Jocelyn Ashford wanted to serve on the VF’s Board of Directors because she has always appreciated the thoughtful, collaborative, and practical approach the VF has taken in addressing the needs of the vasculitis community. She feels that the VF is open to trying new approaches, considers new angles, and makes the work fun. “Today, there’s a tremendous opportunity ahead for the VF and it is in a position to redefine how they’ll serve the community,” Jocelyn said. “I want to be part of making a positive impact in the vasculitis community, while working with a great group of individuals.”
Jocelyn joined the board in February 2021. Her current role at BridgeBio Company in San Francisco, California, is in Global Advocacy Relations building relationships with various rare and not-so-rare disease communities around the world. She does this by listening and learning from personal experiences to identify unmet needs and find ways industry can partner with the community to address those needs. “I have the opportunity to work on all types of projects—from clinical trial design and support, to building community, to education, policy, and beyond,” she said. “I love to say that I get to be the heart of my company.”
Jocelyn’s first exposure to the vasculitis community was working in marketing, supporting rituximab. In this role, she focused on understanding the healthcare provider perspective of granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) and microscopic polyangiitis (MPA). “In my next role, I led patient advocacy efforts in vasculitis (GPA, MPA and giant cell arteritis) and had the opportunity to learn about the broader community and build a relationship with the VF that resulted in various programs designed to address unmet need,” she said.
Jocelyn is looking forward to being part of the strategic planning process by creating a clear focus for the VF moving forward and setting the VF up to make the most meaningful impact possible. “The areas I’m passionate about are around providing services and support that consider the diverse needs of the community and establishing a path to continued, deliberate growth for the VF,” she added.
On a personal level, Jocelyn lives in Oakland, California, and has two children—Elise, 21, and Rahsaan, Jr., 19.
Author: Nina Silberstein