Unparalleled expertise, knowledge, and global on-the-ground networks.

Our Mission

We seek to advance improvements in human health by helping pharmaceutical, biotech, device, and diagnostic companies around the world foster innovative and effective partnerships with patient, consumer and professional organizations to speed the development, approval and appropriate use of innovative medical products and services so that all patients have access to the best available treatment options.

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Core Values


Our firm's core values provide the foundation for our work and our interactions with clients, partners, and each other.

  • Integrity

    To conduct ourselves and our business in a professional and honest manner at all times.

  • Teamwork

    To amplify our individual thinking through the knowledge and experience of our peers.

  • Respect

    To treat our colleagues, clients and others as we would like and expect to be treated.

  • Openness

    To collaboratively share information and insights that drive the business to success.

  • Excellence

    To be the best we can be in line with our philosophy, vision and values.

Our People


Our greatest strength lies in the integrity and expertise of our people and their ability to get the job done. We are passionate about what we do.

  • Cláudia Hirawat

    Executive Chair

    Cláudia Hirawat

    Executive Chair

    Cláudia Hirawat acquired MK&A in May 2018. Hirawat is a business advisor to biopharmaceutical companies in business development and corporate strategy.

     

    Prior to acquiring MK&A, Hirawat was President of PTC Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: PTCT), where her key accomplishments included leading business functions such as corporate and business developments as well as multiple rounds of financing, particularly the company’s pivotal mezzanine financing and Initial Public Offering (IPO). Prior to being named President, Hirawat served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and spearheaded PTC’s multiple collaborations (including transactions with Genzyme, Pfizer, Schering-Plough, Hoffman-La Roche and Celgene), which generated more than $300M in cash in addition to milestones and royalties.

     

    Before joining PTC in 2000, Hirawat served as Vice President at LedbetterStevens, a management consulting and senior-level retained search firm in New York focused exclusively in the biopharmaceutical area. During her five-year tenure, Hirawat was responsible for projects for clients including: Pfizer, Pharmacia, Bristol Myers Squibb Co., Celera Genomics, Coelacanth Corp., SpotFire, IBM Consulting/The Wilkerson Group and The Boston Consulting Group.

     

    Hirawat serves as Chair of the International Circle of Ambassadors for EURORDIS, a non-profit alliance of over 700 rare disease patient organizations from more than 60 countries that work together to improve the lives of the 30 million people living with a rare disease in Europe. She has served on the advisory board of The National Hemophilia Foundation and the board of directors of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy.

     

    Hirawat is passionate about the rights and the role of patients at every stage of drug discovery, development, commercialization and delivery of care. Her philanthropic efforts are focused on rare disorders, mental health and human rights.

     

    Contact Cláudia: chirawat@mkanda.com

  • Ellen Coleman, MSSA, MPH

    President and CEO

    Ellen Coleman, MSSA, MPH

    President and CEO

    As the president and chief executive officer, Coleman is the leader of the organization and ultimately responsible for all aspects of the overall path and direction of the firm, in collaboration with other leaders and the team. She is responsible for managing the firm’s day to day processes. Coleman provides strategic counsel to key clients as well as providing thought leadership in specific areas, including patient engagement.

     

    Coleman brings considerable experience to clients working with patients with life-threatening and chronic illnesses as well as having a well-rounded view of the entire patient journey. Prior to joining MK&A, she was the executive vice president of EmergingMed, overseeing advocacy relations and patient-facing services for individuals with cancer searching for clinical trials.

     

    Before joining EmergingMed, Coleman spent 11 years as the associate executive director for CancerCare, a national non-profit that provides professional counseling, education, and financial assistance to cancer patients and their families, and she also worked at Johnson & Johnson. Coleman served for 10 years in the hospital setting, as a medical social worker caring for people with HIV at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and assisting neurosurgery patients at Westchester County Medical Center.

     

    Coleman is a member of the planning committee for DIA’s annual conference series on patient-centered drug development metrics.  She has received numerous awards including the Ronald and Patti Rosenfeld International Fellowship, for which she spent six months at Royal London Hospital in the UK working with the HIV team; the Outstanding Career Achievement Award, sponsored by YWCA Woman of Achievement; and the Ohio Department of Health’s Director’s AIDS Service Award for Outstanding Service to People with AIDS.

