Executive Director

The Executive Director is responsible for the day-to-day management of IHI and manages the Programme Office. The post is currently held by Dr Pierre Meulien.

Dr Pierre Meulien is Executive Director of the Innovative Health Initiative (IHI), a partnership between the European Union and Europe’s health-related industries.

Dr Meulien has decades of experience in the life science sector, having worked in both the public and private sectors and on both sides of the Atlantic.

Having acquired a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, he carried out a post-doctoral fellowship at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France. He then moved to the private sector, working with the French biotechnology company Transgene, and Aventis Pasteur (now Sanofi Pasteur).

From 2002 to 2007, Dr Meulien served as founding CEO of the Dublin Molecular Medicine Centre, which linked medical schools and teaching hospitals in Dublin to build a critical mass in molecular medicine and translational research.

From 2007 to 2010, he was Chief Scientific Officer at Genome British Columbia. In 2010 he became President and CEO of Genome Canada, where he raised significant funds for the organisation and oversaw the launch of novel projects and networks in the field of genomics-based technologies.

He returned to Europe in 2015 to take up the post of Executive Director of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), the fore runner of IHI. In that role, he brought new partners into the organisation, including philanthropic organisations and companies. He also oversaw the launch of wide-ranging programmes on big data, neurological conditions and antimicrobial resistance, as well as a rapidly-launched portfolio of projects on COVID diagnostics and treatments, all of which have had global reach.

More recently, he led the organisation throughout the transition from IMI to IHI.

Dr Meulien has Irish nationality.

How is the Executive Director appointed?

Dr Meulien was appointed by the Governing Board of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) on a proposal from the European Commission. Following an initial term of three years, Dr Meulien’s mandate as Executive Director was extended for a period of 4 years, until 15 September 2022, in accordance with Article 8(5) of the IMI2 JU Statutes.

With Dr Meulien's mandate drawing to a close, the search for his successor is now underway. The vacancy notice was published in the Official Journal on 31 January 2022. The initial deadline was 28 February, but this was extended to 14 March 2022. In line with normal practice for senior posts in the EU institutions, the recruitment process is being handled by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Human Resources and Security. The process is detailed in the vacancy notice, and the key steps are summarised below.

  • The European Commission sets up a pre-selection panel, which analyses all applications and identifies the candidates with the best profile. These candidates are invited for an interview with the pre-selection panel. Following the interviews, the pre-selection panel draws up its conclusions and proposes a list of candidates for further interviews with the European Commission’s Consultative Committee on Appointments (CCA).
  • Candidates called for an interview with the CCA are also asked to participate in a full-day assessment centre run by external recruitment consultants. On the basis of the interview and results of the assessment centre report, the CCA establishes a shortlist.
  • Candidates on this CCA shortlist are then interviewed by the relevant Member(s) of the European Commission.
  • Following these interviews, the European Commission adopts a shortlist of the most suitable candidates and sends it to the IHI Governing Board.
  • The IHI Governing Board may decide to interview the candidates themselves before appointing the new IHI Executive Director.