Donnie Wooten: From Humble Beginnings to Corporate Success

March 29, 2024
Donnie Wooten
Donnie Wooten: From Humble Beginnings to Corporate Success

Florida A&M University (FAMU) PharmD graduate Donnie Wooten has worked hard to foster a diverse talent pipeline within the pharmaceutical industry and tried to empower medical professionals to seek and explore data that will make a difference for all.

Wooten is global head of Strategic Medical Content and Omnichannel  for Organon,  a healthcare company. He has worked for numerous major corporations, including Johnson & Johnson and Merck. He was recognized in fall 2023 as one of FAMU’s 40 under 40.

Wooten grew up about three hours from FAMU’s Tallahassee campus in Telfair County, one of Georgia’s poorest counties.  Although Wooten came from a struggling rural community, his upbringing inspired him to pursue his dreams while still holding those same values.

“I’m a Southern guy rooted and deeply intertwined with my faith and belief that we can really accomplish and conquer anything we desire in our lives,” Wooten said. “That upbringing was instilled in me by my mom and my sister, who’s a veteran, and to be quite frankly, FAMU too.”

His alma mater’s “Excellence with Caring” culture helped Wooten to polish skills that have helped him in the corporate world.

“FAMU prepared me to be anywhere,” Wooten said. “There is a distinct shaping that occurs at HBCU’s that foster an enormous amount of self-assurance and propels you for greatness.” 

Richard Carter, Ph.D., a senior medical science liaison at Genentech, admires his former colleague’s integrity.

“Donnie’s remarkable character shines through in every aspect of his life, extending far beyond his professional accomplishments,” Carter said. “His kindness, empathy, and tenacious grit, rooted in humble beginnings, make him an exceptional industry leader, philanthropist, and cherished friend.”

Wooten’s primary commitment is to give back and make a difference in the lives of black and brown patients while unifying his team in understanding cultural nuances. One of his main goals is to drive synergy and understand commonalities that can help individuals to be successful. He has traveled across the world to share these principles with medical teams to help promote diversity.

Wooten noticed the lack of diversity within the pharmaceutical industry and has tried to initiate change. Organon and FAMU championed a PharmD post-doctoral fellowship, which embraces inclusion, while being committed to equal opportunity between applicants and conveying the importance of diversity within the medical field.

“I’m creating the door that allows more people to get that experience and come into the industry and bring more diversity into this pool of talent,” Wooten said. “Representing underserved people is the equity that I want to bring wherever I go, and I will continue to foster that.”

Wooten is honored to be a voice for black and brown people within the pharmaceutical industry. There is a genuine inclination to bridge the gap between underserved communities, due to Wooten’s upbringing and understanding of the importance of diversity in healthcare.

Wooten has started program initiatives to teach others about investing in professional development, businesses formation and understanding the importance of giving back to the community.

He is proud of organizations and friends like Black Health Connect and Young Black Pharma that are championing meaningful spaces for black people.

“I just want to be a part of that pool of talent that gives back to individuals who look like you and me,” said Wooten.