     

    Coleman holds a BA from Miami University and an MSSA from Case Western Reserve University. She received her master’s in public health from Columbia University’s executive MPH program. She has published and presented frequently on the psycho-social aspects of life-threatening illnesses, including two book chapters. She is serves on the board of the Cancer Support Community’s Research and Training Institute and on Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health’s alumni board. 

     

    Contact Ellen: ecoleman@mkanda.com

  • Mark Krueger, MPH

    Chief Strategic Officer

    Mark Krueger, MPH

    Chief Strategic Officer

    Mark Krueger founded MK&A (Mark Krueger & Associates, Inc.) in 1995 to help pharmaceutical, biotech, device and diagnostic companies partner with patient, consumer and professional groups to speed drug development and approval, promote appropriate use, and ensure equitable access and reimbursement.  He brings 25 years of public health and advocacy experience to the firm and has earned respect for his strategic approach to building equitable and responsible partnerships with patients, advocates, doctors and other health care professionals, and policy makers.

     

    Under Krueger’s direction, MK&A has created a unique niche in global health care through its singular focus on patient engagement and patient advocacy. The firm has demonstrated repeatedly that integration of patient, consumer and professional groups’ viewpoints can create better health care for all. Notable among MK&A’s achievements are the return of thalidomide to legitimate use; registration and approval of 25 orphan drugs; planning and implementation of the largest pre-approval drug access program; resolution of conflicts with industry critics; building internal ally relations capacity from scratch in three global research and development-based pharmaceutical companies; and creation of guidelines and systems that promote equitable and compliant partnerships between industry and allies in North America, Europe, and other regions.

     

    Prior to forming the firm, Krueger was vice president and director of coalition building for GTFH, then the largest public relations, marketing and government relations firm solely dedicated to health and medicine. Previously, he spent six years in a variety of senior management positions at the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), including special assistant to founding co-chair Mathilde Krim, Ph.D.

     

    Krueger is recognized for his comprehensive knowledge of HIV/AIDS, other infectious diseases, oncology, women’s health, and orphan disorders. He is known for his mediation and moderation skills as well as his understanding of the changing external environment for ally relations and appropriate responses to legislative, regulatory, ally group, and public expectations.

     

    Krueger holds a B.A. from the College of Columbia University and an M.P.H. from Columbia’s Joseph A. Mailman Graduate School of Public Health.

     

     

    Contact Mark: mkrueger@mkanda.com

  • Tamara L. Montalvo, MBA

    SVP of Finance and Operations

    Tamara L. Montalvo, MBA

    SVP of Finance and Operations

    Tamara Montalvo is the senior vice president of finance and operations at MK&A (Mark Krueger & Associates, Inc). She oversees financial reporting, budgeting and cash management. Tamara also manages all human resource related functions and implements all necessary business policies and accounting practices to improve operations of the firm.

     

    Tamara came to MK&A in 2010 with 10 years of experience within the accounting departments of Sony Music, EMI Music, and Gellar & Company. She has managed financial planning, debt financing, and budget management functions to ensure accounting procedures and reporting conformed to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

     

    Tamara holds both a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting with a minor in Business Management as well as a Master’s in Business Management with a concentration in finance from Monroe College.

     

    Tamara’s Philosophy:

     

    “I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has had to overcome while trying to succeed.” – Booker T. Washington

     

    “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” – Albert Einstein   

     

    Contact Tamara: tmontalvo@mkanda.com

  • Sharon Dion, MBA

    Vice President

    Sharon Dion, MBA

    Vice President

    As part of the MK&A leadership team, Sharon’s responsibilities include client relations, account management, business development and staff management. She works closely with clients to build effective and mutually beneficial constituent relationships, and develop and implement needs-based strategies to drive drug development, approval and marketing activities.

     

    Prior to joining MK&A, Sharon spent ten years at a leading global pharmaceutical company. During much of this time, Sharon led the patient marketing and engagement strategy for the company’s portfolio of oncology products. She has been involved in multiple product launches and has experience working in both global and US pharmaceutical marketing roles. Sharon is also a skilled market research professional with extensive experience consulting with public and private sector clients to identify key business issues and develop and implement plans to deliver insight-driven solutions.

     

    Sharon holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Tulane University and a Master of Business Administration from the American Graduate School of International Management.

