From Alliance Managers to Alliance Teams: Adapting Alliance Management in Mega Collaborations

Large biopharma co-development and co-commercialization collaborations are more common–and more complex–than ever. These "mega collaborations" often require each party involved to employ cross-functional teams of alliance professionals instead of simply individual alliance managers. The more people, functions, and teams involved, the more complexity.

This expert panel will discuss the evolution from single alliance managers to alliance teams in large collaborations and the implications of this trend. Participants will learn about:


Christopher Black, CA-AM
Head, Corporate Alliance Management & Integration

Chris leads Merck's corporate alliance management & integration team. His group provides enterprise-level leadership for a multi-billion-dollar portfolio of strategic alliances and collaborations, as well as managing multiple M&A integration programs.

The majority of Chris' 15 years at Merck have involved management of partnerships for co-development, co-manufacturing and/or co-commercialization of vaccines and pharmaceuticals. He has managed global, regional and local strategic alliances, Joint Ventures, Institutional Businesses and NGO partners collectively active in over 110 countries.

Prior to Merck, Chris was an active-duty US Army officer. After the military, Chris joined Cintas Corporation, a business services company, where he held positions including sales manager, plant manager, regional director and general manager.

Chris has been a member of the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals since 2010 and has recently joined its global advisory board.

Ryan Lenox, CA-AM
Alliance Manager, Research Laboratories

Ryan joined Merck in 2014 where he has worked in several roles with increasing amounts of responsibility across medical affairs and Merck Research Laboratories (MRL). He is in his 5th year as an Alliance Manager and currently manages a diverse portfolio of relationships in MRL including large strategic alliances (co-development and co-commercialization) as well as discovery research agreements. Ryan holds a CA-AM from the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP).

Ryan is a Certified Physician Assistant (PA-C) and practiced Emergency Medicine in the Philadelphia area prior to joining Merck. Ryan is also a veteran who served in the U.S. Navy.

Ken Marran, CA-AM
Director, Corporate Alliance Management

Ken joined Merck in 2000 where he has worked in several roles of increasing responsibility across engineering, procurement, business development and alliance management. Ken is currently supporting global commercial activities and operations for multiple strategic global oncology alliances.

Ken holds a BS in civil engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters of Technology Management from Stevens Institute of Technology and is CA-AM from the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP).

Caroline Rader
Director, Manufacturing Business Alliance Management

Caroline leads manufacturing/supply relationships for multiple global alliances between Merck and our partners. These strategic collaborations vary in terms of therapeutic focus, development/supply/commercialization strategy, geography and culture but collectively impact the lives of millions of patients worldwide. Caroline has been with Merck for over 20 years - first as an environmental engineer, then in sourcing & procurement managing categories ranging from professional services to clinical & observational research, and currently is a director in Merck manufacturing division's alliance management team.

Caroline holds a BS in Environmental Engineering from Northwestern University and an MBA from New York University. In her free time, Caroline enjoys hiking and kayaking, and volunteers as the principal for a non-profit Chinese language & culture school.