1 July 2021 - Deborah Wilkes
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has announced that its deputy executive director, Noël Wathion, has retired after 25 years of service.
A pharmacist and Belgian national, Wathion supported five executive directors and occupied many different roles and responsibilities.
Wathion served as head of regulatory affairs and pharmacovigilance from 1996-2001, and as head of post-authorisation evaluation of medicines for human use from 2001-2009.
He then became head of patient health protection from 2009-2013, followed by head of stakeholders and communication from 2013-2016 and chief policy adviser from 2013-2016.
In 2016, Wathion was appointed deputy executive director and took on the additional role of chief of policy.
He chaired the EMA's Operations and Relocation Preparedness (ORP) Task Force, set up following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, as well as the EMA’s COVID-19 Steering Group.
Wathion's tasks redistributed
Wathion’s tasks in the EMA have been redistributed within the agency.
Ivo Claassen has been assigned deputy executive director responsibilities in addition to his current role as head of the Veterinary Division.
Melanie Carr, head of stakeholders and communication, will take over ad interim the activities relating to crisis and emergency management.
A new institutional and policy department will be created as an advisory function to the executive director. Hilde Boone, currently head of European Union institutional liaison, will take up the position ad interim.
Facilities management will move to the Administration Division.