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 a global organization of more than 500 people striving to make Rho’s vision a reality.

Company Leadership

Laura Helms Reece, Dr. P.H.

Chief Executive Officer

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 over 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 21 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…

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.

J. Marc Pipas, M.D.

Senior Medical Director

Dr. Pipas has extensive clinical, research, and leadership expertise built on a long and successful career in clinical oncology at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center/Norris Cotton Cancer Center, an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center.  During his academic career, Dr Pipas led the GI Clinical Oncology Group for >10 years, served as Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Director, and was Medical Director for the Office of Clinical Research in the Cancer Center. He has more than 15 years’ experience as a member of Human Subject Protection and Data Monitoring Boards. He has 40 scientific papers and >60 abstracts to his credit and received numerous nominations and awards…

Kevin Barber, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President, Regulatory Strategy & Submissions

Kevin Barber, PhD, RAC, PMP, serves as Rho’s Senior Vice President of Regulatory Strategy & Submissions, providing extensive strategic leadership, scientific knowledge, and regulatory expertise to support Rho’s clientele in the development and execution of integrated regulatory strategies and clinical development plans for drugs, biologics, and medical devices. Dr. Barber has close to 25 years of experience in regulatory affairs and product development across all phases, from preclinical through product launch and post-approval life cycle management.  Dr. Barber holds a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University and prior to joining Rho, he served in leadership positions, including Senior Director…

Matt Healy

Senior Vice President, Global 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…

Peter Schmidt, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President, Government Partnerships

As Senior Vice President, Government Partnerships, Dr. Schmidt provides strategic and scientific leadership to Rho’s Federal Systems Division, helping to build on the Rho’s long history of pioneering research in the federal arena. As a neuroscientist, Dr. Schmidt brings a wealth of experience in biomedical research having contributed as an inventor, principal investigator, and statistician across diverse domains. Prior to joining Rho, he oversaw basic, translational, and clinical research on the central nervous system (CNS) in his role as Vice Dean at East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine. During his long tenure at the National Parkinson Foundation, Dr. Schmidt…

Rob Woolson

Senior Vice President, Regulatory Strategy, Biometrics & Technology

Rob Woolson serves as Rho’s Senior Vice President of Regulatory Strategy, Biometrics, & Technology. 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…

Jamie Hahn

Vice President, Marketing & Brand Strategy

Jamie Hahn serves as Rho’s Vice President for Marketing & Brand Strategy with responsibility for strategic brand management and oversight of global 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…

Kay Lowery

Vice President, Global Human Resources & Legal

Kay Lowery is a nationally certified Human Resources professional and currently serves as Rho’s Vice President, Global 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…

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…

Shann Williams

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…

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…

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