An interview with our President, Dr David Pelletier
As we prepare to transition to our second term with a new Board, we took a few minutes to sit down with our outgoing president, Dr David Pelletier to hear his reflections, perspectives and futures hopes for SISN.
- What motivated you to travel to Italy in February 2015 to help establish the new Society for Implementation Science in Nutrition and become its first President?
Like everyone else that attended that meeting, I felt this was an opportunity that must not be passed up… a long overdue effort to develop, promote and institutionalize research that is practical, timely and relevant to the needs of implementers and policy makers.
- As you reflect on the past 3 years, what stands out to you as the highlight of your time as President?
The entire process has been a highlight for me. The privilege of working with an amazing Board; the exciting but humbling challenge of working together to create a society of this type; the deep interest in implementation science expressed by researchers and implementers; the intellectual challenge of creating approaches and frameworks for IS that meet diverse needs, through diverse methods, with attention to knowledge utilization as well as new empirical research. How often do you have the opportunity to do something like that?
- As SISN President, what has been the Society’s biggest achievements during its inaugural term?
Well, in addition to the highlights I just mentioned, it would have to be putting in place all the policy, procedural and administrative elements needed for a scientific and professional society- the bylaws, the financial and legal systems, membership policies, communications strategies, the website, funding sources and many more. And here I want to acknowledge the outstanding work of our secretariat staff, notably Eva Monterrosa and Kesso van Zutphen, and the unrestricted funding from Sight and Life that Klaus Kramer has made available. Without that funding, and the vision in the first place, none of this would have been possible.
- Looking to the future, what do you foresee will be SISN’s greatest contribution to global efforts to end malnutrition?
I firmly believe global efforts to end malnutrition, in all its forms, will only be successful when implementation science is mainstreamed into the work of policy makers, implementers, funders, researchers, research institutes and universities. SISN’s greatest contribution will be in catalyzing and supporting that mainstreaming process.
- Do you have any words of wisdom for the incoming President?
Since all SISN Board members are volunteers who must balance the work with the demands of their day jobs and personal lives, maybe I would repeat what I said earlier: “How often do you have the opportunity to do something like this?” What I mean is, there are many opportunities to serve on boards of established organizations. But this is different. This is building something that has not existed previously, something that is sorely needed and something that will remain long after. That is a powerful source of motivation. In fact, since SISN is still fairly young in its development and there is still plenty of building to be done, I would pose those thoughts to all SISN members and would-be members. Find an exciting role for yourself in SISN, be part of the building process and see where it takes you.