Michele Sawyer, CPA

Chief Financial Officer

Joined the IBRI in September 2022

Michele Sawyer brings more than 25 years of financial experience in the life sciences industry to the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI). She is a transformative executive who leverages her business acumen to advance organizational outcomes and drive success. She also is recognized for identifying, recruiting, hiring and developing some of Eli Lilly and Company’s and Elanco Animal Health’s most diverse and successful teams.

Prior to joining the IBRI, Sawyer served as the executive director/general auditor of corporate audit services at Elanco Animal Health, where she led a team of internal auditors to successfully transform the animal health division of Eli Lilly & Company into an independent start-up entity, guiding teams toward compliance during and after the initial public offering (IPO).

Leading up to the IPO in 2018, Sawyer was the chief operating officer of the nutritional health business unit with the animal health division of Eli Lilly & Company. In this role, she leveraged her leadership experience to create strategy workshops for start-up business units, teaching them how to build the business from the ground up, manage operational issues and collaborate between science and business.

During her 18 years at Eli Lilly & Company, Sawyer served in many leadership roles, one of which was as controller of Lilly Research Lab’s Development Center of Excellence, where she collaborated with leadership to marry cross-functional teams and align solutions to gain a better understanding of each teams’ needs resulting in improved forecasting.

Sawyer, who is a certified public accountant in Indiana, has lived in the greater Indianapolis are with her husband and five children for more than 20 years.

Areas of Expertise

  • Business strategy
  • Change management
  • Finance
  • Global operations
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Organizational design
  • Risk management


  • Bachelor of Science (Accounting and International Business), Indiana University, 1996

Awards & Certifications

  • Six Sigma Team of Excellence Award, Eli Lilly & Company, 2012
  • Six Sigma Finance Black Belt of the Year Award, Eli Lilly & Company, 2007
  • Treasury SOX Exemplar Award, Eli Lilly & Company, 2006


  • Supervisory Committee of the Board of Directors, Elements Credit Union, 2022