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Innovative Health Initiative launches search for next Executive Director

IHI seeks an ‘outstanding and dynamic professional’ with top leadership, scientific and people skills to take on the role of Executive Director of the public-private partnership (PPP).

31 January 2022
Woman typing. Image by Undrey via Shutterstock

Update of 24 February: the deadline for applications has been extended and is now 14 March 2022.

The search for the next IHI Executive Director has officially begun, and candidates have until midday on 28 February 14 March to submit their application. The successful candidate will be expected to take up their duties in mid-September 2022, when the mandate of the current director, Dr Pierre Meulien, comes to an end.

The ideal candidate

The ideal candidate would be an ‘outstanding and dynamic professional’ with a strong track record as a leader, manager and communicator. They should have the capacity to develop a forward-looking vision, identify strategies, set priorities and implement the organisation’s objectives.

Among other things, the job requires an excellent understanding of research and innovation in health sectors (e.g. pharma, medtech, biotech, digital), as well as experience in collaboration between different stakeholders in health research and the management of research funds. The role also requires someone with a sense of responsibility, initiative and the ability to act with tact, political sensitivity and diplomacy.

Applications from female candidates are particularly encouraged, as are applications that could contribute towards greater diversity and geographical balance in senior positions in the institutions.


The Executive Director will have a central role in running IHI. On one level, they will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the organisation, establishing and managing the administrative, operational and financial measures necessary for its proper operation. They will also be tasked with appointing and managing the Programme Office staff, and overseeing the production and implementation of formal annual work plans and budgets. At the same time, they will be expected to participate in the strategic and policy debate about the joint undertaking as the world-leading PPP in life science research and innovation.

Another key element of the new director’s job will be working closely with the PPP’s governance bodies, as well as with all stakeholders involved in health, notably citizens including patients, health care professionals, providers, payers and regulators.

Finally, the director will be responsible for the management of projects launched under IHI’s predecessor, the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI).

The process

In line with normal practice for senior posts in the EU institutions, the recruitment process for the new Executive Director is being handled by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Human Resources and Security. The process involves an assessment of all applications and, for the most promising candidates, interviews and a day at a management assessment centre.

The European Commission will use the results of this exercise to draw up a shortlist, which will be passed to the Governing Board of the Joint Undertaking for a final decision.