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Italian-Born Executive Dr. Giovanni Caforio Receives IINE’s Prestigious Golden Door Award

  December 7, 2023

Dr. Caforio is recognized for his contributions to the healthcare industry in the U.S.

BOSTON – December 6, 2023 – The International Institute of New England (IINE) announced Dr. Giovanni Caforio, Executive Chairman of the Board and former CEO of Bristol Myers Squibb, as the recipient of the 42nd Golden Door Award. The prestigious award is given annually to a leader born outside the United States who has made outstanding contributions to American society. Caforio will be honored at The Golden Door Award Gala held on Monday, March 4, 2024, at the Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston.

“We thank Dr. Caforio for accepting the 42nd Golden Door Award and for his extraordinary leadership at Bristol Myers Squibb. Under his leadership, the organization has revolutionized the way we treat cancer,” said Jeff Thielman, President and CEO of the International Institute of New England. “Dr. Caforio exemplifies the drive and compassion of refugees and immigrants celebrated through the Golden Door Award, which honors their tremendous contributions to American society.”

Dr. Caforio served as Bristol Myers Squibb’s Chief Executive Officer from May 2015 to October 2023. Born and educated in Italy, Dr. Caforio has been dedicated to leading Bristol Myers Squibb’s efforts in researching and developing groundbreaking medicines. Joining in 2000 as Vice President and General Manager in Italy with the Worldwide Medicines Group, Dr. Caforio then added responsibility for Greece and Israel in 2001, and for Southeast Europe in 2003. In 2007, he relocated to the U.S. and assumed the role of Senior Vice President of U.S. Oncology.

Behind a leading portfolio of immunotherapies that are fundamentally changing the way cancer is treated, the former physician has helped strengthen Bristol Myers Squibb’s patient-focused culture—one driven by innovation, speed, accountability, and passion. As a leader, he is focused on the business value of a company culture that promotes and rewards diversity and inclusion.

“A dedicated physician, leader, and visionary, Giovanni is truly a worthy recipient of this award,” said Ted Samuels, Lead Independent Director at Bristol Myers Squibb and GDA Host Committee member. “As an immigrant himself, Giovanni has supported the diverse experiences and perspectives of our employees. He has also been at the helm of Bristol Myers Squibb’s commitment to diversifying our clinical trials to help the populations most in need. Giovanni wholeheartedly believes in continuing to develop treatments and medicines for everyone, everywhere.”

“Thank you to the International Institute of New England for this incredible recognition,” said Dr. Giovanni Caforio, Executive Chairman of the Board and former CEO at Bristol Myers Squibb. “I am honored to join a long list of highly accomplished refugees and immigrants representing diverse professions in academia, music and culture, the political arena, biotech and more, all celebrated for their integral role in elevating their communities in the U.S.”

In receiving the Golden Door Award, Dr. Caforio joins a distinguished list of past recipients, including 2023 honoree Dr. Srikant M. Datar, Stéphane Bancel, Dr. Reshma Kewalramani, Dr. Noubar Afeyan, Dr. Rafael Reif, Dr. Joseph Aoun, Justice Margaret Marshall, Yo-Yo Ma, An Wang, Stephen Mugar, I.M. Pei and more.


The International Institute of New England (IINE) creates opportunities for refugees and immigrants to succeed through resettlement, education, career advancement and pathways to citizenship. With locations in Boston and Lowell, Massachusetts and Manchester, New Hampshire, IINE serves more than 10,000 individuals annually, including people displaced by political instability, violence, and climate crises, child and adult survivors of human trafficking, and unaccompanied children joining family members in New England. IINE offers a comprehensive range of programs and services to help these newcomers feel welcome, achieve stability and security, and access resources in their new communities; advance their education and employment goals; and integrate into their communities. IINE’s expertise builds on more than a century of service, and with continued partnership from community groups and support from philanthropists throughout New England, IINE will continue this service for the next 100 years and beyond.

The Golden Door Award has been an IINE tradition for more than 50 years honoring a person born outside the U.S. that has made outstanding contributions to American society. Our annual gala is an occasion that calls us to stand together in celebration of the achievements of immigrants who have played an integral role in our communities, economy, and society. Learn more about the 2024 Golden Door Award Gala here.


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