President's message: Finding our next CEO, and why you need to be at P19

Published: 25 Sep 2019

Autumn has arrived and activity is ramping up at the Society in preparation for our annual meeting, Pharmacology 2019. I am delighted to report that even though the meeting is on the move for the first time – shifting from London to Edinburgh for this year – we have received hundreds of abstract submissions. The team is now busy reviewing them to bring together a diverse programme with some truly unmissable sessions, talks and workshops. It’s shaping up to be an excellent meeting! If you haven’t bought your ticket yet I recommend watching this video, which expertly captures why attending Pharmacology 2019 is a must:

Looking further ahead, planning is also well underway for the IUPHAR World Congress of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology 2022 (WCP2022) which we are hosting in Glasgow. Registration is open for people to let us know they are interested in attending, and the International Scientific Committee will be announced on the website soon.

It feels a little strange to think that this year’s annual meeting will be the last with Jono Brüün as our CEO, and that he will be well established in his new role by the time we reach WCP2022! Jono will leave the Society in January 2020, so we have been pressing ahead with the process for recruiting a new CEO.

After serious consideration, Council has appointed an executive search agency, Perrett Laver, to drive forward the recruitment process. They submitted an impressive proposal and have extensive experience of successfully appointing CEOs to organisations like ours. They also demonstrated a clear understanding of the Society, our priorities and our values, particularly in relation to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. We are looking forward to working with them and we are confident they will find an excellent candidate who is right for the Society.

Our lead consultant at Perrett Laver is Amy-Jo Lynch. Please feel free to put potential candidates in contact with Amy-Jo directly. The advertising and marketing plan for this role will go live publicly on Monday 30th September.

I was pleased, but not at all surprised, to see the flood of warm comments and messages received when we announced Jono’s departure. Here are just a couple of examples:

“Many congratulations Jono. It’s been a real pleasure working with you over the last five years or so. You’ve been a marvelous CEO for the Society and I hope you enjoy your new role.”

“Congrats on your new job, so sad to see you go but happy for you personally - the new CEO has a thriving society … but a big pair of boots to fill”

For me personally, it has been a great pleasure to work closely with Jono over the last four years. As I will report at the AGM in Edinburgh, we have achieved a lot and it has been great fun. He has built a fantastic team at Angel Gate and has taken great pride in their development. We will miss him but as mentioned in one of the comments above, he leaves a thriving society which has “fun” as a formal part of its five-year strategy, and a major emphasis on the future of our discipline and our early career researchers.  Please join me in Edinburgh to give him a proper send off.


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