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Executive Management

Dr. Steve Cutler

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Steve Cutler was appointed Chief Executive Officer of ICON plc in March 2017, having previously served as Chief Operating Officer from January 2014. Dr. Cutler served as Group President Clinical Research Services since November 2011 until his appointment as Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Cutler was appointed to the Board of ICON plc in November 2015.

Prior to joining the Company, Dr. Cutler held the position of Chief Executive Officer of Kendle, having previously served as Chief Operating Officer. Prior to Kendle, Dr. Cutler spent 14 years with Quintiles where he served as Senior Vice President, Global Project Management; Senior Vice President, Clinical, Medical and Regulatory; Senior Vice President, Project Management - Europe; and Vice President, Oncology - Europe, as well as regional leadership positions in South Africa and Australia. Prior to joining Quintiles, Dr. Cutler held positions with Sandoz (now Novartis) in Australia and Europe.

Dr. Cutler holds a B.Sc. and a Ph.D from the University of Sydney and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Birmingham (UK).

Mr. Brendan Brennan

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Brendan Brennan has served as Chief Financial Officer since February 2012. Mr. Brennan has developed his career over the last 21 years from experience in various industries. Mr. Brennan joined ICON in 2006 and he has served in a number of senior finance roles in the Company including the role of Senior Vice President of Corporate Finance. Prior to this he developed his broad financial experience in Cement Roadstone Holdings, a major Irish building materials organization. Mr. Brennan spent a number of years in public accounting with PwC prior to this. Mr. Brennan is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland and holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance from Dublin City University. Over his many years of experience in the CRO industry Mr. Brennan has been involved in many industry organizations and developments including ACRO (Association of Clinical Research Organizations) where he was the founding Chairman of the industry CFO round table group, a group formed to aid CROs dealing with the various industry challenges. Mr. Brennan held the position of Chairman of the round table from its foundation in 2017 to December 31, 2019.

Dr. Nuala Murphy

President Global Specialty Solutions
Dr. Nuala Murphy previously served as President of ICON Clinical Services since January 2014. Prior to this, Dr. Murphy served as Executive Vice President of clinical and data operations globally. Dr. Murphy has over 20 years’ experience within the pharmaceutical and CRO industry. Dr. Murphy joined ICON in 2012 from Quintiles where she led a clinical and data management workforce (since 2009). Dr. Murphy also has over a decade of experience in therapeutics having led the CNS and internal medicine project management divisions for Quintiles. Dr. Murphy served in the field of late phase clinical research at Benefit International. During her tenure, Dr. Murphy published extensively in eminent peer reviewed journals. Having graduated from Trinity College Dublin, Dr. Murphy was awarded a PhD in neurochemistry, from the Department of Cardiovascular Studies in Leeds and conducted post-doctoral research in the Department of Neuropharmacology at the Collège de France in Paris.

Mr. Barry Balfe

President Global Operations (Large Pharma)

Mr. Barry Balfe is President Global Operations (Large Pharma). Mr. Balfe previously served as President of ICON Functional Services (IFS). Mr. Balfe has been with ICON for over fifteen years and has held a number of senior roles, predominantly within the DOCS organisation, where he has successfully grown this business and has developed and led a number of new strategic partnerships. Mr. Balfe was previously EVP, Global Business Development. As part of the DOCS team, Mr. Balfe served as Senior Vice-President, Global Program Management where he oversaw operational design, planning & delivery within DOCS' resourcing & FSP businesses. He initially joined ICON’s Business Development team in 2003, before taking on the leadership of DOCS' US Business in early 2007 and subsequently overseeing DOCS' European Operations. Mr. Balfe holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry, having studied at Dublin City University and Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Toulouse. He subsequently studied pharmacoepidemiology and pharmacovigilance at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the University of London.

Ms. Tami Klerr

President Global Operations (Biotech / Small, Mid-Size Pharma)
Ms Klerr is President Global Operations (Biotech / Small, Mid-Size Pharma). Prior to joining ICON, Ms. Tami Klerr was Executive Vice President and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer at PRA Health Sciences. Prior to that Ms Kerr was Vice President of Clinical Operations at InfaCare Pharmaceutical Corporation. Ms. Kerr previoulsy spent 13 years with Pharmaceutical Product Development, Inc. (PPD) in a variety of senior roles in business development, key account management and operations. Along with her extensive business development and operational skills, Ms. Klerr brings a strong portfolio of therapeutic experience. Ms. Klerr earned a BS from the University of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Samir Shah

President Global Strategic Solutions
Mr. Samir Shah is President Global Strategic Solutions. Prior to joining ICON he was Executive Vice President of PRA’s Strategic Solutions Division and Global Regulatory Affairs. Mr. Shah has more than 25 years of industry experience. At PRA Health Sciences, Mr. Shah was responsible for each units global operations, strategy, and business functions. He joined the (legacy) RPS organisation at its inception in 2000 before it was acquired by PRA Health Sciences in 2013. Mr. Shah is one of the key pioneers and a leader in the development and maturation of the embedded sourcing model and has specific expertise in transformation models in the biopharmaceutical life science space including strategic sourcing, change management, and optimising effective governance and operating structures. Prior to joining PRA Health Sciences, Mr. Shah held various positions across clinical operations and business enablement in the biopharmaceutical industry at US Bioscience and Zeneca Pharmaceuticals and in the CRO sector at Theorem Clinical Research (formerly BioPharm/IBAH Clinical Services) and Parexel. In addition, Mr. Shah also served as a Research Scientist at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center in the Department of Psychiatry. Mr. Shah has a BS degree from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA.

