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Cissy Young, Ph.D.

Executive Director at Russell Reynolds Associates


Dr. Cissy S. Young is a member of the firm's Global Biotech & Pharmaceuticals Practice. Based in Boston, Cissy specializes in talent acquisition and transformative leadership, serving clients undergoing growth and change with innovation. Cissy advises Boards, CEOs and senior executives on strategic hiring, succession planning, executive assessment and talent benchmarking. Her clients span the spectrum of the life sciences industry, including life sciences venture capital firms, emerging growth biotech companies, and global large-cap pharmaceutical companies. As a member of the Diversity Practice, Cissy also advises clients on the strategic value of diversity in today’s business environment.

Professional experience

Prior to joining Russell Reynolds Associates, Cissy led business development in several emerging growth biotech companies backed by blue-chip venture capital investors. As a member of the management teams, Cissy contributed to building the companies from their early days by advancing partnership collaboration opportunities, supporting multiple rounds of venture capital raise, and contributing to product development strategies.


Cissy received her B.A. in biology from Brown University, her Ph.D. in cancer biology from Columbia University, and her M.B.A. in entrepreneurship and strategic management from The Pennsylvania State University.

Professional Affiliation

Cissy served on the Board of Directors of Community Rowing Inc. (CRI), one of the largest rowing clubs in the United States, advancing the mission of Rowing For All. She led the Annual Fund on the Development Committee and transformed its fundraising strategy, resulting in tripling the size of its campaign. Cissy is a member of the Healthcare Business Women's Association (HBA) and served as a mentor in the Boston Chapter Mentoring Program. She is also a member of the Brown Alumni Association and a volunteer on BrownConnect, mentoring young alumni on career development opportunities.

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