Deborah DiSanzo

General Manager, IBM Watson Health

Deborah DiSanzo is the General Manager for IBM Watson Health, the business unit founded to support IBMs next ‘moonshot’: to advance health at a global scale.

As the top executive for Watson Health, Deborah leads more than 2,000 IBMers worldwide from the unit’s headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She has an ambitious mandate to scale the business globally, expand the capabilities of the IBM Watson Health Cloud, and broaden the ecosystem of start-up companies and established industry leaders building on IBMs cognitive computing platform. Further, she oversees a growing roster of marquis clients, collaborators, and ecosystem partners including Johnson & Johnson, Apple, Medtronic, Epic, CVS Health, and Teva Pharmaceuticals.

Deborah has a distinguished career working at the intersection of healthcare and technology. Prior to joining IBM, she served as CEO of Philips Healthcare, a $10 billion euro company providing technology in healthcare informatics, patient monitoring and patient analytics, home healthcare, imaging systems, and healthcare consulting. Earlier in her career she held executive and management positions at Hewlett-Packard and Apollo Computer.

Notably, Deborah was a pioneer in the field of Automated External Defibrillators (AED). She was instrumental in introducing the industry’s first AED designed specifically for use by the lay public to resuscitate a person in Sudden Cardiac Arrest. The widespread availability of AEDs in highly trafficked public areas, including airports and office buildings, is credited with saving hundreds of thousands of lives.

A dedicated community and business leader, Deborah is a board member and member of the audit committee of Project Hope, a non-governmental organization dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health problems in underserved areas of the world. She is also a board member of Embrace Innovations (a social enterprise working to help millions of vulnerable babies through its revolutionary infant warmers) and ReWalk Robotics (a company which aims to bring mobility to spinal cord injury victims with wearable robotic technology).

Deborah chaired the World Economic Forum’s steering board for the project on Health Systems Leapfrogging in Emerging Economies. She has been honored as a Top 100 women-led business in Massachusetts by the Boston Globe and the Commonwealth Institute (2013), and named one of the Inspiring Fifty, a recognition honoring women in business and high technology in the Netherlands. Deborah was awarded the American Heart Association’s Cor Vitae award for creative volunteerism, public education, community involvement, and $1M in fundraising.

A sought-after speaker, Deborah addresses organizations such as Harvard Business School, Bloomberg, Women in Big Data, McKinsey, and Forbes on crucial issues such as the rising incidence of chronic health conditions, an aging global population, health care provider shortages, escalating healthcare costs, the future of healthcare, and leadership.

Deborah earned a Master’s of Business Administration from Babson College, and a Bachelor of Science from Merrimack College. Ms. DiSanzo was inducted into the Babson Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame, and received Babson’s Founder’s Day Award for Entrepreneurship.

A native New Englander, she resides in Andover, Massachusetts with her husband and daughter.