Center For Teaching and Faculty Development


Mr. Richard S. Spada is Sr. Global Manager for Diversity and Inclusion at Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation AG, based in Basel, Switzerland.  Working to support the creation of an inclusive culture in an organization which spans 120 countries and with over 120,000 employees around the globe, Richard focuses his efforts on impacting culture change through the creation of inclusion strategy and tools. He has experience working throughout the world, and most recently in China, the Middle East, North Africa and Central Europe.  Throughout his tenure at Novartis (since 2004), Richard has also led the Global Leadership and Management Development function as well as held the role of US Head for Talent Management at Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics.

Some of Richard’s achievements in these roles include spearheading the creation of the organization’s first-ever “Upward Feedback” process, designing and launching the Women’s Mentoring and Integrated Leadership Program, Cross-Cultural Mentoring Program, as well as the Global Accelerating Inclusion and Unconscious Bias education and behavioral change curriculums.

Richard holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Central Connecticut State University (1982), a master’s degree in adult education and office systems administration from The College of New Jersey (1984), and is certified as a professional and executive coach by the International Coach Federation (2011).  He has successfully coached individuals at various levels, from front-line leaders to C-Suite executives.  His areas of specialty include leadership development coaching, transition coaching, peer coaching, and life coaching.  Currently he is leading an effort to build an internal coaching capability at Novartis.

Prior to joining Novartis, Richard led a successful consulting practice specialized in training, facilitation and leadership development. Before this, he was with Kaiser Permanente, a leading U.S. healthcare provider, for 10 years as an internal learning and development consultant, and headed up their corporate training consulting practice 

Richard has authored two leading-edge publications at Novartis for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) employees and their managers, Creating an Inclusive Workplace for All:  A Guide for LGBT Employees at Novartis, and, Creating an Inclusive Workplace for All:  A Guide for Managers of LGBT Employees at Novartis.  In 2014 he authored the latest Inclusion Guide, A Guide for Persons with Disabilities, Their Managers and Allies at Novartis.  He is recognized as a global thought leader for his work to accelerate inclusion and reduce or eliminate bias throughout the Novartis organization.

Richard resides in Boston and works remotely, traveling regularly to Switzerland to meet with his team members and key stakeholders. He is happily married to his partner of 31 years, Bob Childers, with whom they have two beloved beagles, Pearl and Cash.