Executive Director

The Executive Director is responsible for the day-to-day management of IHI and the Programme Office.

Meet IHI's next Executive Director - Dr Niklas Blomberg

In June 2023, IHI announced that the organisation's next Executive Director will be Dr Niklas Blomberg. Dr Blomberg has worked in both research and leadership roles in Europe's life sciences sector, and is currently Director of ELIXIR, the life sciences data infrastructure. He will take up his duties at IHI in mid-January 2024.


Hugh Laverty - IHI Acting Executive Director 

Headshot of Hugh Laverty
Dr Hugh Laverty

The Governing Board appointed Dr Hugh Laverty as acting Executive Director until Dr Blomberg takes up his duties in mid-January 2024.

Dr Laverty joined the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI, the fore-runner of IHI) in 2011 as a Senior Scientific Project Manager. In that role, he managed specific projects and oversaw IMI’s engagement with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

In 2015, he became Head of Scientific Operations at IMI, leading a team of scientific and financial officers responsible for the operational activities of the organisation. In that role, Dr Laverty is responsible for the overall planning, management and monitoring of calls for proposals and evaluations leading to projects/grant agreements, as well as the management of the projects themselves.

Dr Laverty played a key role in managing the transition from IMI to IHI.

Before joining IMI, Dr Laverty worked as Industry Programme Manager at the Centre for Drug Safety Sciences at the University of Liverpool, UK. He also has extensive experience in the biotech sector, having spent nearly 10 years working in an SME identifying and developing recombinant proteins as novel therapeutics for the prevention of dermal scarring.

Trained as a molecular biologist, he has a PhD in gene cloning and developmental biology with an interest in a wide range of scientific areas and research questions.

Dr Laverty has Irish nationality.

The recruitment of the new Executive Director

In line with normal practice for senior posts in the EU institutions, the recruitment of the new IHI Executive Director was handled by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Human Resources and Security. 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. 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.

The previous IHI Executive Director

Dr Pierre Meulien held the post of Executive Director of IMI, and subsequently IHI, from September 2015 to September 2022.