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, Dr. P.H.


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 been Rho’s CEO since 2011. After cutting her teeth in clinical research as a Data Processor at Rho in 1991, Dr. Helms Reece spent time at both AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline before returning to Rho as a Biostatistician and eventual CEO. Dr. Helms Reece enjoys supporting Durham and North Carolina’s public schools. She is an active member of the Board of the Durham Public School Foundation, including service as co-Chair for the Expanding Digital Equity…

Tara Gladwell, M.B.A.

Chief Operating Officer

As Rho’s Chief Operating Officer, 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, her expertise…

Jack Modell, M.D.

Chief Medical Officer

A board-certified psychiatrist with nearly 40 years of experience in clinical research, Dr. Jack Modell has spent a considerable amount of time within both the academia and pharmaceutical/CRO sides of the industry. Pairing his 20 years of teaching, providing patient care, and conducting clinical research with 19 years of clinical drug development experience – proof of concept through market support, medical affairs, successful NDA filings, medical governance, drug safety, compliance, and management – it’s easy to see why Dr. Modell has received several awards and honors for both research and clinical care. While there are few therapeutic areas in which…

Kevin Barber, Ph.D.

Vice President, Regulatory Strategy & Submissions

Combining extensive strategic leadership, scientific knowledge, and regulatory expertise, Dr. Kevin Barber supports Rho’s clientele in the development and execution of integrated regulatory strategies and clinical development plans for drugs, biologics, and medical devices. With close to 25 years of experience in regulatory affairs and product development, Dr. Barber is a regulatory expert across all phases from preclinical through product launch and post-approval life cycle management. His significant experience moderating regulatory authority meetings and preparing and filing regulatory submissions includes more than 45 US INDs and more than 40 global marketing applications. Throughout his career, Dr. Barber has participated in…

Hampton Corley

Vice President, Business Development

With over 25 years of experience as a business leader in the pharmaceutical development and technology industry, Hampton Corley brings to Rho his proven track record of sales performance in high-paced, growth-oriented organizations. Prior to joining Rho, Mr. Corley has served as the Chief Revenue Officer, Chief Commercial Officer, and Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Business Development for various clinical research and healthcare technology companies. He’s most certainly a man of many hats, but growth is the one that never comes off. Throughout his career, Mr. Corley has excelled at increasing sales in a variety of strategies. From…

Matt Healy

Vice President, Clinical Operations

Matt Healy holds leadership roles across the Clinical Operations, Project Management and Pharmacovigilance functional areas at Rho.  Mr. Healy has extensive expertise in strategy development and management of complex North American and global CNS centered trials. Throughout his career, Mr. Healy has led or supported the execution of various Phase 2 through 4 programs focused on the following indications; Alzheimer’s Disease, Vascular Dementia, Migraine, Late-Life Depression, Geriatric Schizophrenia and Traumatic Brain injury. In association with these indications, Mr. Healy is experienced in the administration and interpretation of cognitive screening and assessment measures for these populations. Mr. Healy received his undergraduate…

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, 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

Chief Financial Officer

Mark Ubert serves as Rho’s Chief Financial Officer 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

Vice President, Regulatory Strategy & Biometrics

Joining the team in 2007, Rob Woolson brings 20 years of experience as an applied statistician to his current role as Rho’s Vice President of  Regulatory Strategy & Biometrics. Mr. Woolson 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. Much of Mr. Woolson’s work has focused on psychiatry-related product development, with an…

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, 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, Ph.D.

Associate Vice President, Federal Research Science

Conducting pediatric and rare disease studies at Rho for more than 20 years, Karen Kesler has provided oversight and full management support for over 10 rare disease studies. She has also directed several studies requiring the oversight of data safety monitoring boards and data monitoring committees. Beginning as a Statistician and later a Lead Investigator, Dr. Kesler climbed the ranks to lead the Coordinating Center for the Comprehensive Sickle Cell Centers as the Primary Investigator, where she helped design highly complex trials, including multi-therapeutic, adaptive design, and registry studies. Funded by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, this group…

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

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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