Jean Edwards was presented with the inaugural PCMG Lifetime Achievement in Outsourcing Award at the PCMG Annual Conference in 2018. This Award recognises her huge contributions to outsourcing in general and PCMG in particular since her joining of the fledgling organisation in 1997.
I first met Jean as we departed the Gloucester Road tube station together en route to the Holiday Inn for my first PCMG workshop, a joint effort with ICR. She was an enthusiastic and energetic advocate for PCMG and she had already planted the seeds of my own involvement by the time we had arrived some 500 yards later. Jean has been a loyal servant of PCMG, having been a significant presence on committee for 18 years and is still involved today in helping PCMG to plan the 2019 Annual Conference. During her stint on Jean held the positions of Secretary, Treasurer and Vice Chair, ably and expertly steering the business of the committee at all times. She was involved in numerous initiatives, including the first PCMG training course, she co-authored a seminal book on clinical outsourcing that helped to establish the discipline within the pharmaceutical industry and she helped to organise and deliver the first PCMG conference, which was held in Manchester with 40 delegates. How things have changed!
Jean graduated from the University of Hertfordshire in 1984 and her professional life began as a CRA at Bayer. Her outsourcing roles started in 1997 when she was invited to lead a small UK management team and subsequently became a member of the global external supplier management team at Bayer. Outsourcing was still an immature speciality and Jean was at the forefront of introducing and developing models which endure today.
In 2002 Jean was headhunted to lead the procurement group at Eli Lilly, firstly working within the UK group and subsequently having a pan-European remit. Her procurement role expanded to include sales and marketing, facilities management and other areas and her dynamic and professional approach led to her assuming wider responsibilities including six years as Procurement Director for Lilly’s Japanese and Canadian businesses. She also enjoyed a brief spell as Chief Operating Officer of a biotech-like virtual organisation spun out from Lilly (“Chorus”), before the company was re-absorbed into the parent company. Jean has been a wonderful ambassador for PCMG and has been at the forefront of outsourcing initiatives such as the establishing of perhaps the first “partnership” strategic arrangements between sponsor and CRO and she has presented on many topics at many symposia and conferences over the years. Another of Jean’s initiatives was the notorious “reverse auctions” pioneered by Lilly in the noughties. These were short-lived, but Jean points out that such activities helped us to identify the best practices in outsourcing and to realise the value of high quality outsourcing, which is now endemic within the industry and continues to be developed by PCMG.
Congratulations to Jean Edwards, the deserving winner of the inaugural PCMG Lifetime Achievement Award, 2018.