WASHINGTON, D.C., March 5, 2013—Marjorie A. Speers, Ph.D., today announced that she intends to retire as president and CEO of the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs at the end of this year or when a successor has been named. Speers has led the organization since its founding in 2001, establishing AAHRPP as a champion for quality research and rigorous human research protections worldwide.
“I leave AAHRPP confident that it has never been stronger or better positioned for continued success,” Speers said. “AAHRPP will remain a staunch advocate for research participants and an invaluable resource for policymakers and the research community.”
In keeping with its succession plan, AAHRPP has established a search
committee and will be accepting nominations and applications soon. Speers will work with the committee, board of directors and AAHRPP staff to ensure a smooth transition and will remain in place until a new CEO has been hired.
AAHRPP Board Chair James A. Weyhenmeyer, Ph.D., praised Speers for her leadership and vision as AAHRPP’s founding CEO.
“With Marjorie at the helm for more than a decade, AAHRPP built consensus for the first common standards for research protections,” Weyhenmeyer said. “One by one, she persuaded the nation’s leading institutions to adopt those standards and to set an expectation that others would follow suit. In the process, she raised the bar for research protections both in the U.S. and around the globe.”
As a result, today more than 60 percent of U.S. research-intensive universities and 65 percent of U.S. medical schools are either AAHRPP accredited or have begun the accreditation process. Organizations in Canada, China, India, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan have also attained AAHRPP accreditation.
Under Speers’ direction, AAHRPP led the effort to broaden the responsibility for research protections and establish comprehensive human research protection programs. AAHRPP also ushered in a new emphasis on continuous quality improvement and assessment.
Speers attributes AAHRPP’s success to the dedication and commitment of the organization’s board of directors, council on accreditation, site visitors and staff—and to the systems that will remain in place long after she retires.
About AAHRPP: A nonprofit organization, AAHRPP works with groups that conduct human research in order to raise the level of protection for research participants. AAHRPP accredits organizations that can demonstrate that their participant safeguards exceed U.S. federal requirements. The accreditation program uses a voluntary, peer-driven, educational model. To learn more about accreditation, visit www.aahrpp.org
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