The US-based Association of Clinical Research Organizations (ACRO) has named Josef von Rickenbach, chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Parexel International, as the association’s chairman for 2013.

ACRO’s board of directors elected Ciaran Murray, CEO of Icon, as 2013 vice chairman, as well as the following officers: Diarmaid Cunningham, general counsel at Icon, as secretary; and James Winschel, chief financial officer of Parexel, as treasurer.

Von Rickenbach is a founding board member of ACRO and this is his second term as chairman of the association (he previously served in 2005). Von Rickenbach set up Parexel with organic chemist Anne Sayigh in 1982 and has led the company since then.   

“As incoming chairman, I look forward to continuing the great momentum initiated by my predecessor to help ACRO and its members build and strengthen public understanding and confidence in clinical research,” he commented.

“Equally, I welcome the opportunity to collaborate with the association’s global stakeholders to promote the strategic value of clinical outsourcing, drive innovation in the drug development process and ensure the safe and ethical development of new medicines and treatments,” von Rickenbach added.

ACRO’s chairman for 2012 was Jeffrey McMullen, president and CEO of PharmaNet/i3, the clinical segment of inVentiv Health.

Data protection committee

The association also announced the formation of a Global Data Protection and Privacy Committee, chaired by Uwe Fiedler, global privacy officer at Parexel.

The new committee is in recognition of “the growing need to balance the free flow of research data with individual privacy concerns”, ACRO noted.

With an increasing emphasis on the use of ‘big data’ in research, “privacy continues to be an area of focus for global CROs operating in Europe, the United States and other regions”, commented Doug Peddicord, ACRO’s executive director.

The Global Protection and Privacy Committee takes its place alongside other permanent ACRO committees focused on regulatory and scientific affairs, research ethics, legal and government affairs, and communications.