Head of Legal, Sumitovant
Tara, you are the Head of Legal at Sumitovant. Tell us about your role.
As part of my role, I manage the legal, compliance, and communications functions at Sumitovant. Needless to say, we operate best as a company when we do all of our work in a legal and compliant way at all times. That helps us minimize risk and avoid crises.
I know that Legal can sometimes be viewed as a roadblock that slows down the business. But that is not at all how I see myself and my team, and hope that our business views us as true partners. Our goal is to be supportive of our corporate objectives and remain good partners to all of our departments. I’d say that my team is very effective, nimble, and efficient. I also have to say that Myrtle Potter, the Sumitovant CEO, is every attorney’s dream. She is extremely particular in ensuring that we conduct ourselves according to the highest standards. That tone from the top makes our job so much easier.
I also want to add that a legal department, in my opinion, is not just about following the law and being compliant. It also has to address questions of ethics and integrity. At Sumitovant, we see all of that. My role is to bring that together. The wonderful thing about this company and culture is that there is a lot of open communication. People here consider Legal to be a strategic partner. We are always at the table. We have a very strategic, not just a reactive role.
Who are your closest internal partners in your role?
Not surprisingly, our CEO and I work very closely together. And I would not be doing my job well if my internal clients and colleagues didn’t feel that they can trust me and my team. Because of the nature of my role, I need to be a close partner with all departments.
In your opinion, what is the biggest impact Sumitovant will have on patients and the world?
The patient impact is at the heart of everything we do. Look at our pipeline. We have potential products for rare pediatric diseases, prostate cancer, women’s health, respiratory disease, and many more. The breadth of the impact of these products is astounding if and when they get approved. My mom died of a rare form of breast cancer and she never got to meet her granddaughter. How amazing would it be to live in a world where this does not happen anymore? Our work is incredibly impactful and can have an impact on so many children, women, and men across to globe.
Is there a leader who inspires you?
I have to say that our CEO, Myrtle Potter, inspires me. She’s an incredibly hard worker. She’s a woman of color and raised two children, all while advancing her career to tremendous heights. When you work with her, she is so gracious, she treats everyone with respect. And she’s always wants to learn more. She is such a pleasure to work with and I love to learn from her.
So many of the people I’ve worked with and to whom I look up so much always surround themselves with smart people, because there’s always more to learn. I learned from those people that we need to work exceptionally hard. Look at my own mom, who fought so hard to beat an unbeatable disease. There’s a long list of inspirations for me. Lots of people to look up to.