Jones’ longtime interest in healthcare, rooted in her desire to help people, initially led her to consider nursing. However, she ultimately chose to study finance and international business at Georgetown, a decision influenced by her childhood experience in tracking her father’s stocks. This early exposure to the financial world piqued her interest in financial markets and data analysis
After graduating, Jones faced a decision common to many graduates: whether to pursue a conventional path in finance, potentially on Wall Street or in the financial services industry.
While such a path was clear, Jones’ call to serve a greater purpose, combined with a childhood in the pharma cluster of New Jersey, led to her accepting a role as a financial analyst in sales and marketing at Johnson & Johnson.
Asking “why” to transform patient outcomes
While at J&J, she became part of the company’s Finance Leadership Development Program (FLDP), which provided a broad overview of the company’s operations. Though initially on a finance track, Jones gravitated toward commercial operations seeking to link decisions to patient outcomes. “I was always trying to understand the ‘why’ behind the decisions that we were making,” she said. That also included examining which real-world factors shaped strategic deliberations around delivery of care and investment.
Over the years, Jones would go on to hold a number of roles at the company, including positions in the oncology sector and managed markets. Her roles ranged from leading national account management across specialty and non-specialty businesses to overseeing lifecycle planning strategies in oncology marketing.
Ultimately, Jones’ curiosity and patient focus attracted her to lead commercial strategy for a pioneering business unit addressing overlooked needs in maternal health. This includes efforts related to nipocalimab, an investigational drug targeting severe Hemolytic Disease of the Fetus and Newborn (HDFN), a rare condition that can cause life-threatening anemia in fetuses. “We’re really proud to be the only manufacturer that’s actively pursuing non-invasive treatments in these maternal fetal diseases like hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn,” Jones shared. “We are treating the mom as well as the baby.”
The focus is noteworthy given the traditional lack of research focus on maternal healthcare. “Pregnant women have really not been studied in many trials at all, let alone studying diseases that develop while pregnant.”
Collaborative leadership drives J&J maternal fetal efforts
In her role, Jones works closely with Dr. Katie Abouzahr, J&J’s vice president of autoantibody portfolio and maternal fetal disease area leader, on aligning commercial and R&D strategies. “Katie and I come to work every day to solve the same problem,” Jones said. “We have to figure out how to develop these medicines and get them to patients. There is a singular strategy. And we have to motivate and help create vision and guide a number of different functions, all of which have their own incredible expertise.”
Jones acknowledges the role of prior mentors in shaping her growth-focused leadership style, recalling one leader who advised, “There’s no growth in the comfort zone, there’s no comfort in the growth zone.” As a parent, this sentiment resonated deeply. She reflected, “If we don’t push ourselves and our teams to constantly innovate, how can we expect to deliver?” This drive to help individuals achieve more manifests in her team leadership. Whether guiding colleagues or her family, she aims “to be the best version of myself” while enabling others’ success.
Paying it forward: Mentorship and leadership philosophy
Jones pays forward the mentorship she received to develop future leaders. She devotes substantial time to guiding younger colleagues, noting the reciprocal value of these relationships. “I get more out of the conversations sometimes than I think they do,” she said.
This ethos of empowering potential manifests across Jones’ leadership. By asking “What problem are we solving?” she aligns teams towards strategic goals. With empathy fueled by curiosity, she creates environments where people feel heard and ideas thrive. Ultimately, it comes back to listening, which Jones spotlights as foundational.
Whether illuminating overlooked needs in maternal health or cultivating talent within J&J’, Jones has a substantial amount of experience to draw on to drive impact. But she never stops listening. Because it is through hearing each voice that the next innovation may emerge. And with it, the possibility to further life’s potential — both at J&J and beyond the company’s walls.
Filed Under: Obstetrics & gynecology, Women in Pharma and Biotech