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Angela-Nickerson.jpgIt is my great honour to serve as President of ISTSS from 2023-2024. In stepping into this role, I would first like to recognize the achievements of our Immediate Past President, Marit Sijbrandij, who led our society during challenging times over the past year. In addition to a vibrant and successful Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, Marit took important steps to safeguard the future of our society which have provided us with a platform for growth in the post-COVID era.

ISTSS has been a central part of my professional life over the past 15 years. Since attending my first annual meeting in Chicago in 2008, I have served on the Distance Education Committee, Public Health and Policy Committee, and Chaired the Awards Committee. During my tenure on the Board of Directors, I served on the Executive Committee as Vice President in 2019-2020. I have enjoyed and benefited enormously from the collegial and supportive nature of the society and count many members amongst my closest colleagues and friends.

The mission of ISTSS, to advance knowledge regarding how traumatic stress affects individuals, families and communities, is very close to my heart. My research focuses on improving our understanding of factors that influence the wellbeing of refugees and asylum-seekers, with the ultimate goal of informing evidence-based interventions and policy. The core tenets of the recently refreshed ISTSS Strategic Plan are research and clinical excellence, a diverse and engaged organization, global impact, and financial strength. These represent some of the key ingredients necessary to support the wellbeing of trauma-affected populations around the world and across the lifespan, whether they be refugees, those affected by war or terrorism, survivors of interpersonal violence, active-duty military or veterans, or those affected by natural disasters.

In 2024, I look forward to leading ISTSS through a period of change and revitalization. Initiatives that are planned for this year include spearheading a management restructure, prioritizing financial health, and implementing our new strategic plan. I am excited to return to Boston this year for our 40th Annual Meeting, “From Bench to Bedside and Beyond: Advancing Translational Science in Traumatic Stress Studies,” which will take place in September. As a hub for research on traumatic stress worldwide (and where I completed my postdoctoral training), Boston represents an ideal location to reconnect with friends and colleagues to exchange knowledge and advance the mission of our society. Our Annual Meeting Committee, chaired by Drs. Laura Miller-Graff and Ateka Contractor, has been working hard to develop a program of scientific research and clinical innovations that spans the pipeline from basic research to clinical interventions to policy and dissemination. I look forward to keeping you updated on the activities of the society as the year progresses, and to seeing you all at the 40th Anniversary of the Annual Meeting in September.