BOSTON–The International Institute of New England (IINE) is presenting the prestigious Golden Door Award to Dr. Reshma Kewalramani, the President and CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals on Tuesday, April 27 in a virtual ceremony. The event will be broadcast from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. that evening.
A native of Mumbai, Dr. Kewalramani is the first woman to lead a top-five biotech company and is one of a handful of women who have received this prestigious award. She came to the U.S. with her family as a child, studied medicine at Boston University, practiced at MGH and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals, and eventually made her way to a career in biotechnology.
The Golden Door Award is presented to individuals born outside of the U.S. who have made significant contributions to civic, economic and cultural life in the region and beyond. Past honorees include Desh Deshpande, I.M. Pei, Yo-Yo Ma, Arthur Fiedler, Chief Justice Margaret Marshall, biotech visionary Henri Termeer, Teradyne founder Alex d’Arbeloff, Flagship Pioneering Chairman Noubar Afeyan, MIT President Rafael Reif, and Northeastern University President Joseph Aoun.
“We are thrilled to be presenting this award to Dr. Kewalramani,” said Jeff Thielman, IINE’s President and CEO. “Our Board of Directors selects the Golden Door Award honoree based on their impact, and Reshma was an easy choice. She is a model CEO, she leads a biotech company that is solving complex problems, and the story of her family’s journey to the U.S. to pursue new opportunities resonates with the people we serve.”
“I am excited to welcome the Indian community to this event,” said Desh Deshpande, a former Golden Door Award honoree and Host Committee member. “Reshma is a prominent member of our community, and she is leading a company that is doing transformative work.”
“It’s no surprise that Vertex, under Reshma’s leadership, is well-regarded for its focus on diversity and inclusion in the workplace,” said Deshpande. “I’m very pleased that IINE has chosen to honor Reshma with the Golden Door Award.”
Readers learn more about Dr. Kewalramani by watching Dr. Manju Sheth’s interview with her in the fall of 2020: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuuItfQ7F5U, or click here. To attend and support the event, please visit https://iine.org/goldendoor/.
Proceeds from the Gala benefit the resettlement, education, career and legal services IINE provides each year to 2,500 immigrants and refugees in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. With more than 60% of the region’s essential workforce done by immigrants, IINE’s work is particularly important at this time. IINE trains essential workers to enter healthcare, food services, construction and other industries and has provided direct emergency assistance to hundreds of low-income immigrant families who have faced homelessness and food insecurity.
The organization is also preparing to welcome more refugees to New England after President Biden’s announcement earlier this year that he would be increasing the cap on the number of refugees permitted to enter the country to 125,00 annually. To learn more about IINE, please visit https://iine.org/#.