San Diego Chapter Event

San Diego Chapter Event

Board Recruitment and Building a High Performing Board

Julia Brown and Robin Toft will share experiences from the board and the board recruiter viewpoints. We will also hear recent research from USD professor, Biljana Adebambo, on traits that she has identified in successful CEOs.


Julia Brown

Julia R Brown, an executive from the life science industry, has spent her career in pharmaceutical and biopharmaceuticals. She has served on the board of directors of numerous drug development companies.  

Brown is on the boards of Corporate Directors Forum and Cleantech San Diego. She chairs the city’s Sustainable Energy Advisory Board. Brown is a member of the National Advisory Board of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Brown is on the boards of UC San Diego Foundation and the San Diego Symphony Orchestra.

Julia received the Hugh Friedman Award for Director of the Year (2016), UC San Diego Chancellor’s Medal (2012) and was UCSD’s Honorary Alumna of the Year (2014). Julia received CONNECT’s award for “Distinguished Contribution to the Life Science Innovation”(2010)  and won San Diego Business Journal’s “Women Who Mean Business” award in 2006.

Julia holds a B.S. from Louisiana Tech University and a M.L.A. from Harvard.

Robin Toft

Robin Toft is the founder and CEO of Toft Group Executive Search, where she combines a deep inside knowledge of the life science industry with a passion for building game-changing management teams. Robin has placed more than 500 executives at innovation-led companies in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, medical devices, life science tools and digital health.

A champion of diverse executive teams, Robin has built a reputation for recruiting women and minorities into top roles and helping the life science industry overcome unconscious bias in hiring. Prior to founding Toft Group in 2010, Robin served 20+ years as a biotech executive.

In 2019, Robin authored her first book, “WE CAN: The Executive Woman’s Guide to Career Advancement,” available on Amazon. WE CAN offers practical insight, wisdom and encouragement for women to realize the career of their dreams. It is recognized within the list of 100 Best CEO Books of All Time by BookAuthority.

Robin serves on multiple non-profit boards, is an inaugural member of the Susan G. Komen San Diego Advisory Council, was awarded Woman of the Year in San Diego in 2017, and a finalist in Ernst & Young’s prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year awards in 2018 and 2019. She has been honored as a finalist for San Diego Business Journal’s “Women Who Mean Business” and “Most Admired CEO” awards in multiple years.

Biljana Adebambo

Biljana is an associate professor of finance at USD. She was recently cited in The Wall Street Journal for her research on CEO extraversion and the cost of equity capital, which she conducted alongside Distinguished Professor of Accounting Robert Bowen and Associate Professor of Finance Pengcheng Zhu. Article excerpt below.

The Downside of Extroverted CEOs

While talkative, energetic, sociable leaders may wow investors and employees, they may not be good for business.

Public companies run by chief executives with extroverted personality traits have a higher cost of equity capital - the return shareholders demand for bearing the risk of owning the asset - than otherwise similar firms with less-outgoing CEOs, according to new research led by Biljana Adebambo, an associate finance professor at the University of San Diego. The cost of equity capital is a key measure of a firm's financial health because it affects how investors value a firm and can affect the profitability of coming projects, she says.


Date: November 12, 2019
Time: 4:30pm – 6:30pm
Venue: The Lodge at Torrey Pines, 11480 N Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037


11/12/2019 4:30 PM - 11/12/2019 6:30 PM
The Lodge at Torrey Pines 11480 N Torrey Pines Road La Jolla, CA 92037 UNITED STATES

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