President and Chief Executive Ofﬁcer
CLASS OF 1978
Michael Novinski almost did not attend Washington & Jefferson College. He initially pursued schools located in more urban environments like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. However, the feeling of home he experienced at W&J won him over in the end. “I chose W&J because I really appreciated its small-town atmosphere and strong community values,” he recalls.
Novinski’s appreciation for the College and its close-knit community showed in his dedication to local volunteer work. As a student, he participated in community service projects through his fraternity, Alpha Tau Omega. “I always will be proud of our brotherhood’s commitment to the College and surrounding community,” he says. In addition to his fraternity involvement, Novinski played for the W&J basketball team before devoting his full attention to the College’s biology and pre-medical programs.
Upon graduation from W&J, Novinski studied for a year with a fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh’s medical school in the microbiology department. He then acquired a job with a pharmaceutical company, Organon, beginning what would become a 30-year career in healthcare and drug delivery. Novinski held several senior executive positions within the company before becoming president of Organon USA in 2003. During his tenure as president, he helped secure approval from the Federal Drug Administration for a number of pharmaceutical products in the areas of women’s healthcare, fertility, neuroscience, and anesthesia. In 2007, Novinski left Organon to take the next step in his career as president and chief executive ofﬁcer of Emisphere Technologies, Inc., a leading biopharmaceutical company that is pioneering the oral delivery of drugs that are traditionally injected.
Today, the successful pharmaceutical executive remains grateful to his alma mater, praising the value of a W&J education. “W&J gave me a strong foundation,” he says. “W&J taught me the language of learning. I can now carry on a conversation about anything and interpret various situations because of my liberal arts education.”