NORTHBROOK, Ill., March 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Astellas today announced the promotion of Catherine Wertjes to Head of Ethics & Compliance, with responsibility for ethics and compliance, anti-bribery and anti-corruption initiatives worldwide, effective April 1, 2016. She will be based at Astellas' headquarters for the Americas in Northbrook, Illinois and report to Yoshirou Miyokawa, Chief Compliance Officer.
Catherine Levitt, currently vice president of risk management and chief litigation counsel for Astellas US, will assume Wertjes' previous role as vice president, legal for Astellas US.
"As Astellas expands globally, it's critical that we continue to maintain consistently high ethical practices and good corporate governance for our stakeholders wherever we do business," Miyokawa said. "These promotions demonstrate Astellas' commitment to ethics and acting with the highest sense of integrity around the world. The collaboration between the legal and compliance functions in their support of the business is key for Astellas' success."
Wertjes joined Fujisawa Healthcare, Inc. in 2000 as associate general counsel, specializing in regulatory law, compliance counseling and litigation. She assumed roles of increasing responsibility after Fujisawa and Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. merged in 2005, becoming the head of Astellas' US legal department in 2012. Prior to Fujisawa, she served in global in-house litigation and regulatory and compliance counseling roles at G.D. Searle & Co. (later acquired by Pharmacia and now part of Pfizer). A graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School, Wertjes began her career at the Chicago law firm of Lord Bissell and Brook as an associate litigation attorney.
Levitt joined Fujisawa in 2004 as assistant general counsel, specializing in litigation. After the formation of Astellas in 2005, she was promoted to associate, followed by deputy general counsel. In 2013, she was named vice president, risk management and chief litigation counsel. Prior to Astellas, she served as corporate counsel at Baxter Healthcare and People's Energy, and began her career at the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP. Levitt earned her JD from the University of Illinois College of Law.
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