CZ Biohub Hires Global Human Resources Expert Sonya Zilka


SAN FRANCISCO — May 6, 2019 — The Chan Zuckerberg Biohub (CZ Biohub), an innovative nonprofit medical research organization, has hired renowned health-tech veteran Sonya Zilka as vice president of human resources. Zilka is responsible for directing all people functions of the organization, including organizational development and employee engagement.

“Sonya’s background is a great fit for the Biohub — her combination of experience in tech, biotech and a major nonprofit gives her exposure to leading-edge HR practices as well as the unique needs of our nonprofit research environment,” said Gajus Worthington, chief operating officer of CZ Biohub. “The rest of the leadership team and I are confident she will have a strong and very positive impact on the Biohub.”

In her new role, Zilka will reinforce the strong internal culture at CZ Biohub, spearhead the development of an internal communications framework, and emphasize inclusion and diversity.

“The CZ Biohub mission, potential to lead the way with groundbreaking open science and a strong culture developed over the past two years makes it an extremely attractive employer for science leaders in the Bay Area. I’m excited to build on the strong culture they’ve established over the past two years,” said Zilka.

Previously, Zilka served as the vice president of human resources, corporate communications and facilities for Actelion’s U.S. business operations. As a member of the executive leadership team, she led several key initiatives, including the organization’s diversity and inclusion strategy. Zilka brings global and cultural awareness to the team, having lived and worked internationally in Europe, Australia and Asia. She also has past nonprofit experience, having previously led the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program’s human resources team. Zilka has worked in a variety of industries and in 2013, Zilka founded ZHR Consulting, advising clients on talent and people strategy, diversity and inclusion, and providing coaching to executives in a wide range of fields.

A graduate of Columbia University, Zilka received her master’s degree in organizational psychology. She is also a graduate of General Electric’s Human Resources Leadership Program.



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