Maria Eugenia Schwermer: Leading a multi-disciplinary approach to improve health outcomes


In the last few decades, women have accelerated their role and impact in all aspects of our society. Many glass ceiling have been broken and many patriarchal barriers removed. The world now has greater opportunities than ever before, for all of our benefit, thanks to these trailblazing women and leaders. 

In an exclusive interview with IndustryWired, Maria Eugenia Schwermer, Managing Director at Policy Wisdom, LLC, and co-founder of The ROUND Consulting Group, shares her journey to becoming one of the most influential women entrepreneurs to watch in 2021.


A Multi-Talented Leader 

Maria Eugenia Schwermer is a passionate advocate of collaboration who is driven to improve the health outcomes and opportunities for all people. She is a Managing Director at Policy Wisdom, LLC and the Co-founder and Head of Health Systems in the ROUND Consulting Group. Maria Eugenia passionately applies her experiences in various fields such as microbiology, biotechnology, public health policy, communications, and health data management to innovate health systems and improve equitable access to health.


Engaging and Promoting Talent Into Successful Teams

As Managing Director at Policy Wisdom, a global health policy consulting firm, Maria Eugenia feels extremely fortunate to work with an incredibly talented and equally passionate team to catalyse health system stakeholders’ engagement and become a valued partner to many global pharmaceutical companies, industry associations, public health and advocacy organisations, NGOs and foundations through evidence-based policy. 

All successful leaders have mentors and champions, and Maria Eugenia is no exception. She loudly calls out her professional inspiration Ana Rita Gonzalez, Policy Wisdom’s Founder and CEO – a bona fide women trailblazing leader.

Maria Eugenia takes responsibility in enhancing the company’s performance and growth strategy. She oversees execution by ensuring the success of her client projects where she works to continuously expand the value-added to the company’s partnerships. She knows that the key to sustained success is a fully engaged team. To that end, a crucial area of focus for Maria is to mentor and sponsor Policy Wisdom’s talented team members to fully bring their diverse areas of expertise, perspectives, and experiences to multiply value for the client partnerships.


The Health ROUND, An Initiative to Support Health Systems

Maria Eugenia recently co-founded the ROUND Consulting Group and will be leading the team focused on Health Systems. She says that the ROUND Consulting Group will soon scale their multi-disciplinary approach to value system analysis and client base in support of improving access to quality health care for everyone.

While talking about the newly formed group, Maria explains that the mission of ROUND Consulting is to support evolving systems for sustainability and equity. She mentions that the company is structured to bring value to the different local, regional, and global stakeholders in the health, food, and development systems.

Maria Eugenia believes that in order to deliver valuable system and cross-system perspectives, clients need to make better informed decisions and scenario-planning by uncovering opportunities for non-traditional collaborations across value chains.  Organizations are building a practical model to align strategies and organisational incentives through the ROUND Consulting Group. 


Overcoming Industry Challenges

According to Maria Eugenia, a true collaboration is hard work. She explains that discipline and expertise are the two factors that expand the knowledge base and capabilities. “However, they also create blind spots, information barriers, and biases that need to be addressed before there can be a true collaboration,” adds Maria. She highlights that there are no silver bullet solutions to complex problems.

Maria Eugenia firmly mentions that outcomes for people should be the measure of success for all endeavours. She states: “I have learnt many lessons and acquired core values from my parents, the partnership I have with my husband and the inspiration I draw from my four daughters. My journey has been an extremely rich one, thanks to my mentors, colleagues, clients, and professional network who have and will continue to equally inspire, challenge, teach, and support me.” At the end of the day, Maria’s goal is to reciprocate these positive outcomes for the people in all aspects of her life and activities.


Words of Inspiration for Emerging Women Leaders

Maria Eugenia says, “We will no longer be able to afford ‘externalities’ and will all need to widen our perspectives and the edges of our activities.” On this note, she advises the future women leaders to,

1 Take the wheel: Be true to yourself, your style of leadership, your values, and ideas. Never let others define you.

2 Listen: At every stage and in all settings of life the benefits of actively listening are immeasurable.

3 Dare: Go beyond what is safe – the consensus view, the unchallenged hurdles and ‘how it has always been done’, and your own comfort zones. Be brave in everything you do.


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