Board of Directors

Mr. Ciaran Murray - Executive Chairman

Ciaran Murray - Executive Chairman

Mr. Ciaran Murray is the Executive Chairman of ICON plc since March 2017, having previously served as Chief Executive Officer from October 2011 to March 2017. He joined ICON as Chief Financial Officer in 2005 and served in that capacity until his appointment as Chief Executive Officer in 2011.

Mr. Murray is an executive with 35 years of leadership experience forged from a career spent operating in global markets in high-growth entrepreneurial companies and blue-chip multi-nationals, including PricewaterhouseCoopers, Kraft Foods, Novell Inc., Northern Foods and Codec Systems.

Mr. Murray has also played a leadership role in advocating for safe, ethical high-quality research through his 2014 Chairmanship of the Association of Clinical Research Organisations (ACRO). ACRO represents the CRO industry globally to key stakeholders including pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies, regulators, legislators and patient groups. In 2014, Mr. Murray was named as a leader in CRO Innovation by PharmaVOICE100, a listing of the most influential people in the biopharma industry.

Mr. Murray graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from University College Dublin and he is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. Mr. Murray was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws from University College Dublin in 2013 for his support of third level research and innovation in Ireland.

Dr. Steve Cutler - Chief Executive Officer

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 to March 2017. Dr. Cutler served as Group President, Clinical Research Services from November 2011 until his appointment as Chief Operating Officer.  Dr. Cutler was appointed to the Board of Directors in November 2015.

Prior to joining ICON, 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. Declan McKeon - Non-Executive Director

Declan McKeon - Non-Executive Director

Mr. Declan McKeon has served as a non-executive director of ICON plc since April 2010 and served as acting Chairman from April 2016 until March 2017.  He has served as Lead Independent Director since March 2017.

Mr. McKeon was a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers from 1986 to 2007. His roles included leadership of the audit and business advisory team for PricewaterhouseCoopers Ireland, membership of the PricewaterhouseCoopers Europe audit and business advisory services executive and market sector leader for consumer and industrial products. Mr. McKeon is a non-executive director of Ryanair plc and GC Aesthetics.

Mr. McKeon holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Masters in Business Studies from University College Dublin and is a Fellow of The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland.





Dr. John Climax - Non-Executive Director

John Climax - Non-Executive Director

Dr. John Climax, one of ICON’s co-founders, served as Chairman of the Board of ICON plc from November 2002 to December 2009, and Chief Executive Officer from June 1990 to October 2002.  From January 2010 he has held a position as a non-executive director.  Dr. Climax has over 25 years of experience in the contract research industry.

Dr. Climax is the Executive Chairman of Dignity Sciences Ltd. Dr. Climax received his primary degree in pharmacy in 1977 from the University of Singapore, his masters in applied pharmacology in 1979 from the University of Wales and his Ph.D. in pharmacology from the National University of Ireland in 1982. He has authored a significant number of papers and presentations, and holds adjunct professorship at the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland.  He is currently Executive Chairman of DS Biopharma and CEO of Afimmune, both of which are private companies.

Dr. Ronan Lambe - Non-Executive Director

Ronan Lambe - Non-Executive Director

Dr. Ronan Lambe, one of ICON’s co-founders, served as Chairman of the Board of ICON plc from June 1990 to November 2002. He has served a non-executive director since January 2008. 

Dr. Lambe has over 30 years of experience in the contract research industry. Dr. Lambe attended the National University of Ireland where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry in 1959, his masters in biochemistry in 1962 and his Ph.D. in pharmacology in 1976.

Prof. Dermot Kelleher - Non-Executive Director

Dermot Kelleher - Non-Executive Director

Professor Dermot Kelleher has served as a non-executive director of ICON plc since May 2008.

Professor Kelleher is currently Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. From 2012 to 2015 he was Vice President (Health) and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London and concurrently Dean of the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine in Singapore from 2012 to 2014. From 2004 to 2012 he was Head of the School of Medicine and Vice Provost for Medical Affairs at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland where he led the development of the Institute of Molecular Medicine and Molecular Medicine Ireland. Professor Kelleher’s research interests have focused on gastrointestinal infectious and inflammatory diseases and over a distinguished thirty year career he has led significant research projects in this field. 