     

    Sharon’s Philosophy:

     

    “Be impeccable with your word. Don’t take anything personally. Don’t make assumptions. Always do your best.” – Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

     

    Contact Sharon: sdion@mkanda.com

  • Pritha Kuchaculla, MPH

    Vice President

    Pritha Kuchaculla, MPH

    Vice President

    Pritha has a record of success in aligning business objectives on a broad set of industry clients with patient, consumer and professional organizations in a range of therapeutic areas, including hepatology, muscular dystrophy and rare diseases.

     

    At MK&A, her work includes helping rare disease companies integrate the patient voice into all activities from discovery through access.  Among her achievements in this complex area is the development of the first-ever patient group-initiated guidance to accelerate development and review of potential therapies for a rare disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, to the US Food and Drug Administration.  She has also counseled a variety of rare disease companies on global advocacy and engagement strategies, best practice in advocacy relations and creating programs that make the most impact.

     

    Pritha brings a strong background of industry, non-profit and hospital administration, having worked in healthcare for over 13 years.  Most recently, she was the associate director of patient advocacy at Intercept Pharmaceuticals, a company specializing in non-viral liver diseases.  There she implemented the advocacy strategy for the company’s first product launch, resulting in greater awareness amongst the community for a new treatment option.  Pritha has also served the American Liver Foundation as the national director of programs, leading education and support services.  She has held other positions at the Children’s Health Fund, New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation and Northwell Health.

     

    Pritha holds a BA in communications from Rutgers University and a MPH from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ).

     

    Pritha’s Philosophy:

    “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

     

    Contact Pritha: pkuchaculla@mkanda.com

  • Tim Turnham, PhD, MDiv

    Vice President

    Tim Turnham, PhD, MDiv

    Vice President

    Tim approaches patient engagement with the conviction that patients who are well informed and well supported live longer and better.  He has a record of success in finding mutually beneficial connections between industry and patient advocacy groups to help achieve this goal.  Tim has worked in pediatrics, HIV/AIDS, disabilities, and oncology, maximizing the insight and value that patient advocacy groups and industry can achieve through collaboration.

     

    After college, Tim worked in medical research laboratories while studying theology in preparation for being a pastor—a position he held for over a decade.  The combined background in science and ministry served him well in his role over the past 20 years as senior executive at nonprofit advocacy groups, clinics, and hospitals. He has spent countless hours listening to patients and caregivers, and helping give voice to their experiences. In addition, he has worked closely with academic researchers, including convening two summit meetings that resulted in white papers on critical issues of cancer treatment.

     

    Tim holds a BA in microbiology, an MDiv, and a PhD in biblical ethics.

     

    Tim’s philosophy: 

     

    “All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”—Martin Luther King, Jr.

     

    Contact Tim: tturnham@mkanda.com

  • Heather Hollowell, MPA

    Senior Associate

    Heather Hollowell, MPA

    Senior Associate

    Heather has been with MK&A since 1998 and brings in-depth knowledge across therapeutic areas, including hematology, HIV/AIDS, oncology, diabetes and metabolic illnesses, respiratory conditions and rare diseases. Heather services her clients with excellence, recognizing that every client has unique needs requiring a customized approach. She helps clients solve issues at all points of the product lifecycle from clinical trial recruitment to optimally positioning products in the face of competition to patent expiration.

     

    The depth of Heather’s knowledge and skills is informed by her previous experience as a forerunner to GE Healthcare, Sterling Winthrop, and as an adjunct faculty member at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University.

     

    Before moving to New York City, Heather obtained her Bachelor of Arts from the College of William and Mary. She then completed her Master of Public Administration at Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University.

     

    Heather’s Philosophy:

     

    “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. There is no cookie cutter approach to life. Embrace every new situation or daunting task as a learning and growth opportunity.”

     

    Contact Heather: hhollowell@mkanda.com

  • Jessica Cerullo Merrill, MPP

    Senior Associate

    Jessica Cerullo Merrill, MPP

    Senior Associate

    Jessica is a thoughtful leader who builds meaningful and lasting relationships with clients through trust and diligence. She is steadfastly focused on client goals and needs while recognizing issues that require innovative, ‘out-of-box’ solutions.  She has a demonstrated ability in establishing and enhancing partnerships between the firm’s clients and key stakeholders to ensure the successful completion of mutually beneficial goals.  She is also adept at translating strategy into action, with work that is consistently on time and within budget.

     

    Jessica has a strong background in communications and policy having started her career at government relations and public affairs firms.   She also has experience in uniting diverse stakeholders around mutual goals through alliance-development, advocacy and relationship building.

