How I can help you

I was trained as a lawyer and started my career in the Law Department at US Steel in Pittsburgh.  After two years, I was recruited by Abbott Labs, where I became Regional Counsel for Latin America and Canada.  Five years later I was transferred out of the legal department into management and was sent to Argentina for training in Abbott's affiliate there.  Upon my return to Abbott HQ after two years, I was recruited by Rorer International.  My last job at Rorer was Managing Director of Rorer Spain.  When Rorer was acquired by Rhone Poulenc in 1990, I moved to a small, publicly traded pharmaceutical company in Dallas called Carrington Labs.  After two years I was contacted by a former colleague from Rorer to set up a new company called Cytokine Pharmasciences (CPSI).  I worked at CPSI for 21 years, as CEO the last eight.  In 2011, we sold CPSI to Ferring Pharmaceuticals, a European family-owned company.  I then joined a friend from Notre Dame to start two new companies, Hsiri Therapeutics, specializing in antibiotics, and Ranedis Therapeutics, specializing in rare and neglected diseases.  I was CEO of both companies until 2015, when I became CEO of the U.S. operations of an Italian-Spanish pharmaceutical company called Italfarmaco. We established a new company called ITF Pharma, specializing in women's health products.  I retired from ITF Pharma at the end of 2018.

I also have substantial board experience in both the not-for-profit and for-profit worlds.  I co-founded a local charity called T & E Care for people in the township where I lived in Philadelphia.  I was also Co-Chair of the Hubert J.P. Schoemaker Classic for 15 years, an annual golf tournament established to honor the memory of Hubert Schoemaker, founder of the pharmaceutical company, Centocor.  I am a member of the board of Melmark, a comprehensive multi-service agency, providing residential, educational and therapeutic services for children and adults with autism, intellectual disabilities, brain injuries and other neurological and genetic diagnoses.  I have been a director on the board of the various companies I co-founded, as well as on the Spanish parent of my last company, ITF Pharma.  Finally, I am a director on the board of Thetis Pharmaceuticals, a privately held company located in Connecticut.

Areas of Expertise

  • Business Strategy & Planning
  • Government & Regulations
  • Intellectual Property
  • Business Operations

Industry Experience

  • Manufacturing & Industrial
  • Professional & Business Services
  • Nonprofit, Public and Professional Organizations


B.A., psychology & modern languages, summa cum laude, University of Notre Dame

Juris doctor, University of California, Hastings College of the Law

Dennis F Willson

Communication Methods

  • In Person
  • Phone
  • Video