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Top 10 30-Something 2017: Jocelyn Shaw

Top Ten 30 Somethings
Recently we opened submissions for the Top 10 30-Something Awards for 2018. To inspire you to make a nomination, each Friday we’ll post a 2017 winner’s profile until submissions close on December 15, 2017. Click here to learn how to become one of ACC’s 2018 Top 10 30-Somethings.

It’s easy to drive to work when your ultimate goal is to feed the world’s growing population. And with 10 billion people projected by 2050, it relies on human innovation like Bayer’s Crop Science Division to help grow the food needed to feed the world.

Jocelyn Shaw provides product support for the North American region. Her team includes a product steward, regulatory specialists, financial analysts, and scientists, while she serves as counsel as they work to bring innovative products to market. Bayer invests on average $US1 billion in R&D to create new, innovative, and trusted solutions for sustainable agriculture.

Shaw’s role is varied. Because so much of crop protection and biotechnology products involve IP rights, she helps coach the company’s scientists before they collaborate with third parties. This spring, she worked with product development leadership to develop and acquire drone technology. She provided advice on the evolving regulatory landscape, including FAA regulations and the certifications necessary to operate drones to conduct research on plant characteristics in the field. She routinely manages and counsels clients on sensitive production channel issues, negotiates licensing agreements with key partners, competitors, and customers, and provides legal guidance on marketing strategy and the development of Bayer’s next generation products.

Shaw really enjoys being a part of the innovation and technology that is transforming the agricultural industry. She especially enjoys opportunities to interact with customers, including one trip to Puerto Rico with some of Bayer’s top soybean licensees to see some of their latest field tests. “Bayer has a true focus on the customer and does a good job cultivating relationships with our customers that help us uniquely understand their needs and create technologies to fill those needs. It’s very rewarding to be a part of this,” she explains.

Shaw, like all in-house lawyers, is especially attuned to risk. She doesn’t see Bayer’s crops failing or a rival company as the biggest source of risk. Instead, it’s the lack of acceptance among the general public when it comes to genetically modified foods and crop protection products. “More than 90 percent of the population has no connection to agriculture, which creates an environment where activists can cultivate fear about modern agriculture technologies in the minds of consumers,” she explains. It’s an essential part of her role to advocate for Bayer’s technologies and the benefits they bring. After all, she adds, it takes over 10 years of research, testing, and regulatory approval and registration before a product gets to market.

In fall 2014, she traveled to Bayer’s headquarters outside Cologne, Germany. She worked with her European counterparts to help create an anticorruption assessment, and then helped roll out the training. She says the biggest benefit was forging relationships with her peers in other regions and working toward the common goal of Bayer: feeding the world.

She continues to work closely with her global colleagues and has routinely presented and taken part in global legal meetings in Europe, including leading presentations on the regulatory status in North America of new biotech breeding techniques and providing guidance on US export control law.

About the Author

Joshua Shields is the associate editor of the Association of Corporate Counsel.


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