Owen Garrick has been an enthusiastic Annual Giving volunteer almost since graduation. “The University,” he says, “with its high caliber of faculty and students, is uniquely positioned to make an impact on the world. It’s our obligation as alumni to help it retain that ability.” He is a member of the Connect Initiative steering committee and the regional schools committee, a career services volunteer, a veteran P-rade marshall, a longtime AG volunteer and special gifts solicitor, and a member of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni. He has never refused a request for help from Princeton: “I have always felt it an honor to be asked.” And he has found fellow alumni are responsive to similar requests. “Over the lifetime of an individual,” he points out, “it’s a rare one who doesn’t engage with the University at some point.”
Garrick came to Princeton from St. Agnes Cathedral High School in Uniondale, New York. A psychology major, he was a cheerleader, a member of the Third World Center, and a work-study student at the International Center. “The IC,” he says, was my home away from home. I made a lot of iced tea, arranged for foreign visitors, and enjoyed meeting people from all over the world.”
After Princeton, he worked as an analyst at MetLife in New York City. He applied to medical school, but deferred admission to continue work on Wall Street. Looking back, he says, “I can see I was always interested in business but wasn’t sure how to combine that with a commitment to medicine.” He earned an MD from Yale University School of Medicine and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. He worked in finance for several years, advising private healthcare companies, and then moved to Novartis Pharmaceuticals and later to McKesson Corporation.
Since 2006 he has been chief operating officer and director of Bridge Clinical Research, based in Oakland, California, a company that focuses on increasing the participation of ethnic minority investigators and patients in clinical trials, whether sponsored by industry or institutions. “Depending on the day,” he says, “I consider myself a scientist or a finance person. The thing that drives me is the urge to extend healthcare to all populations, but especially those that are underserved. I think a lot about basic research and clinical studies that may eventually put beneficial drugs on the market.”
He is president and a member of the board of directors of the American Medical Association Foundation, and is active with California’s Mentoring in Medicine and Science program, which works to increase the diversity of the healthcare workforce at all levels.
He is married to Jocelyn Freeman Garrick—president of Mentoring in Medicine and Science and an assistant professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where she practices emergency medicine. The Garricks live in Oakland with three sons aged eight, six, and two years old. Spare time activities involve family card games or bicycle rides. “We try to keep life simple,” says Garrick. “At least as simple as we can, with three boys.”