     

    Jessica received her Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation and Health Services from Boston University and a Master of Science in Ethics and Public Policy from Suffolk University.

     

    Jessica’s Philosophy:

     

    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

     

    Contact Jessica: jcerullo@mkanda.com

  • Miki Duruz, MPH

    Senior Associate

    Miki Duruz, MPH

    Senior Associate

    Miki works with her clients to achieve their advocacy goals by integrating her client’s objectives with advocacy best practices from across the industry.  While at MK&A, Miki has focused on oncology, rare diseases, and chronic diseases and has also developed expertise in creating training programs to ensure meaningful and respectful advocacy relations. She brings a multilingual and creative edge to her work and seeks to solve problems linking science, evidence, and policy.  Miki ensures timely and quality execution of tactics while maintaining strong relationships with her clients.  She also runs the firm’s internship program.  Miki’s personal interest is making health care accessible through strong partnerships, using thoughtful and engaging pathways to work across various stakeholders.

     

    Prior to joining MK&A, Miki was an associate at U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  As a field assignee to the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, Miki designed and implemented training modules for health care professionals, disease monitoring programs, capacity-building initiatives, and liaised across jurisdictions for public health emergencies.  Miki worked in HIV partner services and zoonotic disease surveillance/epidemiology offices during her assignment.

     

    Miki has a B.A. in chemistry and French studies from Smith College.  She earned her MPH in sociomedical sciences and health policy from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.  Miki is fluent in Japanese and French.

     

    Miki’s Philosophy:

     

    “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.”  – Eleanor Roosevelt

     

    Contact Miki: mduruz@mkanda.com 

  • Veronica Lopez, MPH

    Senior Associate

    Veronica Lopez, MPH

    Senior Associate

    Veronica brings substantive experience in health program planning, execution, and evaluation; communications; and cultural sensitivity to her work at MK&A.  Her receptivity to clients’ concerns and business expectations coupled with her strategic and practical approach to projects, allow for high-level relevant thinking to be delivered timely and efficiently to the client.

     

    In her previous role at MK&A, Veronica helped advanced the firm’s thought leadership by publishing on industry’s benefit of partnering with patient-led research networks, newborn screening panel approval process, and compliant interactions between industry and patient organizations.  Prior to joining the firm, Veronica worked in several countries around the world where she contributed to the development and implementation of health, education and infrastructure programs.

     

    Veronica earned her MPH in health policy from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a BA in Public Health Studies, Applied Mathematics and Statistics, and Romance Languages. Veronica is fluent in Spanish and French, proficient in Portuguese and Italian, and has a basic level of German fluency.

     

    Veronica works for MK&A out of the European office and is based in Paris.

     

     

    Veronica’s philosophy:

     

    “Over prepare and then go with the flow” – unknown

     

    Contact Veronica: vlopez@mkanda.com

  • Shonel Mackie, Notary Public

    Senior Finance Associate

    Shonel Mackie, Notary Public

    Senior Finance Associate

    Shonel is responsible for managing the day- to-day finance department activities at MK&A.

     

    Shonel has over 7 years’ experience in accounting and finance, as well as in contracts. During her career, she has had exposure to accounting procedures and principles ranging from accounts payable and receivable systems to monthly cash flow forecasting and is dedicated to providing excellent service.

     

    Shonel’s  philosophy:

    You work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.” – Steve Jobs

    “Believe in yourself, work hard, work smart and passionately present your best self to the world.” – Hill Harper

     

    Contact Shonel: Smackie@mkanda.com

  • Jemima Warrack

    Senior Consultant (Europe)

    Jemima Warrack

    Senior Consultant (Europe)

    Jemima brings extensive experience working directly with advocacy organisations to drive consensus and improve patient care, most notably through policy-focused initiatives, clinical trial support programs and patient education initiatives. She provides strategic direction to clients at all stages of drug development and combines empathy with commercial acumen.

     

    Jemima offers an insider’s perspective having worked in-house across commercial and R&D for AstraZeneca and NovoNordisk. She has spent many years integrating the voice of patients and world-leading experts into projects, whilst leading accounts for creative agencies in oncology, women’s health, rare diseases and auto-immune disorders. Jemima started her career at Mirror Group Newspapers, reporting to the editor and head of corporate communications.

     

    Jemima holds a BSc in Biological Sciences from Cardiff University.

     

    Jemima’s philosophy:

    “You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother” -Albert Einstein

     

    Contact Jemima: jwarrack@mkanda.com

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