BioPharma Commercial Alliances




Jan Twombly, CSAP
The Rhythm of Business

Jan Twombly, Certified Strategic Alliance Professional (CSAP), is president of The Rhythm of Business, a consultancy and advisory firm with core expertise in partnering, strategic alliances, and collaboration. For more than 20 years, she has been developing and sharing thought leadership to enable more collaborative ways of working and to achieve success through partnering and alliances.

Jan is a trusted advisor to leaders in both industry and academia, helping to develop their organizations' ecosystem partnering and alliance strategies. She offers education and training services to build the mindset, skillset, and toolset needed to succeed. Her clients count on her to advise on establishing new alliances, develop alliance management process and procedures, and to step in when alliances are in trouble. Data-driven, contextual assessments of complex alliances provide deep insights that solve problems and drive measurable improvement.

Her current emphasis is on working with alliance professionals to reimagine how alliance management is implemented in an environment of increasing demand and digitizing its workflow and reporting.

Jan serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP), overseeing their editorial and content strategy. She is a frequent contributor to Strategic Alliance Quarterly, regularly speaks on collaboration and partnering, and together with Jeff Shuman, CSAP, PhD authors The Partnering Guide blog and numerous whitepapers at


Christopher Black
Executive Director & Head, Corporate Alliance Management & Integration

Chris leads Merck's Corporate Alliance Management & Integration team. His group provides enterprise-level leadership for a multi-billion-dollar portfolio of strategic alliances and collaborations, as well as managing multiple M&A integration programs.

The majority of Chris' 15 years at Merck have involved management of partnerships for co-development, co-manufacturing and/or co-commercialization of vaccines and pharmaceuticals. He has managed global, regional and local strategic alliances, Joint Ventures, Institutional Businesses and NGO partners collectively active in over 110 countries. Chris participated in the creation of two multinational biopharma companies, as well as the split-up of a European vaccines company and the spinoff of Organon.

Prior to Merck, Chris was an active-duty US Army officer. After the military, Chris joined Cintas Corporation, a business services company, where he held positions including Sales Manager, Plant Manager, Regional Director and General Manager.

Chris has been a member of the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals since 2010 and has recently joined its Global Advisory Board.

Ron McRae, CSAP
Director, Alliance Management
Janssen Biotech

Ron McRae is Director of Alliance Management at Janssen Biotech, one of the Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson (J&J). Currently Ron is responsible for more effectively optimizing the relationships and business results for several alliances that involve key commercial products within the Janssen Biotech portfolio. Prior to Alliance Management, Ron gained considerable experience and success in business development, sales and marketing. He previously held positions at J&J and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) in business development, covering the therapeutic areas of Immunology, Oncology, Dermatology, Women's Health Care, and Respiratory Diseases at both divisional and group levels. Prior to BMS, he held positions of increasing responsibility in sales and marketing at Searle Pharmaceuticals.

Ron earned a Master in Management from Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a Jurist Doctorate from DePaul University's College of Law. He also holds the highest level of certification in Alliance Management as a Certified Strategic Alliance Professional (CSAP).

Mary Jo Struttman, CA-AM, MBA
Executive Director, Alliance Management

Mary Jo Struttmann, CA-AM, MBA, is Executive Director, Alliance Management at Astellas, where she led the formalization of Astellas' Alliance Management model, including the development and implementation of processes and tools for effective Alliance Management. Mary Jo is responsible for maximizing the success of Astellas' alliances. She has established and maintained successful collaborative alliances with multiple partners including Medivation (Pfizer), which was the recipient of ASAP's 2021 Alliance Excellence Award for Long-Established Alliance, Seagen, Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline and Roche. Her experiences include contract negotiations, governance design and managing global commercial, development and manufacturing alliances.

Prior to joining Astellas, Mary Jo held various leadership positions in Clinical, Sales, Marketing, Managed Care, Business Development & Alliance Management within DuPont Pharmaceuticals and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Mary Jo has a BS in Nuclear Medicine & a MBA from Haub School of Business.