Investor Relations

News Release

Two PPD Senior Leaders Recognized for Life Sciences Industry Leadership

Named to PharmaVOICE 100 list of most inspiring leaders

WILMINGTON, N.C. (Aug. 14, 2020) – PPD, Inc. (Nasdaq:PPD) today announced that two PPD senior leaders have been named to the 2020 PharmaVOICE 100 list of the most inspiring people in the life sciences industry: Karen Kaucic, M.D., chief medical officer of PPD and president of Evidera, and Rhonda Henry, vice president of patient-centered trials.

Karen Kaucic, M.D., chief medical officer of PPD and president of Evidera. (Photo: Business Wire)

Karen Kaucic, M.D., chief medical officer of PPD and president of Evidera.

As PPD’s CMO, Kaucic is responsible for all aspects of human safety in PPD’s clinical trial programs and serves as the co-chair of the company’s COVID-19 pandemic response committee. In her role as president of Evidera, a PPD business, she provides strategic direction and operational oversight for functions focused on providing evidence of a therapy or vaccine’s value, effectiveness and safety. In her role, Henry is responsible for developing patient-centered solutions to help people access clinical trials as a possible care or treatment option and make it easier for patients to consider participation. Henry works closely with patients, caregivers, site staff, advocacy organizations and industry leaders to improve the clinical trial experience for all involved.

Published by PharmaVOICE magazine, the PharmaVOICE 100 is an annual compilation of inspirational and innovative individuals recognized for their positive contributions to the life sciences industry. Profiles of Kaucic and Henry appear in the PharmaVOICE 100 issue.

The honor recognizes Kaucic’s balanced leadership approach, her ability to inspire colleagues, her influence as a corporate leader, and her positive impact on the industry through her actions.

Kaucic is a pediatric oncologist by training. Earlier in her career, she was a staff pediatric oncologist and senior investigator at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., where she established the institution’s first hematopoietic stem cell transplantation laboratory, served as an attending physician in oncology and conducted NIH-funded research in signal transduction in human neuroectodermal tumors. Prior to joining PPD, Kaucic held positions of increasing responsibility in oncology clinical development at MedImmune AstraZeneca.

“Karen’s passion for rare diseases and creating innovative solutions to address the unique challenges associated with those indications drove her to inspire others with that same interest to create PPD’s Rare Disease and Pediatric Center of Excellence,” said William Sharbaugh, chief operating officer of PPD. “Karen is a strong mentor and leader, and she is always the first to offer her support to aspiring executives from across the company. Her ability to tap into her deep expertise across multiple facets of the CRO industry, from clinical trial development to patient-centric solutions to real-world evidence generation, has helped catapult a number of up-and-coming leaders across the PPD enterprise.”

Kaucic’s consistent and reliable leadership made her a natural choice to lead Evidera when the position of president became available. Her tenure, experience and success across various functional areas of PPD, paired with her medical background, positioned her to step into this role. In the past two years, she successfully integrated an acquisition that expanded the business’ ability to offer enhanced technology and real-world data solutions. She was also instrumental in negotiating collaborations with companies in Asia to expand Evidera’s capability to support studies in that quickly growing market.

As the co-chair of the PPD pandemic response committee, Kaucic is instrumental in shaping and communicating company policy to employees, clients and local health authorities in our communities and advising her peers in the c-suite. She steadfastly focuses on employee health and safety, business continuity and public health and safety impacts, providing a roadmap to help navigate challenges along the way.

Rhonda Henry, vice president of patient-centered trials. (Photo: Business Wire)

Rhonda Henry, vice president of patient-centered trials. 

PharmaVOICE 100 also acknowledges Henry’s selflessness and her ability to motivate and grow leaders – traits that have enabled her to foster advancements within PPD and the life science industry.

“As a breast cancer survivor, Rhonda is deeply passionate about creating greater access to clinical trials and removing potential barriers to participation,” said Nik Morton, senior vice president, digital services, at PPD. “This passion overflows to her colleagues. When it comes to improving patient access to, and experience within, clinical trials, Rhonda makes it her business to understand every single asset or capability that exists across PPD and the broader industry of partners and vendors that PPD could or should collaborate with – if that collaboration can improve the trial conduct and patient experience.”

Henry’s true passion is connecting patients and their families with additional treatment and care options as close to home as possible. She believes that no patient should be forced to decide between spending time with family or traveling significant distances to access promising care. She focuses on enhancing company-wide awareness and advocacy for patient-focused drug development and on building bridges with all stakeholder groups to share information and best practices and address common challenges.

Henry’s commitment to others extends beyond the office, as she serves on the board of two non-profit organizations: The Carousel Center, a nationally accredited child advocacy center supporting children and family members who are victims of abuse, and Flunk Cancer, dedicated to supporting teachers and their families struggling with a cancer diagnosis. She also serves as a mentor for several of her colleagues, as well as a resource for undergraduates in the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s clinical research field of study.

About PPD

PPD is a leading global contract research organization providing comprehensive, integrated drug development, laboratory and lifecycle management services. Our customers include pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, academic and government organizations. With offices in 46 countries and more than 24,000 professionals worldwide, PPD applies innovative technologies, therapeutic expertise and a firm commitment to quality to help customers bend the cost and time curve of drug development and optimize value in delivering life-changing therapies to improve health. For more information, visit

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Holly Devine
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