PPD, Inc. (Nasdaq: PPDI) has recruited Mike Wilkinson, Ph.D., a former Navy SEAL with biopharmaceutical expertise, as executive vice president of global clinical development. He will guide strategy for the company’s Phase II-IV operations.

"With more than 25 years of project management experience, he [Mike] is extremely skilled at building and leading successful project teams and will play a key role in helping us strategically expand our global operations," said William Sharbaugh, chief operating officer of PPD, a contract research organization whose full name is Pharmaceutical Product Development Inc.

Wilkinson retired from the U.S. military after 27 years and entered the private biopharma sector eight years ago. Most recently, he was global head of internal medicine and vice president of project management for another contract research organization where he was accountable for all internal medicine clinical trials.

His military career began as a Navy SEAL, but he moved into other roles as aviation physiologist, White House liaison officer with Marine One Executive Transport, director of operations for the Joint Special Operations Medical Training Center, and project director for the V-22 Osprey military aircraft.

He earned a doctorate in physiological optics from Indiana University, a master’s degree from Penn State University and a bachelor’s from Ohio University.