The American Occupational Therapy Association announces its selection of Sherry Keramidas, PhD, FASAE, CAE, as its new executive director. She replaces Former Executive Director Frederick P. Somers, who retired in October.

She will officially begin her role on May 1, when she will be introduced during AOTA’s annual conference and expo in Salt Lake City.

“I am honored to be selected for this role at AOTA,” she says, in a media release. “Occupational therapy is vital to assisting people in the essential skills needed in all aspects of life. I look forward to partnering with the AOTA leadership, staff, and members in shaping a dynamic future for this essential profession.”

For 20 years Keramidas served as the executive director of the Regulatory Affairs Professional Society (RAPS). Previously, she was CEO of the American College of Dentists, as the associate executive vice president of research and education of the American Physical Therapy Association, and as the Scientific Director of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. She also served as a special consultant to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) working on research program evaluation, strategic planning, and interagency collaboration in the Office of the Director and across the NIH.

Sherry received her PhD in neurosciences and physiological psychology from Purdue University. In addition, she participated in executive education programs at the Kellogg School of Management and Haas School of Management.

She is a Fellow of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and holds the Certified Association Executive designation. She is also a certified executive and leadership coach, according to the release.

“Sherry rose to the top of a diverse slate of candidates,” states AOTA President Amy Lamb, OTD, OT/L, FAOTA. “She is a results-oriented leader known for fostering innovation, identifying approaches to meet members’ changing needs, and establishing partnerships to ensure a bright future.

“We look forward to her leadership as we build on the momentum of our past success to create a future that recognizes the distinct value of occupational therapy in maximizing health, well-being, and quality of life for all people, populations, and communities.”

[Source: American Occupational Therapy Association]