Rhonda Henry

President, Emmes BioPharma

Why I joined Emmes

I had known Christine (Dingivan) at PPD, a large CRO, so when she reached out to ask me about this opportunity, I was very interested and intrigued. I soon reached the conclusion that the opportunity to help build our biopharma group was just too exciting to pass up! Emmes has such a great reputation in the public sector, and that will be invaluable as we grow our work with new pharmaceutical and biotech clients.

How I chose my career

After getting my nursing degree, I worked at a regional medical center, and everything I did related to bedside care. My role in being a patient advocate transferred perfectly to clinical research; both nursing and research help patients in different ways. Then, as I grew my career in clinical research, I was able to develop skills I didn’t even know I had – operational, strategic and business.

A career highlight

One that stands out is being selected as a member of the first class of PPD’s Global Leadership Program in 2004. This leadership training was a huge corporate investment and so valuable for me. Twenty-four people were chosen, and at the time there were about 11,000 employees.

My background

I began as a nurse at the New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, N.C., followed by 30 years at PPD. After starting as clinical research associate, I was promoted into various project management positions before being named director of hematology/oncology. I then had three different vice president jobs, including most recently VP of patient centered trials. Our team’s focus included expanding patient recruitment and retention and improving the overall patient experience.

Something I’m most proud of

The PharmaVOICE 100 list included me as one of its most inspiring people working in the life-sciences industry in 2020. That was such an honor.

A bit about me

One of my biggest achievements has been having a great career and raising a wonderful family. I am truly blessed to have a supportive husband, who is also my best friend. Together, we have raised three wonderful children and celebrated the birth of our first grandchild in 2020. I love boating and travel. I’m also on the board of The Carousel Center, which provides child advocacy services for victims of abuse and helps children and their family members heal.


B.S., nursing, University of North Carolina-Wilmington