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Emmes Promotes Three VPs to Officer Positions

Company News

Emmes today announced that three corporate vice presidents have been promoted. Dr. Traci Clemons has been named chief research officer, Marian Ewell is now chief scientific innovation officer, and Jennifer Hester is the company’s chief human resources officer. These are all newly created positions for the company.

According to Dr. Anne Lindblad, president and chief executive officer, “Elevating these roles – research, scientific innovation, and human resources – is a tremendous step forward in our company’s evolution. It’s an endorsement for how far we’ve come as a major player supporting clinical trials and research for a wide range of human health issues. It reflects our growth and diversification across both government and commercial sectors. And finally, it’s a testament to the value of these three outstanding professionals, and the role they’ve played and will continue to play in our success.”

Dr. Traci Clemons, chief research officer, has served as the company’s executive vice president for research units and as principal investigator of the National Eye Institute’s Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2. She also provides leadership and statistical expertise for other contracts, including the Sickle Cell Disease Consortium for the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as well as several studies of ophthalmic diseases sponsored by the National Eye Institute and industry.

She joined Emmes in 1999 as a senior statistician and was later promoted to vice president and then senior vice president. She has led a number of important research studies for both government and commercial clients. In 2017, Dr. Clemons was named executive vice president. Earlier in her career, she was an assistant professor at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Clemons said, “I look forward to helping evolve the structure of our therapeutic and research units. Elevating research to an officer-level position is a great responsibility and honor.”

She added, “This is important and fulfilling because of the diversity represented by these three promotions.”

Dr. Clemons has co-authored more than 100 papers that have been published in a number of scientific journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association. She holds a Ph.D. and an M.S. in biostatistics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and a B.A. in mathematics from the University of West Florida.

Dr. Lindblad noted, “Traci combines excellent science and business acumen with an ability to align company functions with our mission and vision. Traci will set the company’s research and scientific priorities to align with the goals of the organization. She has extensive managerial research and industry experience.”

Dr. Marian Ewell, chief scientific innovation officer, helped to build Emmes’ biostatistics, bioinformatics, and clinical data standards services groups, which now include more than 90 staff members. She promotes new statistical methods with Emmes research projects, and her new role encompasses fostering a culture of innovation throughout the company. She also serves as principal investigator of the Statistical and Data Coordinating Center for the Clinical Research in Infectious Diseases contract with the NIH Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

After serving as a post-doctoral fellow and research assistant at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, she joined Emmes in 1994 as a statistician and was subsequently promoted to senior investigator, vice president and then senior vice president. In 2017, Dr. Ewell was named executive vice president.

According to Dr. Ewell, “Emmes was founded by a statistician, whose vision has resulted in the company’s outstanding reputation for trusted clinical research. But we can’t rest on our laurels, and my priority will be to lead our new Statistical and Scientific Innovation team in extending our expertise and finding opportunities to partner with other organizations.”

In addition to co-authoring numerous scientific papers, Dr. Ewell reviews grant applications for several NIH agencies and served as the Advisory Board chair for the George Mason University Department of Statistics. She earned an Sc.D. degree in biostatistics from Harvard University’s School of Public Health, an M.S. in statistics from the University of Wisconsin, and a B.A. in statistics from Princeton University.

“Emmes maintains our competitive edge in the market through differentiation and continual innovation throughout the organization,” said Dr. Lindblad. “Having Marian in this role ensures we have a competent leader at the helm with a laser focus on keeping Emmes at the cutting edge of our statistical and scientific research.”

Jennifer Hester, chief human resources officer, has been vice president of human resources since 2017 and joined the company in 2006 as its director of human resources. She is responsible for the strategy and leadership of all the programs related to human
resources management and related corporate service operations.

Before joining Emmes, Ms. Hester was manager of human resources at Spirent Communications and, before that, manager of finance and administration at North American Networks.

Ms. Hester commented, “Our human resources team remains focused on continuing to help grow Emmes’ competitive position in the market and ultimately to build our reputation as workplace of choice for prospective and current employees. We continue to grow our employee base at a double-digit rate, and my priority will be to recruit and retain a highly engaged team. I plan to continue to be active in the community and build strong, effective partnerships with local and state organizations supporting innovative, diverse, and active workforce development.”

Ms. Hester is on the board of directors for Montgomery County Workforce Development; serves as vice chair of the board of directors of Rockville Economic Development, Inc.; and participates on the executive committee for Leadership Montgomery. She is also on the board of Girls on the Run in Montgomery County, Maryland. She holds an executive MBA from the University of Maryland, an M.S. in personnel and human resources management from American University, and a B.A. in liberal arts & sciences from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

According to Dr. Lindblad, “As Emmes continues to grow, human resources, talent, benefits, training and facilities are crucial to our success. I have depended on Jennifer over the years to see the future so we do not fall behind supporting our most important asset – our employees. Under Jennifer’s leadership, we have been selected four times as a Washington Post top workplace in the greater DC area, and we’re also a five-time winner of the Alliance for Workplace Excellence Seal of Approval award. ”

About Emmes
Emmes is a leading Contract Research Organization working with both public and private sector organizations. We collaborate with our clients to produce valued, trusted scientific research, and our team members are passionate about making a difference in the quality of human health. Emmes has supported more than a thousand studies across a diverse range of diseases since our formation in 1977. Our research is contributing to a healthier world. For more information, visit the Emmes website at

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