Our Leadership

Our leaders drive success

Dynamic leadership helps guide our mission at Rho—to improve health, extend life, and enhance quality of life through corporate and research excellence. Our Board of Directors sets a clear vision for the future, and our senior leaders make that vision a reality by setting goals and motivating the workforce to reach them. Together, our leaders guide an organization of more than 300 people striving to make Rho’s vision a reality.

Company Leadership

Laura Helms Reece

Laura Helms Reece, Dr. P.H.

CEO

Recognized as a “Top Businesswoman” by the Triangle Business Journal and a graduate of Harvard Business School’s prestigious Owner/President Management Program, Dr. Laura Helms Reece has overseen commercial operations and business development as Rho’s CEO since 2011. With a combination of strategic vision and business acumen, Dr. Helms Reece has helped seamlessly transition a family-run business into its next generation through a service model expansion that remains true to Rho’s core values and lays the groundwork for a strong and impactful future. Focused on building a business that provides exceptional customer service and is known as a haven for extraordinary…

Tara Gladwell

Tara Gladwell, M.B.A.

Senior Vice President, Operations

As Rho’s Senior Vice President of Operations, Tara Gladwell combines her passion for clinical research and uncompromising drive for excellence to foster a corporate culture that attracts and retains the best talent in the industry. During her almost 20 years at Rho, she has quite literally done it all. From leading full-service trials and NDA submissions to overseeing both Operations and Business Development, Ms. Gladwell has had the unique ability to experience Rho from many different perspectives. Utilizing her strong leadership skills, she continues to inspire growth and carry on Rho’s legacy of devoted customer service and impeccable results. Throughout,…

Matt Healy

Matt Healy

Vice President, Clinical Operations

Matt Healy has over 25 years of clinical research experience, spanning both academia and the CRO industry.  For the last 17 years, Mr. Healy has been focused on supporting the development and management of clinical operations across a variety of global clinical programs within the CRO Industry. He has extensive experience in the implementation of processes and procedures used by the clinical operations teams to successfully manage clinical studies across all stages of development from Phase I through Phase IV. Mr. Healy received his undergraduate degree from the Catholic University of America and his graduate degree in Clinical Rehabilitation and…

Deborah Jones-Hertzog, Ph.D.

Vice President, Technology

As Rho’s VP, Head of Technology, Deborah Jones-Hertzog brings more than 20 years of experience in the healthcare sector, spanning leadership roles across biotechnology, major pharmaceutical, and clinical CRO organizations. With a combination of technical and business leadership, she is able to forge strong partnerships to craft joined-up business and IT strategies that balance innovation with pragmatic operational improvements. Dr. Jones-Hertzog received her undergraduate degree in Chemistry from The University of Bath, her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Emory University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Yale University in computational chemistry. Since joining Rho, Dr. Jones-Hertzog has focused on getting…

Dave Shortino

Dave Shortino, M.B.A.

Vice President, Corporate Services

As the VP of Corporate Services, Dave Shortino provides a breadth of business expertise and guidance to Rho. His keen business sense, innovative thinking, and dedication to Rho make him an important asset to Rho’s leadership. Mr. Shortino received his MBA from Elon College, and with over 20 years of experience establishing and restructuring corporations and then initiating Rho’s Employee Benefits Program, he has brought many forward-thinking contributions to Rho. He is passionate about setting and achieving ambitious goals that will continue to expand Rho’s success and growth. Mr. Shortino strives to make sure every experience is a positive one…

Mark Ubert, M.B.A., CPA

Vice President, Finance

Mark Ubert serves as VP of Finance and provides leadership to several functional areas within the organization. Mr. Ubert brings more than 30 years of experience to Rho, ranging from a career in public accounting and health care to spending the last 25 years in the life sciences industry. Holding various finance leadership roles, improving overall financial performance, enhancing financial processes and procedures, and completing multiple acquisitions make Mr. Ubert a tremendous asset to Rho’s financial team.

