Diana Mackie has spent much of her life fostering innovation. At Proctor & Gamble (P&G) in the ’70s, Mackie started out in new product research, creating innovative products in detergents, the feminine hygiene category, and toilet tissue. Mackie’s bio states that she helped make Charmin softer and Pampers tighter!
Mackie later became a Principal at McKinsey & Co., where she worked with healthcare companies, improving new product development in regulated industries. As a Vice President at GlaxoSmithKline, she managed global innovations in many categories. Finally in her own venture, Health Matters, International LLC, she worked with small to medium-size companies in Europe to launch new products in the U.S. market.
From these experiences, Mackie learned that the most successful model for innovation employs scientists and marketing at an interface with early market research directed by product engineers. This collaboration creates a feedback loop that drives smart innovation, producing products that reach new performance levels—and are commercially successful.
Now, Mackie has dedicated herself to helping students from MIT’s School of Science and MIT Sloan foster innovation at the intersection of science and business. With a generous gift supporting both a Healthcare Practice Leader and a delta v team working in healthcare innovation at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, Mackie will help MIT to develop the entrepreneurial leaders of tomorrow. Mackie, a member of MIT’s Charter Society honoring those who have committed $1 million or more, says with this gift, she completes a circle that began for her at P&G.
Mackie was motivated to make this gift because such an approach will enhance the learning path for MIT Sloan students, and she hopes – help them recognize and apply the power of integrating science and business. With the strengths of the School of Science and MIT Sloan, Mackie sees MIT as the ideal place for progress at this interface.
Like many gifts, Mackie says this one took many years to mature and develop. It started with conversations and meetings with committed professionals from MIT’s School of Science, MIT Sloan, and the guidance of Resource Development. Mackie’s experience on the Leadership Council for the Koch Institute for Integrated Cancer Research for many years also was a motivating factor.
Mackie hopes her gift helps support the work of students whose ideas have the ‘sparkle’ that she witnessed when she visited the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship last spring. By giving back to MIT, she hopes to ensure the next generation of business leaders and scientists wields the power of bringing forth products grounded in both applied science and applied marketing—because the two together promote greater innovation.