Emer Cooke becomes first female head of EMA

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Emer Cooke began her role as executive director of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on 16 November.

Cooke, an Irish national, is the first woman to lead the agency. She was nominated for the position on 25 June and has a renewable, five-year mandate.

Emer Cooke.Emer Cooke.

Under Cooke, the EMA will prioritize pandemic response efforts, including supporting the development and approval of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. The agency also will lead efforts to combat antibiotic resistance and promote digitization of drug discovery and development.

Cooke has 30 years of experience in international regulatory roles, including 18 years of leadership roles and work for the pharmaceutical unit of the European Commission and the EMA. She most recently served as the director of regulation and prequalification department at the World Health Organization, where she led health technologies regulation efforts.

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