Rx&D draws on a team of resources who are specialists in their fields. Our dedicated team works to ensure that the positive contribution made by the research-based pharmaceutical industry is understood by key decision-makers and the general public.
Rx&D is located in Ottawa, with regional staff in Western Canada, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.
Russell Williams is a passionate advocate for innovation in health care and in economic development. Since joining Rx&D in March 2004, Mr. Williams has promoted policies that improve patient outcomes by expanding patient choice and access to new medicines and vaccines. He works tirelessly to ensure that Canada is a world leader in attracting biopharmaceutical investments, which are key components of the knowledge-based economy.
Under Mr. Williams’ leadership, the association’s Code of Ethical Practices has been significantly enhanced to ensure that all member companies adhere to the highest standards of ethics. He has participated actively in numerous provincial working groups and task forces aimed at improving the partnership between industry, governments and stakeholders.
Prior to joining Rx&D, Mr. Williams had a successful career in provincial politics and community service. For fifteen years, he represented the Montreal riding of Nelligan in the National Assembly of Quebec. During his career as Liberal MNA, he led numerous public policy debates on important and complex issues, such as the role of government in research and development (R&D), compensation for victims of contaminated blood, linguistic policy, access to services for the disabled, and pre-hospital emergency services. He is well known for his dedication and perseverance as an advocate for individual rights and government services focused on the needs of its citizens. He continues active volunteer involvement in palliative care.
Our Executive Team
Chief of Staff & Vice President, Legal Affairs
Declan Hamill joined Rx&D in July 2005 in the position of General Counsel. Mr. Hamill was named Vice President of Legal Affairs and Intellectual Property Policy in February 2007, assuming leadership for intellectual property issues in addition to his legal responsibilities and responsibilities for the Code of Ethical Practices. He is the senior staff lead for the Industry Practices Committee (IPC), the Industry Practices Review Committee (IPRC) and Intellectual Property Policy Sub-Committee (IPP). He is also a member on the Federal Sub-Committee, PMPRB Sub-Committee and the Cross Border Trade Working Group. In October 2009, Mr. Hamill assumed the additional responsibility of Chief of Staff. Mr. Hamill is accountable to the President, the Board of Directors and to the Executive Committee of the Board.
In the capacity of Vice President, Legal Affairs, Mr. Hamill provides advice and counsel regarding legal and compliance issues. He serves as the in-house resource to provide expertise and advice on intellectual property and also provides advice on recent jurisprudence and other legal and IP developments affecting the industry. Mr. Hamill liaises regularly with member company corporate counsel and IP advisors.
Prior to joining Rx&D, Mr. Hamill held successively senior positions at companies in several different intellectual property intensive industries, including a startup venture, a software vendor, a national communications services provider and an international manufacturer of optical networking equipment.
Mr. Hamill is a graduate of McGill University’s Faculty of Law. He also holds undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Toronto (Trinity College) and York University. He lives in Ottawa with his wife Kathy and three daughters Alexandra, Genevieve and Fiona.
Vice President, Government Affairs
Walter Robinson, re-joined Rx&D as Vice President of Government Affairs in August 2011 and is responsible for leading Rx&D's integrated (federal and provincial) government affairs team.
Prior to re-joining Rx&D, he was a Principal with Tactix Government Relations and Public Affairs in Ottawa from 2008 until 2011. He has also been self-employed as a writer, part-time broadcaster and business consultant. Over the last 20 years Walter has also worked for: the federal public service; an international facilities management contractor; as the federal director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) from 1997 to 2003 and as the Vice-President of Provincial Affairs for Rx&D in 2005 and 2006. He served as Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Ottawa until mid-2007.
In his various roles, Walter has conducted over 11,000 media activities in the past 15 years. He has testified before federal, provincial and municipal legislative committees and has written over 300 published OPEDs which have appeared in the National Post, Globe and Mail and other regional daily papers across Canada. He also authored a 140-page critically acclaimed paper on healthcare which earned him a coveted first-day appearance (April 2002, Regina) before the Romanow Royal Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada.
