The Gerontological Society of America Appoints New Executive Director

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James Appleby, RPh, MPH, has been named the next executive director of The Gerontological Society of America (GSA), effective October 1, 2008.

He joins the organization after a 17-year tenure at the American Pharmacists Association, where he held numerous positions “” most recently as its chief operating officer. Appleby was also formerly a faculty instructor at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.

“I am honored to be joining the GSA team and look forward to working with GSA members and leadership to build the Society’s programs and services,” Appleby said.

GSA President Lisa Gwyther, MSW, said that she and the Society’s Executive Committee were unanimous in their endorsement of Appleby.

“He brings extensive experience with a large non-profit professional association. Specifically, his strategic planning, management, and communication skills will be of tremendous benefit to our Society,” Gwyther said.

Appleby was chosen following an extensive selection process by GSA’s Executive Director Search Committee. This body consisted of carefully chosen representatives from the Society’s different constituency groups. The executive search firm Spencer Stuart was also used to assist in identifying qualified candidates. Over 200 applicants sought the position.

“This was truly a national search that attracted impressive individuals from academe, government, professional associations, and the private sector,” said former GSA President Jack Rowe, MD, of Columbia University, who chaired the search committee. “James Appleby shares our conviction that GSA is at a critical juncture and has the opportunity to strengthen our image, influence, and income.”

In addition to Rowe, the search committee consisted of GSA members Sandra L. Reynolds, PhD, of the University of South Florida; Deborah T. Gold, PhD, of Duke University; James Jackson, PhD, of the University of Michigan; Richard H. Fortinsky, PhD, of the University of Connecticut Health Center; Neil Alexander, MD, of the University of Michigan; George M. Martin, MD, of the University of Washington; Kelly Niles-Yokum, PhD, of the Consortium Gerontology Studies Program; Betsy M. Sprouse, PhD, of AARP; Robert Hudson, PhD, of Boston University; and Greg O’Neill, PhD, of GSA.

Appleby has additionally worked as a hospital pharmacist at both the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center and Jeanes Hospital in Philadelphia. He holds a bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (formerly known as the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science) and a master of public health degree from Temple University.

“I am privileged to join an organization that has such a rich heritage of leadership in the aging profession,” Appleby said. “I am excited to be working with the dedicated members and staff to advance the Society’s mission and further its leadership in the field.”

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