Rob Woolson

Rob Woolson

Chief Strategist, Biostatistics & Standards for Regulatory Submissions

Rob Woolson serves as Rho’s Chief Strategist for Regulatory Biostatistics and Data Standards. Mr. Woolson joined Rho in 2007 and has 20 years’ experience as an applied statistician.  He has an extensive background working with small biotech and pharmaceutical companies to successfully bridge and navigate the biometrics, CDISC data standards, and regulatory requirements of drug and biologics development.  He has advised and supported sponsor companies through 12 marketing applications in several therapeutic areas, including playing a vital role in numerous FDA and Advisory Committee meetings. Mr. Woolson brings this experience to his current role providing strategic guidance to sponsor companies…

Jamie Hahn

Associate Vice President, Marketing & Brand Strategy

Jamie Hahn serves as Rho’s Associate Vice President for Marketing & Brand Strategy with responsibility for strategic brand management and oversight of corporate marketing programs and public relations. Ms. Hahn has been with Rho for 15 years and has a breadth of experience across the clinical drug development process, including project management, data management, business development, marketing, and proposals and contracts. Prior to joining Rho, Ms. Hahn worked as an educator in the Virginia public school system and as a curriculum and web developer at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine. In her role at Rho, she brings together…

Phil Holmes

Phil Holmes, Ed.D.

Associate Vice President, Organizational Development & Quality Assurance

Philip Holmes, EdD, serves as Rho’s Associate Vice President, Organizational Development & Quality Assurance. In this role, Dr. Holmes provides corporate leadership and oversight for employee development, learning and performance, corporate communications, and change management.  Prior to joining Rho, he spent 18 years in the public schools systems of New York and North Carolina, serving as an Educator, Principal, and the Executive Director of Professional Learning and Talent Development. Dr. Holmes holds numerous other distinctions, including being a Certified Trainer of the International Institute for Restorative Practices, multiple certifications from Harvard Business School’s Executive Education program, and serving as the…

Karen Kesler

Karen Kesler, Ph.D.

Associate Vice President, Federal Research Science

Dr. Karen Kesler is a gifted statistician, adaptive design expert, and respected leader at Rho and in the clinical research industry. As the Primary Investigator of a large coordinating center funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, she leads a multi-disciplinary team of over 100 people that provides clinical research operations and management support to a portfolio of 79 NIH-sponsored clinical trials and observational studies. This coordinating center supports six clinical research networks in such diverse therapeutic areas as allergy, asthma, immune tolerance, atopic dermatitis, autoimmune disease and organ transplantation. Prior to this center, she has worked…

Kay Lowery

Associate Vice President, Human Resources & Legal

Kay Lowery is a nationally certified Human Resources professional and currently serves as Rho’s Associate Vice President, Human Resources & Legal, providing strategic and tactical HR guidance to leaders and employees. Ms. Lowery has over 20 years of experience in a multitude of industries, including professional sports and entertainment, publication, manufacturing, technology, and HR consulting. Ms. Lowery has extensive experience managing strategic and tactical HR functions for several organizations during the start-up and growth phases, as well as guiding company leaders and employees through a variety of workforce changes. She has served on several boards of directors, including Community Health…

Shann Williams

Shann Williams

Associate Vice President, Federal Operations

Shann Williams leads Rho’s Division of Federal Research. As the director of the NIAID-DAIT Statistical and Clinical Coordinating Center at Rho, she provides oversight to 90+ federally-funded research studies and the 80+ staff members who design and execute those studies. Since joining Rho in 2004, Ms. Williams has served in clinical operations leadership and management roles, overseeing both full-service clinical trials and large federally-funded research networks. The breadth of her functional area expertise – including clinical monitoring, clinical project management, data management, trial master file process ownership, implementation of 21 CFR 11 compliant software systems, quality assurance, and change management…

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