Speaker Bio

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Tara Spann

Tara Spann

Global Economic Inclusion & Supplier Diversity
Merck & Co., Inc.

Tara Spann oversees global economic inclusion and supplier diversity at Merck, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. 

Prior to joining Merck, Spann developed the strategy and managed the execution for supplier diversity at Bristol-Myers Squibb.

As the Executive Director of Diversity Initiatives for Staples, Inc., Spann created a competitive revenue generating CoE to support national and international sales through diverse strategic alliances. During her tenure at Staples, Inc., she increased top line sales through alliances from $100K to $325M. Her responsibilities extended to workforce diversity and inclusion for the North America salesforce.

Spann served as Senior Software Licensing Negotiator at Harvard University, where she negotiated the terms and conditions of enterprise-wide licensing software contracts. Spann also served as contract manager in Harvard University’s procurement management department, where she was responsible for sourcing and managing numerous categories as well as supplier relationship management. Her role also included managing the University’s minority procurement program, government compliance regulations, and audits for purchasing.

Prior to joining Harvard University, Spann was an intellectual property legal and engineering consultant for two law firms in Silicon Valley and senior engineer for the U.S. Navy Department of Defense, communications, and weapons systems.