- Global Pharma News & Resources

Syneos Health Names Michelle Keefe as Next Chief Executive Officer

  • Alistair Macdonald to Retire After 20 Years in Variety of Leadership Roles
  • Michael Brooks Named Chief Operating Officer
  • Company Reports First Quarter 2022 Results and Updates Full Year Guidance

MORRISVILLE, N.C., April 29, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Syneos Health® (Nasdaq:SYNH), the only fully integrated biopharmaceutical solutions organization, today announced the appointment of Michelle Keefe as CEO and a member of the Company’s Board of Directors. Keefe, currently President, Medical Affairs and Commercial Solutions, succeeds Alistair Macdonald, who will retire after 20 years at Syneos Health. Macdonald will remain an advisor to Syneos Health through March 2023.

Keefe brings more than 30 years of life sciences industry experience to the role. Since joining Syneos Health in 2017, her leadership has driven the ongoing transformation of the Company’s Commercial business, including its second straight year of double-digit growth. Her successes across the product development continuum include launching Kinetic™, Syneos Health’s modern customer engagement capability, building integrated solutions such as Full-Service Commercial and Medical Affairs, and collaborating to drive growth in Syneos One, the Company’s unique end-to-end offering. Prior to Syneos Health, Keefe served as Global Group President and Chief Development Officer of Publicis Health, responsible for the Contract Sales Organization (CSO), medical affairs and specialty agency functions. Earlier in her career, she spent 20 years at Pfizer, with increasing levels of responsibility culminating as a Regional President and led market development for the Visiting Nurse Service of NY. She currently serves as Executive sponsor of the Syneos Health DE&I Council and sits on the HBA Global Board of Directors. She holds a B.S. in marketing from Seton Hall University.

“Michelle’s focus on customer outcomes is at the center of all that she does, making her the ideal leader to drive the Syneos Health integrated value proposition forward. Her expertise will usher in Syneos Health’s next era as a data- and insights-driven organization, addressing market opportunities with a product development mindset,” said John Dineen, Chair of the Syneos Health Board of Directors. “She is a highly accomplished executive with a strong track record of execution, innovation and customer success. Michelle is well respected and trusted by customers and employees alike, and with the rest of the management team will continue Syneos Health’s momentum well into the future.”

“I am incredibly honored to take on this role and lead Syneos Health and our talented colleagues around the world,” Keefe said. “I want to thank Alistair for his partnership and guidance these past four plus years, and I appreciate the support from the Board. Syneos Health holds a unique market position to maximize benefits to customers while driving enhanced returns for shareholders. I look forward to continuing to build on our successes as we accelerate toward becoming a more intelligent enterprise and impactful healthcare leader.”

Dineen continued, “On behalf of the Board and our approximately 28,000 team members, I want to thank Alistair for his significant contributions and many years of service to Syneos Health. Alistair has successfully driven the execution of many key strategic initiatives and led the Company’s transformation from a traditional contract research organization to a fully integrated biopharmaceutical solutions organization. Today, Syneos Health has an industry-leading, end-to-end solutions portfolio, purpose-built to help customers shorten the distance from lab to life. We wish him all the best in retirement.”

“I am incredibly proud of all we have accomplished to strengthen Syneos Health’s leadership in today’s dynamic and rapidly evolving marketplace,” said Macdonald. “With our integrated value proposition firmly established, differentiating how Syneos Health helps customers accelerate success across the product development continuum, now is the right time for a new leader to continue driving our business forward. I have the utmost confidence in Michelle; she is a proven, collaborative leader with vision, integrity and deep experience across the life sciences industry. I look forward to watching her and the entire organization achieve continued success for years to come.”

Appointment of Michael Brooks as COO

As part of this transition, Michelle Keefe has appointed Michael Brooks to the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer (COO), effective immediately. Brooks will report to Keefe and be responsible for day-to-day operations within Clinical Development, Medical Affairs, and Commercial Solutions with a focus on creating greater customer success through integrated solutions and technology-driven insights across the product development lifecycle.

Brooks currently serves as the Company’s Chief Development Officer and Global Head of Clinical Development Solutions, encompassing clinical pharmacology services, full-service clinical trial and product development capabilities, scientific and therapeutic offerings FSP and hybrid models and digital and mobile health solutions. He has more than 25 years of clinical development and commercialization experience and a strong track record of transforming business units and companies, setting strategy and spearheading high-value solutions. He previously served as President & Global Head of Clinical Development & Commercialization Services at LabCorp (Covance) and Executive Vice President & Global Head of Clinical Development at PRA Health Sciences. He received a B.S. from North Carolina State University.

Dineen continued, “Since joining Syneos Health, Michael has further enhanced how the organization delivers an exceptional customer experience, implementing innovative, integrated solutions while helping ensure we achieve our growth targets. As a proven executive with decades of industry experience, Michael is ideally suited to help deliver on our goals for the business.”

First Quarter 2022 Financial Results

Syneos Health also separately announced its financial results for the first quarter 2022 and updated its full year 2022 guidance. The press release is available on the Company’s Investor Relations website at

The Company will host a conference call today at 8:00 a.m. ET to discuss these announcements and its first quarter 2022 financial results. The live webcast will be available in listen-only mode in the Events section of the Company's Investor Relations website at To participate via phone, please register in advance at this link. Upon registration, all telephone participants will receive a confirmation email detailing how to join the conference call, including the dial-in number along with a unique passcode and registrant ID that can be used to access the call.

An archived replay of the conference call is expected to be available online at after 1:00 p.m. ET on April 29, 2022.

About Syneos Health

Syneos Health® (Nasdaq:SYNH) is the only fully integrated biopharmaceutical solutions organization purpose-built to accelerate customer success. We lead with a product development mindset, strategically integrating clinical development, medical affairs and commercial capabilities to address modern market realities.

We bring together approximately 28,000 minds, across more than 110 countries, with a deep understanding of patient and physician behaviors and market dynamics. Together we share insights, use the latest technologies and apply advanced business practices to speed our customers’ delivery of important therapies to patients.

Syneos Health supports a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture that cares for colleagues, customers, patients, communities and the environment.

To learn more about how we are Shortening the distance from lab to life®, visit or subscribe to our podcast.