Adriana Salvatore

Director of Operations


Adriana Salvatore is the Director of Operations at the Blue Brain.

As Co-Director of the Blue Brain Project, Adriana is jointly responsible for key strategic operational, scientific and collaborative decisions and for representing the Blue Brain with other partners’ institutions, external organizations, suppliers and vendors.

In leading the Operations Division she directs, monitors and appraises, ten functions & teams (22 employees), several of which she introduced to the Project. These include, 1) Finance, 2) HR 3) Procurement & Facilities 4) Project Management 5) Communications 6) Legal 7) Process and Compliance 8) Science Writing 9) Outreach and Engagement and 10) Administrative Services. Through these teams, she coordinates the organization of approximately 150 employees who make up the Blue Brain Project.

By using her extensive experience as a management consultant, she has driven the development and deployment of a new organizational structure, which is a function-project based matrix. In addition, she developed and deployed a new governance for the Project, representative of the requirements and responsibilities of a public sector initiative. This consists of number of strategic meetings and communication paths, which have the common objectives of ensuring faster and effective decision making, maximized information sharing and comprehensive risk management.

A key impact for the Blue Brain has been the introduction of the Project Management office, which Adriana instigated and oversees.  As part of this drive, she defined the tailored project management methodology that is now at the heart of the Blue Brain including the development of procedures and templates including dashboards, project charters and reporting.

Adriana has over 25 years’ international experience gained in the life science industry, and working for consulting firms such as PwC, IBM Consulting, BearingPoint and Ernst & Young, where she was appointed Partner.

Prior to joining Blue Brain, in her role as Managing Director, she established and developed the Swiss subsidiary of Maetrics, a staffing and consulting firm, headquartered in the US and operating in the life sciences sector.

While at Ernst & Young, she established, developed and led the People & Organization Practice, a team of consultants focused on projects in the areas of change management, organizational redesign and talent management.

Her extensive career also includes roles with the life sciences company, Allergan in the UK and Italy.  Furthermore, during her career, she has been a key member on the Steering Committees of several, critical projects and, in the role of Client Relationship Partner, she was involved in the management of C-level clients. Adriana has managed key account teams, prepared and negotiated engagement contracts and master service agreements and has been responsible for business development activities.

A Chemist and a Pharmacist, she holds an MBA from Henley Management College (UK) and a post MBA diploma from ESADE Business School (Spain) and Georgetown University (USA).  She is a committed public speaker on the topics of management and diversity & inclusiveness.

Outside of work, Adriana enjoys travelling, going to the theatre and visiting museums and art galleries.

Principle career achievements in consulting

1. Performance improvement program for a United Nations agency

Objective – Deliver all support services (IT, HR, Finance, Procurement, etc.) in a more effective and cost-efficient way

Process – Adriana led an international team of 15 consultants, in a large performance improvement program for the Operations Division of a leading UN agency. The aim of the program was to deliver all support services (IT, HR, Finance, Procurement, etc.) in a more effective and cost-efficient way. The program, structured in several work streams, included process redesign, optimization, and the centralization of some activities into a Shared Service Centre. An extensive change management program including stakeholders’ management, workshops and facilitation sessions facilitated the success of the initiative.

Result – The program brought approximately 37M USD in net cash savings in addition to effectiveness gains.

2. Major business transformation of the HR function in a leading trading company

Objective – Transform the function of HR

Process – Adriana led a major business transformation affecting the HR function of a leading trading company. The project included the introduction of a new HR operating model, based on the concept of business partners, centres of expertise and country-based HR roles, and the redesign/optimization of some key processes (recruiting, performance management, succession planning, etc.). As part of the change management process, she led several workshops with members of the European board of the client company.

Result – Optimization of key HR processes and establishment of a more effective operating model

3. R&D – strategy revision and organizational change

Objective – design and implement strategic change within R&D of a prominent consumer product company

Process – Fulfil the role of Program Director for the design and implementation of strategic change affecting the R&D division of one of the largest consumer product companies. The project goal was to enable the development of more innovative and safer products. which required the revision of the R&D structure and processes, the set-up of a risk management department and the introduction of a project and portfolio management process.

Result – Established new R&D structure, governance and processes introduced a risk management office and deployed a project & portfolio management process.

4. Introduction of a global drug safety department – pharmaceutical

Objective – Set up a global drug safety department in a major Japanese pharmaceutical company

Process – To set up the department, Adriana conducted a benchmark study on drug safety and developed the organizational structure to ensure regulatory compliance.

Result – Developed a organizational structure and related governance

5. Global R&D reorganization – pharmaceutical

Objective – Reorganize global R&D for a major Japanese pharmaceutical company

Process – The project, supported by a change management program, included the introduction of cross-functional development teams, the project management function and of a roadmap to ensure efficient management of R&D projects.

Result – Reorganized global R&D instigated by a move away from a function-based product development model to a cross-functional one.

6. Introduction of an electronic document management system

Objective – Enable the shift from paper to an electronic document management system

Process – Adriana led a process-reengineering project to support the introduction of an electronic document management system in the manufacturing sites of a global pharmaceutical company. She developed workflows, procedures and performed GxP training. She also streamlined processes while preserving adherence to regulatory requirements.

Result – Successful transfer to electronic documentation

7. Compliance with new EU regulation

 Objective – EU regulation compliance in the area of clinical trials

Process – Adriana pitched and then led a process reengineering project in the R&D Division of a major pharmaceutical company which was necessary to comply with upcoming EU regulation in the area of clinical trials, and therefore, to enable the company to continue its clinical research activities.
Result – Revision of regulatory, clinical and pharmacovigilance processes and to enable the compliant management of clinical trials