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 Chairman 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 Chairman 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. Murray is also a member of the advisory Board of UCD Smurfit Business School.
Dr. Steve Cutler
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. Rónán Murphy
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. 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 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 a number of 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.
Mr. Murphy is presently Chairman of Greencoat Renewables PLC and a Non-Executive Director of Davy Stockbrokers. Mr. Murphy currently serves as a council member of the ESRI and as Chair of Business in the Community Ireland. 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.
Dr. John Climax
Dr. John Climax, one of the ICON's co-founders, served as Chairman of the Board of ICON plc from November 2002 to December 2009 and as 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 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 Chairman of DS Biopharma and CEO of Afimmune, both of which are private companies.
Prof. William Hall
Professor William Hall has served as a non-executive director of ICON plc since February 2013.
He 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. Professor Hall also has served as Consultant to the Minister of Health and Children in the Republic of Ireland, providing input on a range of topics including influenza pandemic preparedness, SARS, 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 Non-Executive Director of Evofem Biosciences, San Diego, a Board member of The Atlantic Philanthropies and is a co-founder of the Global Virus Network.
Ms. Mary Pendergast
Ms. 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 organizations, 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.
Prof. Hugh Brady
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 also 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 program that included significant 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.
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 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 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, chairman of the governing body of the Technological University Dublin, chairman of the Technological University Dublin Foundation and chairman of the governing authority of University College Dublin.
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.
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 and IPB Insurance CLG. Ms. Garahy’s previous executive roles include founder and managing director 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 a Non-Executive Director of Kerry Group plc and 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.
Ms. Julie O'Neill
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. and ILC Dover and is also on 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. Ms. O'Neill is also a member of the Strategy Committee of the State Claims Agency.
Mr. Colin Shannon
Mr. Colin Shannon previously served as PRA's President and Chief Executive Officer and was a director of the Company since 2010. He was also the Chairman of the Board of Directors at PRA Health Sciences. Mr. Shannon joined PRA in 2007, serving first as President and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining PRA Health Sciences, he was Executive Vice President, Global Clinical Operations at Pharmaceutical Product Development, Inc. (now known as Pharmaceutical Product Development LLC) or PPD. During his 12 year tenure with PPD, he held various leadership roles, including Chief Operating Officer for its European division and Chief Financial and Administration Officer for Europe and the Pacific Rim. Prior to joining PPD, Mr. Shannon had more than 15 years of experience in a variety of financial and accounting positions in the utility and multimedia industries. Mr. Shannon earned his M.B.A. from London's City University and is a fellow member of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants.
Dr. Linda Grais
Dr. Linda Grais was previously a member of the PRA Health Sciences board since October 2015. 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 Zosana Pharma Company and Arca Biopharma, Inc. and sits on the compensation and audit committees of Arca Biopharma, Inc. Dr. Grais received a B.A. from Yale University, an M.D. from Yale Medical School and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.
Mr. Diarmaid Cunningham
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.