Alongside his notable academic appointments, Professor Kelleher has served as a visiting research scientist with a major pharmaceutical company and has been a founder of a number of biotechnology companies.


Prof. William Hall - Non-Executive Director

William Hall - Non-Executive Director

Professor William Hall has served as a non-executive director of ICON plc since February 2013. 

Professor Hall is a renowned expert in infectious diseases and virology. He currently serves as Distinguished Professor in Hokkaido University in Japan and is Professor Emeritus of Medical Microbiology and the Centre for Research in Infectious Diseases at University College Dublin’s (UCD) School of Medicine and Medical Science. He is also Executive Chairman of the UCD National Virus Reference Laboratory and is a Consultant Microbiologist at St. Vincent’s University Hospital Dublin. Professor Hall also serves as a consultant to the Minister of Heath and Children in the Republic of Ireland, providing input on a range of topics including influenza pandemic preparedness and bioterrorism.

Prior to his tenure at UCD, Professor Hall was Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Medical Virology, Senior Physician and Director of the Clinical Research Centre at the Rockefeller University in New York. He previously served as an Assistant and Associate Professor of Medicine at Cornell University.

Professor Hall is a Board member of The Atlantic Philanthropies and is a co-founder of the Global Virus Network.




Ms. Mary Pendergast- Non-Executive Director

Mary Pendergast- Non-Executive Director

Mary Pendergast has served as a non-executive director of ICON plc since February 2014.

Ms. Pendergast is an expert in the regulatory aspects of drug development and is President of Pendergast Consulting, a consulting firm that advises biopharmaceutical companies, patient groups, professional and advocacy organisations, governments and academic and financial institutions. Prior to founding her own firm, Ms. Pendergast was Executive Vice President of Government Affairs at Elan Corporation plc from 1998 to 2003. Ms. Pendergast also spent more than 18 years at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), serving as Deputy Commissioner and Senior Advisor to the FDA Commissioner and Associate Chief Counsel for Enforcement. 

Ms. Pendergast is also a board member of Impax Laboratories, Inc.


Prof. Hugh Brady - Non-Executive Director

Hugh Brady - Non-Executive Director

Professor Hugh Brady has served as a non-executive director of ICON plc since April 2014.

In September 2015 Professor Brady took up the position of President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol- a member of the UK's Russell Group of elite research-intensive universities. Professor Brady is President Emeritus of University College Dublin (UCD), where he served as President from 2004 until the end of 2013. During his tenure Professor Brady oversaw a major institution-wide transformation programme that included expansion of UCD’s science, engineering and biomedical research capacity, through the development of the O'Brien Centre for Science, Conway Institute for Biomedical Research, UCD Clinical Research Centre, the Dublin Academic Medical Centre and the Ireland East Hospital Group. In addition, he led a major growth in UCD’s international footprint.

A nephrologist by training, Professor Brady was Professor of Medicine and Therapeutics at UCD before being appointed the university’s President. Prior to that, he built a successful career as a physician and biomedical research scientist in the US, spending almost a decade at Harvard University, where he was Associate Professor of Medicine, Director of the Renal Division of the Brockton/West Roxbury VA Medical Center and Consultant Physician at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston. He has an international reputation in the pathogenesis of diabetic kidney disease and renal inflammation.

Professor Brady has held many national and international leadership roles, including Chairman of the Irish Health Research Board and Chairman of the Universitas 21 Network of global research universities. He is also a non-executive director of Kerry Group plc. 

Ronan Murphy- Non-Executive Director

Ronan Murphy- Non-Executive Director

Mr. Ronan Murphy has served as a non-executive director of ICON plc since October 2016.

Mr. Murphy is the former Senior Partner of PwC, Ireland's largest professional services firm with almost 100 partners and employing over 2,000 people. Mr. Murphy was elected Senior Partner in 2007 and was re-elected for a further four year term in 2011.  Following completion of the maximum two terms, Mr. Murphy retired from the firm in June 2015. Mr. Murphy was also a member of the PwC EMEA Leadership Board for a five year period from 2010 to 2015.

