Board of Directors

Mr. Ciaran Murray


Mr. Ciaran Murray graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from University College Dublin in 1982. Mr. Murray subsequently qualified as a chartered accountant with PwC. Following qualification, Mr. Murray gained extensive global experience working as an executive in the fast moving consumer goods and technology sectors in Ireland, Italy, the UK and the US.

Mr. Murray has been the Chair of ICON plc since March 2017. Mr. Murray served as Chief Executive Officer from October 2011 until March 2017 and was Chief Financial Officer from joining ICON plc in 2005 until his appointment as Chief Executive Officer in 2011.

During his time with ICON plc, Mr. Murray was recognized for his leadership of ICON and the CRO industry. Mr. Murray served as Chair of the Association of Clinical Research Organizations (ACRO) which represents the CRO industry globally. In addition, Mr. Murray was named as a leader in CRO Innovation by PharmaVOICE100, a listing of the most influential people in the bio pharma industry.

University College Dublin awarded Mr. Murray an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws in 2013 for his support of third level research and innovation in Ireland. In 2018, the Royal Dublin Society awarded Mr. Murray the RDS Gold Medal for Enterprise for making an exceptional impact on Irish industry and commerce. Mr. Murray is also a member of the advisory Board of UCD Smurfit Business School.

Independent Director
Chairman of the Board

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 of 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. Rónán Murphy

Non-Executive Director

Mr. Rónán Murphy has served as a Non-Executive Director of ICON plc since October 2016. He was appointed as Lead Independent Director in January 2019. 

Mr. Murphy is the former Senior Partner of PwC Ireland. He 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 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.

Mr. Murphy is presently Chair of Greencoat Renewables PLC. Mr. Murphy previously served as a council member of the ESRI, as Chair of Business in the Community Ireland and as a Non-Executive Director of Davy Stockbrokers. He is also 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.

Independent Director
Lead Director

Dr. John Climax

Non-Executive Director

Dr. John Climax, one of the ICON's co-founders, served as Chair of the Board of ICON plc from November 2002 to December 2009 and as Chief Executive Officer from June 1990 to October 2002. Since January 2010 he has held a position as a Non-Executive Director of ICON plc. Dr. Climax has over 30 years of experience in the clinical research industry.

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 and an honorary professorship at the National University of Singapore. He is currently Executive Chair of DS Biopharma and CEO of Afimmune, both of which are private companies.

Independent Director

Mr. Eugene McCague

Non-Executive Director

Mr. Eugene McCague was appointed as a Non-Executive Director of ICON plc in 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 Chair 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 the Irish branch of AON Insurance and he also serves as Chair of Ibec, Ireland’s leading business representative association. Mr. McCague’s previous board roles include the Health Service Executive, the Irish state body which administers public health service in Ireland, Chair of the governing body of the Dublin Institute of Technology, Chair of the Dublin Institute of Technology Foundation and Chair of the governing authority of University College Dublin and director of Fly Leasing Limited. 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.

Independent Director

Ms. Joan Garahy

Non-Executive Director

Ms. Joan Garahy was appointed as a Non-Executive Director of ICON plc in November 2017.

Ms. Garahy is a Non-Executive Director of Irish Residential Properties REIT plc, IPB Insurance CLG and UNICEF Ireland. Ms. Garahy’s previous executive roles include founder and CEO of ClearView Investment & Pensions Limited, a financial advisory company, 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 Senior Independent Non-Executive Director of Kerry Group plc, a Non-Executive Director of Harvest Financial Services Ltd and a Non-Executive Director at Galway University Foundation and The Irish Chamber Orchestra.

Ms. Garahy is a Qualified Financial Advisor, she holds a Bachelor of Science degree from University College Galway, a Master of Science from University College Dublin and a Diploma in Accounting & Finance from ACCA.

Independent Director

Ms. Julie O'Neill

Non-Executive Director

Ms. Julie O’Neill has served as a Non-Executive Director of ICON plc since July 2019.

Ms. O’Neill was formerly Executive Vice President, Global Operations of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where she was responsible for global manufacturing operations and expanding and improving supply chain and quality operations in the US, Europe, and Asia. Before joining Alexion, Ms. O’Neill was Vice President of Operations and General Manager for Ireland at Gilead Sciences and earlier in her career, Ms. O'Neill held leadership positions in operations, manufacturing and quality functions at Burnil Pharmacies and Helsinn Birex Pharmaceuticals.

Ms. O’Neill serves as a Board Member of DBV Technologies, Hookipa Pharma Inc., ILC Dover, Achilles Therapeutics plc and Advancion (formerly Angus Chemical Company). She also chairs the board of Ireland’s National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training.

Ms. O’Neill holds a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from Trinity College Dublin, a Masters of Business Administration from University College Dublin and is a Chartered Director of The Institute of Directors in Ireland. 

Independent Director

Dr. Linda Grais

Non-Executive Director

Dr. Linda Grais has served as a Non-Executive Director of ICON plc since July 2021 having previously served as a member of the PRA Health Sciences board from October 2015 to July 2021. Dr. Grais served as a member of the board of directors of Ocera Therapeutics, Inc. from January 2008 through December 2017 and as President and Chief Executive Officer of Ocera Therapeutics, Inc. from June 2012 to December 2017. Prior to her employment by Ocera, Dr. Grais served as a managing member at InterWest Partners, a venture capital firm from May 2005 until February 2011. From July 1998 to July 2003, Dr. Grais was a founder and executive vice president of SGX Pharmaceuticals Inc., a drug discovery company focusing on new treatments for cancer. Prior to that, she was a corporate attorney at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where she practiced in such areas as venture financings, public offerings and strategic partnerships. Before practicing law, Dr. Grais worked as an assistant clinical professor of Internal Medicine and Critical Care at the University of California, San Francisco. She currently serves on the boards of directors of Corvus Pharmaceuticals and Arca Biopharma, Inc. and sits on the compensation and audit committees of Arca Biopharma, Inc. and the audit committee of Corvus Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Grais received a B.A. from Yale University, an M.D. from Yale Medical School and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.

Independent Director

Mr. Diarmaid Cunningham

Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel & Company Secretary

Mr. Diarmaid Cunningham is Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel 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 which added responsibility for the Company’s Quality Assurance, Client Contracts Services, Facilities and Procurement groups in addition to his responsibility for the Company’s Legal group. In 2023, Symphony Health (ICON's data business) moved to report to Mr. Cunningham and was also added to his 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, 2014, 2020 and 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.

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