October 30, 2020 – Major, Lindsey & Africa (MLA) has placed Ling Zeng as chief legal officer and secretary at Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in Lexington, MA. The search was conducted by Ron Ciardiell and Nancy Reiner, both managing directors in MLA’s in-house counsel recruiting group in Boston. “It was exciting to partner with Dicerna on this highly competitive international search for its chief legal officer and secretary,” said Mr. Ciardiello. “Ling is the perfect fit based on her extensive experience launching new products and negotiating complex collaboration agreements in the pharmaceutical sector while working for both large and smaller Pharma companies.”
“Ling has an outgoing personality and approach, and we are confident that she will be an exceptionally strong addition to the Dicerna team as they prepare to bring their first drug to market,” said Ms. Reiner.
Ms. Zeng joins Dicerna from Novartis AG in Switzerland, where she served as deputy head of legal M&A, responsible for global M&A transactions for all business units and regions. She previously served as vice president and general counsel EMEA for Bausch HHealth Companies, Inc. and has held legal and science research roles with other biopharma companies in the greater New York City and Boston metro areas. Ms. Zeng started her legal career as a corporate associate with Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton.
In her new role as Dicerna’s chief legal officer and secretary, Ms. Zeng will provide key legal, strategic, compliance and business contributions to the executive team and serve as secretary to the board of directors. She will also lead the growth and development of the legal and compliance teams, providing critical counsel and leadership to launch and commercialize pharmaceutical products while managing other legal and compliance matters.
Dicerna Pharmaceuticals is a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing medicines that are designed to leverage ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi) to selectively silence genes that cause or contribute to disease. Using its proprietary RNAi technology platform called GalXC, Dicerna is committed to developing RNAi-based therapies with the potential to treat both rare and more prevalent diseases.
Founded in 1982, Major, Lindsey & Africa is a legal-focused search firm with more than 25 offices worldwide. It has a track record of general counsel, corporate counsel, partner, associate and law firm management placements. The firm also provides law firms and companies with highly specialized legal professionals on project, interim and temporary-to-permanent hire basis. Major, Lindsey & Africa has more than 25 offices and 200-plus search consultants around the world.
Mr. Ciardiello focuses on in-house placements of senior attorneys and general counsel, with an emphasis on the technology, healthcare and higher education sectors. He also places partners and associates at law firms and has more than nine years of experience conducting executive searches for top legal talent. He previously had a 21-plus year career as an attorney at a major law firm and corporation. As a recruiter, he draws heavily upon his experience practicing law to select qualified candidates and to provide candidates with insight and advice on their careers.
Ms. Reiner is the leader of MLA’s Boston in-house counsel recruiting, focuses on placement of general counsel and other in-house counsel for public companies and private businesses, major global corporations and disruptive start-ups, hospital and other healthcare systems, and colleges and universities. She has placed dozens of general counsel, chief IP counsel, and chief compliance officers over the last few years across all industries – from a company seeking its first general counsel to a major corporation engaged in strategic succession planning for its incumbent legal leader. Over the past nine years as an executive search consultant, Ms. Reiner has placed close to 100 senior-level leaders in corporate legal departments throughout New England and across the country.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media