CEO and Executive Committee


David Johnston, Ph.D.

Executive Vice President, Global Clinical Development

David Johnston, Ph.D., serves as executive vice president and global head of clinical development for PPD. He is responsible for project delivery and provides strategic direction to the company’s Phase II-IV organization in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Asia-Pacific. Previously, Dr. Johnston oversaw PPD® Laboratories, one of the most comprehensive global laboratory operations in the industry.

A biopharmaceutical industry veteran with more than 20 years of leadership experience in the management of clinical trials, Dr. Johnston joined PPD in 2013 from LabCorp, where he served as senior vice president and global head of the clinical trials business and founded the company’s companion diagnostics department. Dr. Johnston’s diverse experience in clinical research includes leadership of R&D teams, clinical trials quality assurance, multinational laboratory operations, and preclinical and late stage clinical development.

Dr. Johnston has served on several scientific advisory boards in the diagnostics and biotechnology sectors. A past recipient of the Triangle Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” leadership award, he also has volunteered on the boards for Prevention Partners and Be Active North Carolina.

Dr. Johnston earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.