He is a past recipient of the Ottawa Business Journal Top 40 under 40 award (1997) and in January 2009, he was honoured by the United Way of Ottawa with a Community Builder award for his community service.
Walter is a former Chairman of the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation and has also volunteered with the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa Foundation, the Cumberland United Soccer Club and the Gloucester Hornets Soccer club. Walter earned his Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree at Carleton University.
Vice President, Public Affairs & Partnerships
Shannon MacDonald joined Rx&D as Vice President of Public Affairs and Partnerships in 2011. She has more than 20 years of experience as a public affairs professional serving public, private and non-profit sector clients. Shannon has worked extensively within Canada’s neurological community, serving health charities, patient advocacy groups and research organizations. She established the Neurological Health Charities Canada (NHCC) coalition and led the coordinated patient advocacy effort to establish brain conditions as a public policy priority in Canada. Shannon co-authored the NHCC’s framework for a national brain strategy and co-chaired Canada’s first-ever National Population Study of Neurological Conditions in Canada, working in collaboration with the Government of Canada’s health portfolio.
Shannon lives in Toronto with her husband, two daughters and a Jack Russell terrier named ‘Haggis’. She currently volunteers on the board of directors for the Toronto Central Community Care Access Centre, the Canadian Prion Diseases Foundation and the 2013 World Parkinson’s Congress.
Vice President, Scientific and Strategic Affairs
Jared Rhines has dedicated his professional career to the development of innovative medicines and ensuring patient access in Canada and around the world. While Jared joined Rx&D as Vice President of Scientific and Strategic Affairs in 2013, he is not new to the Rx&D community. As Vice President and GM of Ikaria Canada Inc., Jared was responsible for establishing the company's Canadian presence and managing all of the company's scientific and commercial activities. In this role, he served on Rx&D's Board of Directors and chaired several industry committees. In his 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, he has played a leadership role in end-to-end drug development, Regulatory Affairs, Quality, and Geographic Expansion. He brings to Rx&D significant experience with regulatory authorities in Canada, the US, Europe, Mexico, South America, and Asia, having successfully achieved regulatory approvals from each jurisdiction.
Jared has an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA with a Certificate in Health Sector Management from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business. Jared, his wife Karen, and their two pugs, Stanley and Stella, divide their time between their homes in Ottawa and New Jersey.
Vice President, Private Markets
Michelle joined Rx&D as the Vice President, Private Markets in October 2013. Before joining Rx&D, Michelle served for three years as the Executive Director of the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB). She previously held several executive positions within the Government of Canada. Michelle has proven expertise in corporate leadership and program delivery. She has over fifteen years experience in the development of government policy. Her areas of expertise include intellectual property policy, health policy and health products regulation.
Michelle has a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from Dalhousie University and a Bachelor of Laws from University of Ottawa. She is a certified director with the Institute of Certified Directors. Michelle lives in Ottawa where she enjoys its outdoor activities, including cycling, running and cross-country skiing.
Vice President, Corporate Services
Paul Dresch has over 25 years of financial and HR experience serving organizations in both the private and non-profit sectors. Following four years as Controller for a private retail company in Ottawa, Paul joined the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Canada in December 1989 as anAccounting Manager. His role has evolved over the past 23 years - Paul now leads Rx&D’s finance, human resources, IT, and administrative functions as the Vice President, Corporate Services. He brings invaluable corporate memory and stability to the organization.
Throughout his career at Rx&D, Paul has been a driving force in modernizing the Association. He led the development of the organization’s membership fee structure in 2006 and was nominated for the Mercer Vision Award for Human Resources Innovation in 2010, recognizing his leadership in the modernization of Rx&D HR policies and programs following a re-structuring of operations.
Paul lives in Nepean with his wife, Grace, and is the proud father of three grown children. He volunteers his time as the President of a local adult recreational hockey league and co-captain’s Rx&D slo-pitch softball team aptly named The Pharm Team.