It is with mixed feelings we announce the retirement of ISOQOL’s Executive Director, Colleen Pedersen. It is difficult, if not impossible to sum up not only her achievements, but the impact she has had on both staff and the Society.

Colleen was hired as ISOQOL’s Executive Director in 2013.

Since then, she has advised 9 sets of Board of Directors, helping them grow membership from 555 members to over 1200 members. Not only has membership grown, but it has diversified by including more members from clinical practice, industry, and developing nations. ISOQOL now has over 20 Special Interest Groups dedicated to different fields of study or geographic regions of the world.

A few years into her tenure with ISOQOL, she counseled ISOQOL Leadership through the process of developing a 5-year Strategic Plan. This brought about the creation of a new journal, the Measuring What Matters Symposium, and an online education program. Her efforts also helped Leadership to strengthen their communication program, increase fundraising, and build collaborations with organizations sharing a similar mission to ISOQOL.

The additions of these programs and the growth of the Society also meant a need for more staff. Under her guidance, the ISOQOL staff team has tripled in size. To her staff, she has been a cherished mentor and friend. While not unexpected, the news of her retirement hits almost as hard as her diagnosis of breast cancer immediately following the last in-person Annual Conference in San Diego. And while we could do little to celebrate the success of her battle with cancer at the time, we wish to acknowledge here the strength of will and character it takes to lead staff through the uncertainty of a pandemic while simultaneously enduring chemo treatments.

Colleen plans on enjoying her retirement with her husband (Jack), their dog, and their three grandchildren. Please join us in wishing her a well-deserved relaxation and happiness throughout this next chapter of her life.

Colleen’s last day will be 20 May 2022. At that time, ISOQOL’s Director of Administration, Samantha Walker, will step into her role as Executive Director. Samantha has worked in non-profit management for over 9 years, 5 of which have been with ISOQOL. She has worked for both an Association Management Company and directly for a Non-Profit Association in nearly every area of Non-Profit Association Management.

The International Society for Quality of Life Research (ISOQOL) is a global community of researchers, clinicians, health care professionals, industry professionals, consultants, and patient research partners advancing health related quality of life research (HRQL).

Together, we are creating a future in which patient perspective is integral to health research, care and policy.