Parexel Co-Founder and Board Chairman Josef von Rickenbach Receives 2018 Ellis Island Medal of Honor

von Rickenbach recognized for accomplishments and inspired service; also honored with the CARE Lifetime Achievement Award and recognized as Honoree at the Biomedical Science Careers Program Evening of Hope 

BOSTON, May 14, 2018 – PAREXEL International Corporation, the world’s leading innovator of biopharmaceutical services, announced today that Josef von Rickenbach, PAREXEL co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors, is the recipient of a 2018 Ellis Island Medal of Honor from the Ellis Island Honors Society (EIHS). Mr. von Rickenbach was honored with the recognition at a ceremony on Ellis Island on May 12. 

The Ellis Island Medals of Honor are presented annually to a select group of individuals whose accomplishments in their field and inspired service to our nation are cause for celebration. The honor recognizes individuals who have made it their mission to share their wealth of knowledge, indomitable courage, boundless compassion, unique talents and selfless generosity with those less fortunate. The Medal has been officially recognized by both Houses of Congress as one of our nation’s most prestigious awards and is annually memorialized in the Congressional Record. Past Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipients include seven Presidents of the United States, Vice-President Joe Biden, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and several Nobel laureates. 

“I have always had a strong belief in both the great opportunities that exist in America, and the need to understand and respect the global environment in which we live and work. As such, I am deeply honored to receive an Ellis Island Medal of Honor from the Ellis Island Honors Society,” Mr. von Rickenbach said. “This prestigious recognition symbolizes the great diversity, integrity, passion and courage of America, all fundamental values that PAREXEL was built on, and I am truly humbled to be recognized among this remarkable list of honorees.”

A native of Switzerland, Mr. von Rickenbach co-founded PAREXEL in 1982 and retired as CEO earlier this year. During his tenure, he led the company’s approximately 18,000 employees to meaningfully contribute to 99 percent of the 200 top-selling biopharmaceuticals in the world today, products that help address patient needs in oncology, neurology, infectious disease, and countless other disease conditions. Mr. von Rickenbach became a U.S. citizen in 2002. 

“Now more than ever it's vital we recognize, celebrate, and embrace the diversity and backgrounds of all of the Americans who enrich and build upon the foundation of this great country,” said Nasser J. Kazeminy, Chairman of EIHS. “At the Ellis Island Honors Society, we want to focus on the future by honoring our past and present and with the Ellis Island Medals of Honor, we’re recognizing leaders and everyday heroes who are making a positive impact in order to build a better, brighter future for all Americans.”

In addition to the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, Mr. von Rickenbach was recently recognized by Informa’s Pharma Intelligence, receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Clinical and Research Excellence Awards. He was also an Honoree at the Evening of Hope event benefitting the Biomedical Science Careers Program (BSCP), a non-profit organization that provides students of every race, ethnic background, gender and financial status with encouragement, support and guidance needed for the successful pursuit of biomedical science and other science-related careers.

About PAREXEL International

PAREXEL International Corporation is the world’s leading innovator of biopharmaceutical services. We simplify our clients’ journey of transforming scientific discoveries into new medical treatments for patients with high-quality Phase I-IV clinical research, regulatory, consulting and market access services. PAREXEL develops breakthrough innovations and solutions by leveraging its comprehensive therapeutic, technical and functional expertise, in more than 100 countries around the world. For more information, visit

PAREXEL and PAREXEL Informatics are trademarks or registered trademarks of PAREXEL International Corporation or its affiliates. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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