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Karla MacDonald - Consulate General of Canada (CTA Boston). Cambridge, MA, US

Karla MacDonald

Vice President, Communication and Patient Advocacy | Ipsen


Karla MacDonald is an expert in strategy, leading communications and building talent for companies ranging from biotechs to large pharma.



Karla MacDonald is a global life sciences leader who brings to Ipsen 20 years’ experience guiding business strategy, leading communications and building talent for companies ranging from small biotechs to large pharma. At Ipsen, Karla is responsible for leading communications and patient advocacy efforts across the US and Canada.

Prior to joining Ipsen, Karla held numerous senior positions at Merck & Co, Inc., and served on Merck’s Global Communications and R&D division’s leadership teams. Most recently, she led International and Corporate Responsibility Communications, where she was responsible for advancing and aligning Merck’s communications strategy across its 140 markets outside of the US. Before that, Karla led communications for Merck Research Laboratories, Merck’s R&D division.

Karla also held strategic communications client counsel roles at MacDougall Biomedical Communications and Feinstein Kean Healthcare, and managed investor relations for Creative BioMolecules.

Karla is a Board member and volunteer mentor with the Canadian Entrepreneurs in New England, working with leaders of Canadian-led companies expanding into the US. She is also a lead mentor with Canadian Technology Accelerator, helping tech and biotech companies gain access to in-market entrepreneurial resources to help them grow and compete internationally.

Karla holds a bachelor’s degree in Education and a diploma in Communications from McGill University in Montréal, Canada.

Industry Expertise (3)



Corporate Leadership

Areas of Expertise (5)

Corporate Communications

Pharmaceutical Industry

Strategic Communications

Patient Advocacy

Drug Development

Education (2)

McGill University: Certificate, Public Relations Management 1994

McGill University: B.Ed. 1992

Affiliations (1)

  • The Canadian Entrepreneurs in New England : Board of Directors