Grit Mentor and Pharmaceutical Medical Affairs Leader, Ireland
Dr Jennifer Ralph James is a health-sector leader, passionate about transforming the patient journey by improving the environment for research and innovation.
In her global medical affairs role at Alexion Pharmaceuticals, she manages important aspects of the operations that support research efforts in rare diseases across the world.
Jennifer’s international career has spanned public and private sectors, leading on high-impact initiatives with national reach and beyond including programmes for patient support, health and research policy, research funding programmes and research investment decisions. In her role as inaugural Head of the National Office for Research Ethics Committees, she led the operational establishment of Ireland’s first national system of research ethics review, which contributed to an essential component of the government’s research response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Across several global pharmaceutical companies, Jennifer has held leadership roles managing the medical affairs for novel therapies for both chronic and life-limiting diseases in Ireland and Australia. Prior to her pharma career, she managed a large life sciences portfolio as a Programme Manager at Science Foundation Ireland.
Jennifer completed her BSc Hons (biochemistry) and PhD (rheumatology) at University College Dublin, prior to post-doctoral research in a world-leading translational rheumatology laboratory at Monash University Melbourne. Beyond the biomedical sciences, she completed a Higher Diploma in Psychotherapy studies, and in this regard, has an enduring interest in ‘what makes people tick’.
She is passionate about diversity in leadership and the importance of mentorship & coaching on the leadership path. As a GRIT mentor, Jennifer is privileged to be part of the journeys of other female leaders.