT) for 11 years, including 2 years as President.  He is also a member of the American Society of Training & Development (ASTD) and the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM).

Contact us:

Mid New Jersey ATD
P.O. Box 8567
Princeton, NJ 08543

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