Cynthia Smith

Cynthia is a biopharmaceutical executive with 20 years of experience leading emerging and mature companies through high-stakes and complex transformations. Most recently, Cynthia was Chief Commercial Officer of ZS Pharma, a biotechnology start-up. As an early member of the executive team, Cynthia played a key role in the company’s successful IPO to its $2.7 billion acquisition by AstraZeneca.

Prior to joining ZS Pharma, Cynthia was VP, Market Access & Commercial Development at Affymax, where she launched the company’s first product, disrupting an entrenched multi-billion dollar monopoly. Prior to joining Affymax, Cynthia held leadership roles at Merck in corporate strategy and public affairs, including worldwide crisis management for the highly publicized VIOXX recall. Before joining the pharmaceutical industry, Cynthia served on the health care and domestic policy teams in the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) from 1995-2000. Cynthia served on the board of directors of Nivalis Therapeutics. She earned an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, an MS in Public Policy from the Eagleton Institute at Rutgers University, and a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.