Message from the President: Thank You, Nancy

  • 13 April, 2021
Christine Mummery

For 16 years, Nancy Witty has guided the ISSCR to its present prominence as the leading scientific society for stem cell research. Her leadership has enabled our international community to establish a strong foothold in promoting stem cell science, education, and global public policy initiatives that support the field. Nancy will retire in June from her amazing career as ISSCR’s Chief Executive Officer.

I have had the pleasure of working with Nancy for many years and her contributions to the establishment and growth of the society are almost too many to mention. Among them was guiding the transition to become an independently managed nonprofit, which has since expanded into a global community of nearly 4,000 members spanning more than 65 countries. Many ISSCR initiatives throughout her tenure have contributed to the society’s reputation for scientific excellence and integrity.

Nancy’s team managed the development and release of the first Guidelines for Stem Cell Research and Clinical Translation and she advocated for the eagerly awaited update. She supported the formation of a public policy program to represent the interests of stem cell and fetal tissue researchers. She advanced the development of the ISSCR’s International Symposia meetings program, initiated the Society’s scientific journal, and convened leaders for a global meeting that later evolved into the Nucleus Forum, focused on treatments for intractable disease. Nancy’s work with the ISSCR has helped innovate new opportunities to educate, create community, and ensure a strong future where the society is true to its vision each day: A world where stem science is encouraged, ethics are prioritized, and discovery improves understanding and advances human health.

Succeeding Nancy when she retires at the end of June, is our current COO Keith Alm, a unanimous selection by the Board of Directors. Keith has been working with Nancy for more than a decade now, first as a consultant and strategic advisor before joining the team full time more than two years ago. We know the society will continue to flourish under his leadership.

The past 16 years have shown us the value of our society in the international community, and Nancy’s warm personality has been a tremendous part of that enduring success. Thank you, Nancy for leading us on this great adventure. We look forward to the future you have helped shape and the legacy of our research community that is driving new discoveries to transform the lives of patients around the world.