Vijay B. Samant

Vijay B. Samant ’77EN earned a master's degree in chemical engineering from Columbia University in 1977 and a master's degree in management studies from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1983. Prior to attending Columbia and MIT, Samant earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Bombay in 1975. He has a strong, long-standing relationship as an active alumnus with Columbia that began over 20 years ago with his appointment to the Columbia Engineering Alumni Association (CEAA). During his time on the CEAA, Samant has served in various roles, including Chair of the prestigious Pupin Medal Committee from 1992 to 2016, and, more recently, President of the CEAA. As President of the CEAA, Samant partnered with the Board to strengthen the already strong relationship between the CEAA and the University, and to align the goals and mission of the CEAA with the Engineering School. He was the recipient of the CEAA Crossed-Hammers Award, in recognition of his unwavering service to the CEAA and the University, which included participation in a plethora of University events as a panelist, mentor of Columbia students, and participation in Columbia workshops. Additionally, Samant’s long-standing service, volunteerism, and University citizenship led him to be named as one of the 2022 Columbia Alumni Medalists. Professionally, he is the Chief Executive Officer of Xiconic Pharmaceuticals, and serves as a Board member of Brickell Biotech (BBI). Previously, Samant was the President and Chief Executive Office of Vical Incorporated from November 2000 to September 2019.  Prior to Vical, he worked at Merck for 23 years in a variety of executive roles leading to his appointment as the Chief Operating Officer of the Merck Vaccine Division from 1998 to 2000. In his 40+ years in the pharmaceutical industry, Samant has played pivotal roles in all aspects of drug development, biological manufacturing, business development/licensing, supply chain management, and product commercialization, among other areas. He advises several public and private companies in the healthcare industry and is widely recognized as a vaccine expert.


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