Mr. Murphy joined PwC in 1980 and was admitted to the Partnership in 1992. As an Assurance Partner, he served clients across many sectors.  In 1995, Mr. Murphy joined the firm’s leadership team and held a number of operational leadership roles, prior to being appointed as Partner in Charge of the firm's Assurance Practice in 2003, a position he held for four years prior to his appointment as Senior Partner.

In early 2016, Mr. Murphy was appointed as a non-executive director of Davy Stockbrokers, and he chairs their Audit Committee.  He is also a Director of Liberty Insurance's operations in Ireland and also chairs the Audit Committee. Mr. Murphy currently serves as a Board Member of the UCD Michael Smurfit Business School and is a founding Board Member of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Murphy completed a Bachelor of Commerce and Masters in Business Studies at University College Dublin before qualifying as a chartered accountant in 1982.




Eugene McCague - Non-Executive Director

Eugene McCague - Non-Executive Director

Mr. Eugene McCague has served as a non-executive director of ICON plc since October 2017.

Mr. McCague was a corporate partner of Arthur Cox, one of Ireland’s premier law firms, from 1988 until June 2017. During his time with Arthur Cox, Mr. McCague served as both managing partner and chairman of Arthur Cox and also advised a wide range of public and private companies on mainstream corporate work, mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings and corporate governance.

In addition to his distinguished legal career, Mr. McCague also has extensive board experience with commercial, government and educational organizations.  Mr. McCague currently serves on the board of FLY Leasing Limited, an aircraft leasing company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and on the board of the Irish branch of AON Insurance.  He also serves as chairman of the governing authority of University College Dublin.

Mr. McCague’s previous board roles include the Health Service Executive, the Irish state body which administers public health service in Ireland, chairman of the governing body of Dublin Institute of Technology and chairman of the Dublin Institute of Technology Foundation.  Mr. McCague was also president of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce in 2006.

Mr. McCague holds a Bachelor of Civil Law degree and a diploma in European Law from University College Dublin. 

Joan Garahy - Non-Executive Director

Joan Garahy - Non-Executive Director

Ms. Joan Garahy has served as a non-executive director of ICON plc since November 2017.

Ms. Garahy is the managing director of ClearView Investment & Pensions Limited, a financial advisory company.  Ms. Garahy is also a non-executive director of both Kerry Group plc and Irish Residential Properties REIT plc.

Ms. Garahy’s previous executive roles include founder and managing director of HBCL Investment & Pensions Ltd, director of investments at HC Financial Services Group, head of research at the Irish National Pension Reserve Fund, head of research at Hibernian Investment Managers and her equity analyst roles with Goodbody Stockbrokers and NCB Group.

Ms. Garahy was also previously a non-executive director of Galway University Foundation and she is currently a member of the board of The Irish Chamber Orchestra.

Ms. Garahy holds a Bachelor of Science degree from University College Galway and a Master of Science from University College Dublin.

Mr. Diarmaid Cunningham - Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel & Company Secretary

Diarmaid Cunningham - General Counsel & Company Secretary

Mr. Diarmaid Cunningham is Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel, Executive Vice President and Company Secretary. Mr. Cunningham joined ICON as General Counsel in November 2009 and was appointed Company Secretary in October 2011. In July 2016, Mr. Cunningham was appointed as Chief Administrative Officer in addition to his role as General Counsel. 

Mr. Cunningham served as Secretary to the Board of the Association of Clinical Research Organisations (ACRO) in 2013 and 2014. ACRO represents the CRO industry globally to key stakeholders including pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies, regulators, legislators and patient groups. Prior to joining ICON, Mr. Cunningham spent 10 years with A&L Goodbody, one of Ireland's premier corporate law firms.

Mr. Cunningham graduated with a Bachelor of Business and Legal Studies from University College Dublin in 1997 and qualified as a lawyer with A&L Goodbody in 2001.  In 2015, Mr. Cunningham completed the Stanford Executive Program at Stanford University in California.