Mr George A. McMillan

Chief Commercial Officer
Mr. George A. McMillan is Chief Commercial Officer of ICON. Mr. McMillan joined ICON in 2012 as Executive Vice President of Finance Operations, a position he held until he was appointed Chief Commercial Officer in March 2017. Prior to ICON, Mr. McMillan held senior executive positions in a variety of service and consulting companies, most recently as CFO of PharmaNet Development Group. He also served as CEO of Palladium Group, a global leader in corporate performance management software and consulting; CFO and CEO of CMGI, the internet holding company, for which he was named Mass HighTech Turnaround CEO of the Year. Mr. McMillan was also CEO of BMG Direct, the North American music distribution division of Bertelsmann, A.G., and CFO/COO of Renaissance Solutions, a strategic consulting and technology services company. George holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Stanford University, a Doctor of Law from Harvard Law School and a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

Mr. Kent Thoelke

Chief Innovation Officer
Mr. Kent Thoelke is Chief Innovation Officer. He previously served as Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at PRA Health Sciences where he provided corporate oversight and strategy for Scientific & Medical Affairs, Pharmacovigilance & Patient Safety, Therapeutic Centers of Excellence, Real World Data, Patient Access & Experience, Digital Health & Virtual Trials, and their integration into operational delivery. Mr Thoelke is an industry pioneer in the application of mobile first strategies, which integrate clinical trials and provide access directly to patients in both virtual and hybrid-virtual models. Mr. Thoelke emphasises leveraging real world data, social insights, and patient connectivity to advance global drug development. With more than 25 years of experience in the global drug development, diagnostic, and device industry and experience in 40+ countries, Mr. Thoelke understands the global drug development environment and maintains established relationships with international therapeutic experts in several indications. Mr. Thoelke has lectured on his experience in the current landscape of clinical trial recruitment and drug development timelines. Mr. Thoelke actively pursues novel technologies and strategies to drive a more evidence-based clinical drug development paradigm. A leader in the field of medical informatics, Mr Thoelke leverages data to maximise patient engagement by selecting high-performing sites to minimise overall drug development timelines.

Mr. Diarmaid Cunningham

Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel & Company Secretary

Mr. Diarmaid Cunningham is Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel, Executive Vice President and Company Secretary. 

Mr. Cunningham joined the Company as General Counsel in November 2009.  From 2009 until 2013, Mr. Cunningham was based in the Company’s global headquarters in Dublin.  In 2013, Mr. Cunningham was seconded to the Company’s US headquarters in Pennsylvania and that secondment ended in 2018 when Mr. Cunningham returned to Dublin.

In July 2016, Mr. Cunningham’s role expanded to include Chief Administrative Officer in addition to General Counsel. This expansion of his role means Mr. Cunningham has responsibility to the Company’s Quality Assurance, Client Contracts Services, Facilities and Procurement groups in addition to his responsibility for the Company’s Legal group.

Mr. Cunningham graduated with a Bachelor of Business and Legal Studies from University College Dublin in 1997, qualified as a lawyer in 2001 and completed the Stanford Executive Program at Stanford University in California in 2015.  Mr. Cunningham served as Secretary to the Board of the Association of Clinical Research Organizations (ACRO) in 2013 and 2014 and 2020 and has been appointed again for 2021. ACRO represents the CRO industry globally to key stakeholders including pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies, regulators, legislators and patient groups.

Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Cunningham spent 10 years with A&L Goodbody, one of Ireland's premier corporate law firms.

In January 2021, Mr. Cunningham was appointed as a non-executive director of the Irish charity The Jack & Jill Foundation.

Mr. Tom O'Leary

Chief Information Officer
Mr. O'Leary is ICON's Chief Information officer previous to this he held the position of President of ICON Central Laboratories. Mr. O'Leary joined the company in Feb-2001 as Manager of Data management in Dublin, Mr. O'Leary subsequently went on to set-up ICON's process improvement initiative "IMPROVE" and returned to Data Management to become EU VP of Data Management before becoming Global Head of Data Management in 2006. From 1994-2001 Mr. O'Leary worked for SmithKline Beecham and later GlaxoSmithKline and held positions in Data Management, Project Management and Resource Management. Mr. O'Leary is a graduate of Kingston University in Surrey and a Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Mr. O'Leary holds a Degree in Medicinal Chemistry and a Masters in Data Management.

Mr. Joe Cronin

Chief Human Resources Officer
Mr. Joe Cronin is Chief Human Resources Officer, responsible for designing and implementing people practices and building organisational leadership and culture that enable ICON to execute its strategy. Mr. Cronin joined ICON in 2014. Mr. Cronin has almost 20 years of HR experience in a variety of global industries, including ten years at the Kellogg company in a number of regional and global HR leadership roles. Mr. Cronin also spent time early in his career with the General Motors (GM) Corporation and the Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC). Mr. Cronin has a Bachelor of Business degree with a major in Human Resources, from the University of Limerick.

Mr. Simon Holmes

Head of Corporate Development and Integration Management Office Lead
Mr. Simon Holmes leads ICON’s M&A strategy from target identification to deal close and in his time at ICON has led the acquisition of over 20 companies including the acquisition of PRA Health Sciences. A member of ICON’s Leadership Team he is also involved in strategy development and business planning. Mr. Holmes joined ICON in 2005 originally as VP of Marketing and Market Development and took responsibility for Corporate Development in 2006. Between 2013 and 2017 he also had responsibility for ICON’s Investor Relations functions. Prior to joining ICON, Mr. Holmes held a number of senior roles within “Blue Chip” organisations in the IT Services and Telecommunications sectors, including Cable and Wireless, Logica  and Microsoft. Mr. Holmes has an MBA from Smurfit Business school and is a graduate of Cambridge University and the University of East Anglia.

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