Kenneth C. Frazier is Chairman of General Catalyst’s Health Assurance initiatives. Ken plays an important role in guiding GC’s Health Assurance strategy, which requires building and connecting an extended healthcare ecosystem -- including a closer partnership between healthcare and pharma, and a focus on health equity to ensure quality healthcare is accessible to all. Ken focuses on investments and partnerships, and providing mentorship to founders building companies that are well positioned to transform the healthcare industry through collaborative innovation.
Ken is the former executive chairman of the board of directors of Merck, following his retirement from a decade-long tenure as the company’s President and CEO from 2011 to 2021.
Under Ken’s leadership, Merck delivered innovative lifesaving medicines and vaccines as well as long-term and sustainable value to its multiple stakeholders. Ken substantially increased Merck’s investment in research, including early research, while refocusing the organization on the launch and growth of key products that provide far-reaching beneﬁts to society. He also led the formation of philanthropic and other initiatives that built on Merck’s 130-year legacy.
Ken joined Merck in 1992 and held positions of increasing responsibility, including general counsel and president. Prior to joining the company, Ken was a partner with the Philadelphia law ﬁrm of Drinker Biddle & Reath.
Ken’s contributions, especially in the legal, business, and humanitarian ﬁelds, have been widely recognized. He is co-founder and co-chair of OneTen, a coalition of leading organizations committed to upskilling, hiring, and promoting one million Black Americans into family-sustaining jobs. OneTen is committed to facilitating a meaningful, measurable, and lasting impact on racial and economic justice. Ken is on the boards of GC portfolio companies Eikon Therapeutics and Paradigm, as well as numerous nonproﬁt organizations, including the National Constitution Center, Cornerstone Christian Academy in Philadelphia, PA, Weill Cornell Medicine, and the Smithsonian Institution’s Advisory Council for the National Museum of African American History & Culture. Ken also is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, The Business Council, the Council of the American Law Institute, the American Bar Association, and a Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Additionally, Ken is co-chair of the Legal Services Corporation’s Leaders Council.
As a strong advocate for social justice and economic inclusion, Ken is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Anti-Defamation League Courage Against Hate Award, the Botwinick Prize in Business Ethics from Columbia Business School, the Legend in Leadership Award from the Yale School of Management, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund National Equal Justice Award, and the National Minority Quality Forum’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
In 2018, Ken was named one of the World’s Greatest Leaders by Fortune magazine and also was named one of TIME’s 100 Most Inﬂuential People. In 2019, he became the ﬁrst recipient of the Forbes Lifetime Achievement Award for Healthcare. In 2021, his peers named him Chief Executive magazine’s CEO of the Year.
Ken received his bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University and holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School.