5
Dec2013

The search is over!

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by Joan Rachlin, JD, MPH, Executive Director

As most of you have by now read or heard, change is in the air at PRIM&R since I will be stepping down on March 31, 2014 after 39 years at the helm. On Tuesday, December 3, the PRIM&R Board of Directors announced the appointment of my successor, Elisa A. Hurley, PhD.

I want to congratulate Elisa, with whom I have been fortunate enough to have worked for the past three years. I also want to thank the search committee, which was chaired by Dr. Cynthia A. Gómez, for its determination to find the best possible leader for PRIM&R’s next chapter.

When I initially met Elisa, I wondered whether a moral philosopher could find happiness with a research ethics nonprofit, but quickly learned that her stellar academic background was but one of her many strengths. Upon joining our staff, she rolled up her sleeves and did whatever it took to get her assigned tasks done, and done well. It has turned out to be an excellent fit, and the news of Elisa’s selection has therefore filled me with great optimism for PRIM&R’s future. Elisa has already assumed, and successfully managed, many of the most complicated and difficult parts of PRIM&R’s educational programming and public policy work, and, she is respected and liked by our extraordinary staff, without whom any leader would be lost.

Elisa and the staff will, I know, ensure the continuity of the essential PRIM&R trifecta: our commitment to high quality education, to keeping our members informed and connected, and to professional development and credentialing programs. Under Elisa’s leadership, the legacy that PRIM&R has established will not merely live on but get stronger. I also feel confident she’ll help PRIM&R to chart new territories and remap old ones. As Heraclitus said in about 500 BC, “change is the only constant,” and the research landscape is no exception. As we all recognize, change is in the research world’s air, and it’s thus important that PRIM&R have a leader who can navigate both our internal transition and the one taking place in the field.

I know that Elisa Hurley will set a reliable compass for this organization, and I look forward to watching—and cheering her on—as she does.

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