Independent cancer and diabetes research and treatment center City of Hope has hired Gulden Mesara as SVP and chief communications and marketing officer.

Mesara is set to join the nonprofit on September 15. She will provide overall strategic leadership for City of Hope’s integrated communications and marketing, according to a statement from the group. Mesara is reporting to Debra Fields, City of Hope EVP and chief transformation officer.

Mesara said via email that City of Hope is a well-respected brand with a powerful story that has made a difference in the lives of millions of patients and their families.

“One of my goals will be to elevate awareness of City of Hope’s science and care at the national and international levels,” she said. “Marketing and communications play an integral role in this. An area I will focus on with my team will be to connect with all of our stakeholders – our employees, our faculty, our patients and their families, our donors, the scientific community, the biopharma industry and others – in continuously authentic, meaningful, relevant and increasingly digitally enabled ways.”

Mesara will work with the City of Hope administrative leadership and faculty to increase engagement among current and potential patients, physicians, researchers, donors, industry partners and the general public. She will also serve as a member of City of Hope’s enterprise leadership team.

At the end of last year, Mesara exited the role of Walgreens Boots Alliance’s group VP of communications. She oversaw comms for the company’s enterprise and U.S. businesses and operations, with a portfolio including the Walgreens communications division and external comms, as well as Walgreens Boots Alliance’s internal communications and corporate events. 

Mesara joined the pharmacy chain in 2018 as group VP of Walgreens communications. She was also VP of internal comms and events at Walgreens Boots Alliance, the pharmacy chain’s parent company.

Mesara has also worked at AbbVie as VP of global health and commercial communications and leader of U.S. public affairs and head of global brand comms at the biopharmaceutical company. She also served as senior director of international public affairs and comms at Abbott Laboratories before it spun off AbbVie, and had a 13-year tenure at Pfizer.

Founded in 1913, City of Hope is a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Its main campus is located near Los Angeles, with additional locations throughout Southern California.

This story was updated on September 1 with quotes from Mesara and additional information.