The Harkin Summit: Innovating for Inclusion

Doubling Disability Employment In A Changing Landscape

Celeste Warren

Vice President, Human Resources & Global Diversity and Inclusion Center of Excellence
Merck

Celeste Warren is Vice President, Human Resources & Global Diversity and Inclusion Center of Excellence. In this dual role, she has responsibility for the strategic and operational Human Resources support of Merck's Global Legal, Compliance, Communications, Population Health, Patient Health and Global Public Policy Organizations.

As the leader for Merck’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Center of Excellence, she is responsible for working with Merck’s global leaders to advance and embed diversity and inclusion as a strategic approach to maximize business performance and create a competitive advantage.

Ms. Warren joined Merck in 1997 and has held numerous positions of increasing responsibility within its Human Resources organization. Most recently, she was the Vice President, Human Resources for Merck’s Manufacturing Division and Global Labor Relations and US Employee Relations Center of Excellence.

From 2009 to 2011, she was Human Resources Leader for Merck's Vaccines organizations.  In this role, she led efforts to forge alliances and end to end processes between the Vaccine Research, Vaccine Manufacturing and Vaccine Commercial organizations.  She worked directly with the leaders to manage the critical linkages between basic research, late-stage development and manufacturing to expand Merck's vaccine offerings throughout the world.

During her tenure at Merck, Ms. Warren has supported various different businesses and corporate staff functions and has held positions of increasing responsibility.

Prior to joining Merck in 1997, Celeste worked for nine years in Human Resources at Kraft Foods, Inc. and General Foods and held several positions of increasing responsibility including such roles as Training & Development Leader, Diversity leader, Labor Relations Director and Human Resources Leader for several organizations within Kraft and General Foods.

She is a member of Board of Directors for Grandview Health and DiversityMBA.  She also serves on the CEB Diversity & Inclusion Working Council, the Simmons College School of Management's Business Advisory Council and the Forbes Human Resources Council.

She has been honored with many awards, including National Diversity Council’s “Most Powerful and Influential Women of Pennsylvania”, and most recently she was named one of the  '21 Leaders for the 21st Century” and Diversity Global’s “2017 Influential Women in Global Diversity.”  She was also chosen as one of Black Enterprise’s Top Executives in Global Diversity and Inclusion.

Celeste attended the University of Kentucky where she earned her B.S. degree. She received her Masters Degree from Carnegie Mellon University.

She is the wife of John Warren and the mother of two children, Christina-Celeste (16) and John Steven, Jr. (14).