Charles River Laboratories Adds Reshema Kemps-Polanco to Board of Directors

WILMINGTON, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. (NYSE: CRL) today announced the appointment of Reshema Kemps-Polanco, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Novartis US, to its Board of Directors. Ms. Kemps-Polanco has extensive pharmaceutical industry experience in leading commercial organizations that will provide a wealth of healthcare business leadership knowledge and sales and marketing expertise to Charles River’s Board. As a member of the Board, Ms. Kemps-Polanco will serve on the Compensation and Strategic Planning and Capital Allocation Committees.

“Reshema Kemp-Polanco’s deep industry experience at two of the top-10, global pharmaceutical companies and demonstrated ability to oversee large commercial organizations across multiple therapeutic areas will greatly benefit Charles River’s Board. Her industry knowledge will enable Charles River and our Board to gain powerful insights from a unique, voice-of-customer perspective and help to support our growth strategy. Reshema is a distinguished leader who is inspired by reimagining medicine to improve patient access and health outcomes. She will complement the combined skills and experience of our current directors, and we are pleased to welcome Reshema to Charles River’s Board,” said James C. Foster, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Charles River.

Ms. Kemps-Polanco has 25 years of pharmaceutical industry experience and currently serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Novartis US, the U.S. operations of global biopharmaceutical company, Novartis AG. In this role, she is responsible for the end-to-end commercialization across four therapeutic areas, including oncology, immunology, neurology, and cardiovascular/renal/metabolic conditions. Prior to rejoining Novartis in 2021, Ms. Kemps-Polanco held several leadership positions at Johnson & Johnson from 2014 until 2021, most recently as President, Janssen U.S. Cardiovascular & Metabolism and Janssen Pharmaceuticals Puerto Rico. In this role, she was responsible for developing and delivering the business strategy and driving the growth initiatives for these businesses. Ms. Kemps-Polanco began her pharmaceutical industry career at Novartis in sales and held management positions of increasing responsibility, including leading the U.S. commercial team’s marketing strategy for its leukemia franchise and as U.S. brand leader for its osteoporosis therapy.

Through her healthcare leadership roles, Ms. Kemps-Polanco is committed to decreasing healthcare inequities in screening and diagnosis and creating equal access to quality healthcare for all patients. She is a board member of the Healthcare Leadership Council (HLC), a coalition of chief executives focused on policies that make quality healthcare accessible to all Americans, a member of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) Global Advisory Board, and the CEO Roundtable on Cancer.

Ms. Kemps-Polanco said, “It’s an opportune time to join Charles River’s Board of Directors as the pharmaceutical industry navigates through a myriad of changes from regulatory to the scientific advancements to treat disease. Charles River is distinctly positioned to partner with clients to accelerate biomedical research and therapeutic innovation, and to drive towards the commercialization of their life-saving therapies in a cost-effective manner. I look forward to collaborating with the outstanding team and contributing to the future success and growth of Charles River.”

About Charles River

Charles River provides essential products and services to help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, government agencies and leading academic institutions around the globe accelerate their research and drug development efforts. Our dedicated employees are focused on providing clients with exactly what they need to improve and expedite the discovery, early-stage development and safe manufacture of new therapies for the patients who need them. To learn more about our unique portfolio and breadth of services, visit