Rodney Sanders


AGE: 34


Rodney Sanders was recruited by Merck & Co, a global leader in pharmaceutical and consumer health care, right out of graduate school at Carnegie Mellon University as part of the Marketing Management Associate Program. He is now the Global Human Health Sigma Leader, working with marketing and global pharmaceutical franchise teams to improve processes and efficiency throughout the organization. Sanders holds the teams’ work in high regard. “Successful marketing allows people across the globe the opportunity to access medications that could improve their quality of life,” he says.


The son of a preacher, Sanders is no stranger to integrity and hard work. As an undergraduate at Duke University on scholarship, he took a full course-load while working 40 hours a week and volunteering on campus. He attended a magnet high school and was the first African-American in South Carolina to graduate with the rigorous International Baccalaureate diploma. “Attending Southside High School changed the trajectory of my life,” he says.


Sanders harbors a deep love for the arts. He is a published poet and stage actor, and has participated in theater workshops in the company of such actresses as Tasha Smith, who is known for her roles in Tyler Perry films. In 2005, he appeared on the popular game show Wheel of Fortune and won a trip to Whistler, British Columbia, along with other cash and prizes.


Staying true to his mantra, “To whom much is given, much is required,” Sanders gives generously of his time to various charities and community organizations, such as the National Kidney Foundation, where he is a Young Leaders board member. “I’m an advocate for preventive care and helping those seeking treatment. I hope to leave a legacy that relentlessly promotes the eradication of kidney disease and the need for kidney transplants and dialysis.”


Fun Facts


Favorite artist: The Dave Matthews Band
First car: Ford Mustang
Favorite comedian: Lavell Crawford