“The program offered various networking opportunities, giving me the chance to connect not only to my cohort, but to professionals in other programs and across a wide-range of industries.”

Mary, US

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Mary Gunn (née Pan)

About me

Mary Gunn is an American scientist executive with 25 years of managerial experience. She’s currently working as the Chief Operating Officer of Health Decisions at a biotechnology and diagnostics research company that focuses on women’s health and cancer diagnostics. With bachelor's degrees in Psychology and Economics, a master’s degree in International Relations, an LL.M. in Medical Ethics and a PhD in Psychology, Mary has been able to use her expertise to work for private and public biotechnology, medical technology and research companies. Passionate about access to innovation, Dr. Gunn started a MedTech trade association in Asia. She’s also an author and renowned speaker for new organizations and conferences such as BBC World News, the Financial Times, International Women’s Day, and more. Mary was looking to transition to general management, and in her search to do so, found the IE Brown Executive MBA. The program helped Mary gain an entrepreneurial mindset and shift to a role as a general manager and multifaceted leader.

Mary Gunn, US


Chief Operating Officer and Independent Board Director

Program studied

IE Brown Executive MBA

What drove you to choose the IE Brown Executive MBA? How did you find it?

I was working as a scientist in drug and device development and decided it was time for a change. More specifically, I was looking to transition from being a specialist to working in general management. Since I completed my undergraduate degree at Brown, I was interested in studying for my MBA there as well. As a result, I found the IE Brown Executive MBA, which was the perfect fit for me as it combines two incredible institutions and I was particularly compelled by IE Business School’s outstanding reputation. 

What specific goals did you set out to achieve as a student of the IE Brown Executive MBA program?

My main goal was to better myself as a person overall. The IE Brown Executive MBA allows for both personal and professional development. I went into the program ready to learn as much as I could from my professors and peers alike. Inspired by the global perspectives presented throughout the program, I have since become a more well-rounded leader. 

Were the online classes a challenge? What was networking like in such a digital environment?

The online classes were a blessing because the asynchronous format provided the flexibility I needed to work as a full-time employee based out of three different countries on completely different continents. The program offered various networking opportunities, giving me the chance to connect not only to my cohort, but to professionals in other programs and across a wide-range of industries.

Please describe any specific career outcomes you were hoping to achieve after the IE Brown Executive MBA, and how the program helped you meet them.

My main goal was to become a general manager, and the IE Brown Executive MBA made that possible. Following completion of the program, I led a company to obtain a $350M income statement while managing 4,200 employees.

How has the program shaped your career trajectory?

The IE Brown Executive MBA helped me think holistically about running a business. It provided the entrepreneurial insights I needed to truly become a multifaceted leader. This program shaped the way I look at leadership as well as the way in which I work.

Describe the residential weeks and how they complemented the online portion of the program.

The residential weeks were crucial to building relationships with my peers and the professors. Most of all, they allowed us to enjoy the program in different contexts. The balance between the online portion and the residential weeks allowed for variety and opened the door to even more networking opportunities.

The Key Reflection Project is where the program culminates. Please tell us about your experience.

I actually launched my project in real life––a social entrepreneurship business in fine arts that benefited the ecosystem in Southeast Asia. The project became the cultural diplomacy vehicle for ASEAN and was considered by UNESCO. I’m incredibly proud of this project and thankful that the IE Brown Executive MBA gave me an outlet to put theory to practice.