Rob Kowalski
Rob Kowalski

Rob Kowalski

Chief People & Organization Officer since September 1, 2021

Rob Kowalski

Chief People & Organization Officer since September 1, 2021

Rob Kowalski

Member of the Executive Committee

As Chief People & Organization (P&O) Officer of Novartis, Rob Kowalski leads the company’s strategy to unleash the power of its more than 100,000 employees to support its long-term priorities and purpose. 

Rob took on his current role in 2021. He leads the P&O function at a time when the global pandemic continues to reshape the global working environment and Novartis is accelerating the adoption of new working models for employees to optimize both personal and business performance.

I am a firm believer in the Novartis culture, which aims to inspire employees, stimulate their curiosity and promote an unbossed style of leadership. Through transforming our culture, we aim to provide more value for employees and generate a source of long-term competitive advantage, while ensuring we continue to innovate for patients.

Rob is passionate about creating a diverse, inclusive and equitable environment where all employees can fully apply their talents and energies. He is responsible for delivering on the company’s pledge to the United Nations (UN) Equal Pay International Coalition to achieve gender balance in management and further improve pay equity and transparency processes by 2023. 

Rob has held a range of other senior leadership roles at Novartis, and is known for his skill in building and leading diverse organizations. In his previous role as Global Head of Regulatory Affairs, he led an organization that has delivered a dozen new molecular entity approvals in the three years through 2020. 

Rob holds a doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, US.

Nationality: American | Year of birth: 1968

Professional experience

  • Executive Vice President and Global Head of Regulatory Affairs (2018–2021), and US Head of Global Drug Development (2009–2015 and 2017–2021), Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, US
  • Ad interim President, Novartis Corporation, US (March–May 2021)
  • Ad interim Head of Global Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer, Novartis AG, Switzerland (February–April 2018)
  • Senior Vice President and Head of Regulatory Affairs, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, US (2009–2015 and 2017–2018)
  • Senior Vice President and Head of Regulatory Affairs, Novartis Pharma AG, Switzerland (2015–2017)
  • Global Head of Country Medical Development, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, US (2010–2011)
  • Previously held regulatory leadership roles at Schering-Plough Corporation (now Merck) and Pharmacia Corporation (now Pfizer) 


  • Member of the advisory board, Industry Pharmacists Organization, US


  • Doctor of pharmacy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, US
  • Bachelor of Science in pharmaceutical sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, US

Information is accurate as of Apr 4, 2022