About Michelle Cuccia

Careers 4U! – Lead

Michelle Cuccia is a highly successful and well-regarded business leader with more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical, medical device, and nutritional industries. Most recently, Michelle was the Head of U.S. Digital Marketing at Alcon Laboratories where she oversaw the launch and marketing strategy of an online contact lens ordering tool that revolutionized the entire optometric business for over one million patients and their eye doctors. Prior to this role, Michelle was the Chief Business Officer at Welwaze Medical, a start-up company focused on the early detection of breast disease, where she was actively involved in all key strategic commercial and scientific areas of the company. Michelle was also the Chief Executive Officer of VAYA Pharma, a specialty nutrition company specializing in ADHD in children and adults. Under Michelle’s leadership VAYA reached break-even status by launching new products and embarking into new sales and marketing channels. Prior to VAYA, Michelle held roles of increasing responsibility at well renowned companies such as Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Novartis Pharma, Teva Pharmaceuticals and Abbott Laboratories. In these roles, Michelle acquired particular expertise in new product launches, new market development, capability building and formation of high-performing teams.

While at Teva Pharmaceuticals, Michelle was named Rising Star of the Year, a prestigious award given by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) to the top woman at the company.  Since winning the award, Michelle has been an active member of HBA globally, starting its local chapter in Miami, FL, and mentoring hundreds of women, of all ages, as they transition through different stages of their careers. Michelle is also an active member of the alumni associations of both Cornell and Columbia universities and has participated for years in their local prospective students interviewing process. Her involvement with HBA and with these schools, along with the years of managing her own team members, sparked in Michelle a particular passion for coaching and mentoring. She has greatly enjoyed witnessing the positive impact her influence and guidance has had in helping students and young professionals identify their interests, select suitable career paths, and pursue their goals and passions.

Michelle was born in Brooklyn of Italian and Colombian parents. She spent most of her childhood in Medellin and returned to the United States to pursue her dream of studying college abroad. Her passion for science and her relentless pursuit for excellence allowed her to graduate with honors from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. While at Cornell, Michelle worked at the Oncology department supporting a PhD candidate and eventually writing and defending her own thesis in cancer research. Michelle also holds a Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University, where she specialized in Health Management and Policy and was the recipient of the Academic Excellence Award for her graduating class. Throughout her academic years Michelle pursued several unique and insightful internships at places such as The New York City Health Department, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Pfizer Inc., New York Medical College, and the Hospital for Special Surgery, among others. These internships allowed Michelle to appreciate not only what she was good at and passionate about, but also to recognize what she did not like to do. Moreover, this early work experience allowed her to build a strong and long-lasting professional network that has accompanied her and helped her throughout her entire professional journey.

Michelle is thrilled to join the JCT4Education Team to lead our newly formed “Careers4U” Center. Careers4U will provide our students with resources, connections and personal insight to help them determine and pursue their professional aspirations, starting with summer internships, continuing with that first job after college and extending to job opportunities through their first years after graduation. This new center will help students explore their strengths, interests and values and will link them to our extensive alumni, parent and industry network enabling them to find suitable and exciting opportunities that allow them to further pursue their life’s dreams. Click here for more information on Careers4U.