Photo by Glassdoor
Photo by Andre Chung. CC BY-SA 4.0

Martine Rothblatt

Founder & CEO

United Therapeutics


Founder & CEO


United Therapeutics




United Therapeutics



What makes Martine Rothblatt a Global Shaker?

A lawyer by trade, Martine Rothblatt has transcended industries to reach the pinnacle of professional success several times over. She is the founder and CEO of medical biotechnology company United Therapeutics and has also launched several groundbreaking communications satellite companies, including the first private international spacecom project—PanAmSat, the first global satellite radio network—WorldSpace, and the first non-geostationary satellite-to-car broadcasting system—Sirius Satellite Radio. Martine is also the former CEO of GeoStar, a satellite navigation technology system.

When told her daughter Jenesis was diagnosed with a then-fatal condition called pulmonary arterial hypertension, Martine abandoned her communications career to found PPH Cure Foundation and United Therapeutics. Within five years, United Therapeutics created the first FDA-approved medication for pulmonary hypertension. As of 2018, the company has developed five FDA-approved medications for the condition.

“When I started, only 2,000 people in the US had pulmonary hypertension because everybody who got it died,” she told Forbes in 2018. “There was never a time when the numbers increased. They got it, they died. Today, there are 40,000 people in the United States with pulmonary hypertension, the vast majority of them living normal lives. We’ve made a medicine that can keep people alive indefinitely.”

Through United Therapeutics, Martine hopes to eventually create an unlimited supply of transplantable organs.

Martine has authored several books ranging in theme from her experience as a transgender woman to genetic screening and DNA mapping: Radiodetermination Satellite Services and Standards, Apartheid of Sex, From Transgender to Transhuman: A Manifesto on the Freedom of Form, Unzipped Genes, Temple University Press, Your Life or Mine: How Geoethics Can Resolve the Conflict Between Public and Private Interests in Xenotransplantation, Two Stars for Peace: The Case for Using US Statehood to Achieve Lasting Peace in the Middle East, Virtually Human: The Promise—and the Peril—of Digital Immortality and Inside the Minds.

Forbes has listed her as number 65 on its America’s Self-Made Women list this year. With an estimated net worth of $320 million, she is the highest paid CEO in the pharmaceutical industry.

Tags: LGBTQ+, pharmaceutics, philanthropy, Radio, STEM, Women in STEM, Women in Tech

Last updated: June 12, 2020