Our Leadership

Richard Peters, M.D., Ph.D., has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer since February 2017. Dr. Peters previously served as Senior Vice President and Head of Global Rare Diseases at Sanofi Genzyme, where he was responsible for a global, $3 billion per year business with 10 commercialized products and a multi-product development pipeline focused on several therapeutic areas. He also served as Head of Japan and Asia Pacific for Specialty Care (Oncology, Rare Diseases, Immunology, and Multiple Sclerosis) at Sanofi Genzyme. He is an expert in the field of Oncology, having previously served as Division Medical Officer at Sanofi Oncology, and is the former Head of Global and US Medical Affairs at Genzyme Transplant/Oncology. He has also served as a Senior Director at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, as a Director at Amgen, and as Chief Executive Officer of Mednav, a venture capital-backed healthcare information technology start-up. Dr. Peters is a Harvard-trained physician-scientist, and has served on the faculty at the Massachusetts General Hospital and completed a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellowship in biophysics at Harvard Medical School. He is also an active founder and angel biotech investor in start-up biopharmaceutical companies.

Yasir B. Al-Wakeel, BM BCh, has served as our Chief Financial Officer and Head of Corporate Development since August 2015. Dr. Al-Wakeel previously served in various capacities at Credit Suisse, an investment banking firm, from January 2008 to June 2015. While at Credit Suisse, Dr. Al-Wakeel was most recently a Director of Healthcare Investment Banking focused on biotechnology and, prior to that role, he was an Equity Research Analyst covering the biotechnology and specialty pharmaceuticals sectors. Before joining Credit Suisse, Dr. Al-Wakeel was a practicing physician, holding both clinical and academic medical posts. Dr. Al-Wakeel holds a BM BCh (Doctor of Medicine) from Oxford University, an M.A. in theology from Cambridge University and a B.A. from Cambridge University.

Peter N. Laivins has served as our Head of Development since May 2014. Mr. Laivins served as our Vice President of Clinical Development from October 2011 to May 2014. Previously, Mr. Laivins ran an independent consulting practice specializing in oncology and neuroscience from January 2010 to October 2011. Prior to that, Mr. Laivins served as Vice President of Strategic Marketing at Elan Corporation, plc, a biopharmaceutical company, from 2006 to January 2010. Mr. Laivins began his career at Pfizer Canada, joined Pfizer International in New York in 1995 and held positions of increasing responsibility at Pfizer Inc., culminating as Group Leader of Pfizer US Oncology Marketing until 2006. Mr. Laivins holds an M.B.A. and a B.S. from McGill University.

William M. McClements has served as our Head of Corporate Operations since September 2011. Previously, Mr. McClements served as Chief Human Resources Officer of Integreon Managed Solutions, Inc., a global research and business services company, from May 2010 to September 2011. Prior to that, Mr. McClements served as Chief Operating Officer and a partner at Monitor Group, a global strategic advisory firm, where he worked from 1987 to May 2010. From September 2009 to March 2010, Mr. McClements also served as Acting President of Be the Change Inc., a non–profit focused on creating national issue-based campaigns. Mr. McClements holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.A. from Williams College.

Jeffrey A. Munsie serves as our General Counsel, Head of Compliance, and Secretary. Prior to joining Merrimack in February 2011, Mr. Munsie was Counsel in the corporate department at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, a law firm. Mr. Munsie holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and an A.B. from Dartmouth College.

Edward J. Stewart has served as our Head of Commercial since December 2011. Mr. Stewart served as our Senior Vice President of Business Development from March 2009 to December 2011 and in various other business development roles since he joined us in 2001. Mr. Stewart began his career at KPMG Peat Marwick LLP in the life sciences strategy consulting group. Mr. Stewart holds an M.B.A. from the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University and a B.S. from Bates College.