Press Release

PhRMA Names Debra DeShong Executive Vice President of Public Affairs

Washington, D.C. (November 23, 2020) — The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) today named Debra DeShong as executive vice president of public affairs. DeShong will assume the role in mid-December.

"Debra is a seasoned public affairs executive with high-level experience in politics, government and corporate public affairs. In each role, she successfully worked with a broad range of stakeholders and led public affairs campaigns that punctured the din and advanced policy priorities,” said PhRMA president and CEO, Stephen J. Ubl. “Her expertise will be an asset to PhRMA as we communicate about the value new treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 and other diseases can bring to patients, the health care system and the economy, as well as the importance of proactive, patient-centered reforms and our work to improve equity.”

As executive vice president of public affairs, DeShong will oversee the strategic communications of the biopharmaceutical industry’s leading trade association. Her long and distinguished track record of leadership on the Hill, in state-wide and national political campaigns and in the corporate world will help PhRMA continue to address health care costs and foster an environment that encourages the development of treatments and cures.

“This is an important moment for the pharmaceutical industry; I am proud and excited to play a role,” said DeShong. “PhRMA has tremendous opportunity to continue to build a strong advocacy agenda that paves the way for future innovation and discovery. I look forward to being part of this talented team.”

Prior to joining PhRMA, DeShong was senior vice president, global corporate communications and industry affairs at MGM Resorts International, the largest gaming and entertainment company in the United States. Previously, she served as chief of staff to former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy and held positions at Subject Matter Public Affairs, the Democratic National Committee and on the Hill and national political campaigns.

DeShong graduated cum laude from Fairfield University and received her MS in Journalism from Northwestern University.  


About PhRMA

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical research companies, which are devoted to discovering and developing medicines that enable patients to live longer, healthier and more productive lives. Since 2000, PhRMA member companies have invested nearly $1 trillion in the search for new treatments and cures, including an estimated $83 billion in 2019 alone.

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