Executive Director

The European Medicines Agency's (EMA) Executive Director is Ms Emer Cooke.

Emer Cooke
Emer Cooke began her mandate as Executive Director of EMA on 16 November 2020.

She has over 30 years of experience in international regulatory affairs, with more than 18 of these in leadership roles. Before taking up her current role, she was the Director responsible for all medical product-related regulatory activities at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva between November 2016 and November 2020.

Ms Cooke worked at EMA between 2002 and 2016, holding various positions including Head of Inspections and Head of International Affairs. Prior to that, she was Principal Administrator in the Pharmaceuticals Unit of the European Commission between 1998 and 2002, with responsibility for inspections, international activities and legislative initiatives.

Ms Cooke worked for the European Federation of Pharmaceutical industries and Associations (EFPIA) as Manager of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs from 1992 to 1995 and from 1996 to 1998. She also worked part-time as an independent  pharmaceutical policy advisor from 1996 to 1998.

Ms Cooke worked in the Irish pharmaceutical sector between 1985 and 1991, including two years as a pharmaceutical assessor at the Irish medicines regulatory authority.

Ms Cooke holds a degree in pharmacy and masters degrees in science and in business administration from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

She is an Irish national.

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Office of the Executive Director

Previous Executive Directors

  • Guido Rasi (2011 - 2014 and 2015 - 2020)
  • Thomas Lönngren (2001 – 2010)
  • Fernand Sauer (1994 - 2000)


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