Summer 2006
Take Your Opportunities When They Come
Fred Daniels
ACDM Board of Directors
Premier Research
Provide a brief summary of your life / education etc to date:
Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, my parents and I moved back to Ghana at the age of two. My formative years were in primary and boarding secondary school where corporal punishment was dished out as they would have in Victorian times in the UK. I got my fair share of the cane and ruler – how times have changed. I moved back to the UK in 1982, completed my A levels in London prior to attending University College, London to study Medicinal Chemistry.
My first job in the industry was as a CRA in the days that data management was not a specialty and data cleaning was performed by 'in-house monitors' and statisticians. The position was with Brookwood Medical in 1989, a small CRO in Guildford. Within a year, I decided to move to Brookwood Statistics (a sister company of Brookwood Medical) into Data Management. I stayed with Brookwood Statistics through its various acquisitions till it became part of Quintiles. A significant part of this time was working onsite at Ciba and Sandoz (before Novartis), Wellcome (before GSK), Lundbeck in Denmark, MSD in Scandinavia and Roche.
I joined Covance in 2000 where I headed up data management for 6 years. My current role is with Premier Research as the Director of International Data Operations managing teams in the UK and Germany.
If you were on a desert island, what three things would you take with you and why?
I have always wanted to enroll for an MBA program, so I would sign up for distant learning and have a satellite enabled laptop so I can achieve my dream. My MP3 player, I need my fix of Jazz Funk. Something for shaving, never been able to grow a beard. Found it uncomfortable.
What has been your greatest achievement to date?
Becoming an Executive Director of Data Management at Covance. I never plot career moves and never played the politics etc.
What word or phrase do you most over use?
I don't have one.
If you were not in the job you are in, what would you do?
I would like to have a position where I can knock some sense into most African leaders, who are to blame for the poverty despite many natural resources. Or a radio DJ, spreading my favorite type of music, Jazz Funk from Bob James to Peter White.
If you could be remembered for something, what would it be?
I would like to make a difference in Africa.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Sharing Death by Chocolate with Mariah Carey on Richard Branson's Island.
What lesson has life taught you so far?
You have to take your opportunities when they come but be aware that no one will hand them to you if you have not worked towards it.
What is your greatest fear?
Being put in residential care. My wife is a care giver and I am often at her place of work – maybe that explains why.
What makes you happy?
At home with my family with some good 70's Jazz funk playing the background and my kids pleading with me not to sing or dance.
What makes you depressed?
I don't know, I am usually a positive person and most people seem to remember me for my smile or laughter.
What do you do to relax / what are your hobbies?
Listening to music. Before I had my children I averaged 10 vinyl purchases a month, but the turntable was mothballed over 12 years ago when my daughter was a toddler and has never been played since. These days my hobby is to do what I am told around the house, somewhat reluctantly. My recipe for a peaceful marriage.
If you had a dinner party, and could invite 6 famous people, who would you invite and why?
Mariah Carey to provide entertainment.
Eddie Izzard – He is one of the funniest people alive.
Bill Clinton – I just like the guy, and he can teach me one or two things about getting out of a tight spot.
Nelson Mandela – The planet's only statesman. I admire him for his positive attitude, capacity and his ability not to play the race card when it would have been all so easy to do so.
Brad Pitt – Want to see what all the fuss is about.
Kofi Annan – for all the top level gossip.