Alisa Mall of Foresite Capital
Managing Director at Foresite Capital
We are pleased to introduce you to Alisa Mall, managing director at Foresite Capital.
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I recently joined Foresite Capital, a firm focused on investing at the intersection of life sciences and technology. In my new role, I’m focused on corporate strategy, capital formation, investor relations and ESG. I also have had the opportunity to work with some of our portfolio companies, which has been both eye-opening and a whole new experience for me. I came to Foresite after almost 11 years at the Carnegie Corporation of New York, working with an amazing team to manage Carnegie’s endowment. I loved my time there. My first job out of college was in the tech sector at an enterprise software company in the height of the tech bubble. After that, I went to law school and then worked as an attorney for a couple years. My career path has been circuitous, but with each twist, I love feeling like I’m gaining new skills and facing new challenges. A wise mentor once told me I should think about my career as an ongoing accumulation of new experiences, so that’s how I have tried to approach it. My most important role in my life (and also hands down the hardest) is being the mom to two wonderful girls, age 6 and 8.
When you were young, what did you think you would be doing for work when you “grew up”?
When I was really young, I thought I would be a doctor, because that’s what my father is, and I wanted to be just like him. As I got a little older and was exposed to more, I thought I wanted to be a lawyer and my dream was to end up in the judiciary. I clerked for a judge in the Northern District of California and during that experience, realized that what I thought was my dream was not the right path for me.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Because I don’t have a background in medicine or life sciences, the learning curve has been very steep for me. While there are days when drinking from the firehose feels more like drowning, it’s been very rewarding to learn a whole new language, learn about a completely different industry, and meet a whole new network of people with whom I likely would not have crossed paths if I hadn’t joined Foresite. It’s both rewarding and exciting to learn about all the advancements happening in healthcare that will ultimately transform lives and improve outcomes.
What do you love most about working at Foresite Capital?
I love learning about some of the cutting-edge innovation happening in healthcare and life sciences. Some of what is possible today, and will be possible for my children within a foreseeable timeframe, is transformative for how we think about our own healthcare and access to it. The advances being made in the personalization of medicine and healthcare delivery are mind-blowing.
If you weren’t in the PE/VC industry, what would you be doing?
I love fitness and was a competitive athlete growing up and in college—in another life I would love to own a boutique fitness company that tailors its programming around busy working professionals (especially working moms!) and people in the later stages of their lives.
If you could have coffee with one business disruptor—past or present—who would it be and why?
Hard to pick just one! I would say either Oprah Winfrey, who I would argue disrupted several forms of traditional print & media and I just think is fabulous, or Elon Musk (because hard to imagine that wouldn’t be kind of a wild coffee date!).
What’s the most amazing place you’ve visited that you urge everyone to see (once everyone starts traveling again!)?
Israel. It’s a place where the weight of ancient civilizations and today’s cutting-edge dynamic innovation blend to create a magical experience for anyone who visits, regardless of one’s religion.
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