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February 2014

Transitions are never easy. This is equally true with systems as well as organizations. NISO is generally more focused on systems development transitions, but often the social changes are the hardest to deal with and overcome. It seems like this is the season for changes in our community and in our sister organizations' leadership. Some organizations manage transitions well, while many others are challenged by them; I am hoping that our fellow associations in information technology and standards will weather the transitions without issue. This month, we will see the departure of several leaders from our community. We should take a moment to reflect on their many contributions and find ways to help each organization and the new leaders contribute to our vital work.

Bonnie Lawlor, Executive Director of NFAIS and long-time member and supporter of NISO has announced her retirement and will step down at the end of February. Bonnie has adeptly led NFAIS through a difficult time of mergers and challenging market changes in her community. Under her leadership, the association broadened its focus from strictly abstracting and indexing organizations to a current membership that now includes libraries, social services, and information consultants. Among her many accomplishments during her 12 years as Director is leading the merger between NFAIS and ASIDIC (formerly the Association of Information and Dissemination Centers) in 2010. Always a supporter of our technical work, Bonnie participated in several standards initiatives, most recently the joint NISO/NFAIS Supplemental Journal Article Materials Project and as an observer on the Open Discovery Initiative. Marcie Granahan has been named the new Executive Director of NFAIS, effective January 6, 2014.

Mark Bide, the Executive Director of EDItEUR, is also retiring. EDItEUR has grown significantly in impact and scope since Mark took over five years ago, although Mark's involvement in standards work extends to well before that. Over his career, Mark has provided leadership for a variety of initiatives and seminal works, including co-authoring the <indec> model for content, the significant extensions of the ONIX messaging framework, the ACAP (Automated Content Access Protocol) initiative, and most recently the Linked Content Coalition. Mark has also been extremely active in international standards development, including work on ISBN, DOI, and other TC46/SC9 work. The Board of EDItEUR recently announced the appointment of Graham Bell as the Executive Director of EDItEUR beginning April 1, 2014.

Finally, Françoise Pelle, Director of the International ISSN Center has retired from her role as the head of the ISSN registration authority, effective January 28, 2014. In addition to her leadership of the ISSN community, Françoise has also served as Chair of the ISO Technical Committee for Information and Documentation (TC46) for the past 6 years. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the very broad range of international standards development within TC 46, as well as actively participating in the development work of a number of identifiers in our ecosystem. Dr. Gaëlle Béquet has been selected to be the next Director of the ISSN International Center and has also been nominated by AFNOR to serve as the new Chair of TC46.

It is important to reflect on the individual contributions of the many people in our community. I have often said, and it bears constant repetition, that we could not have accomplished what we have without the many contributions of people like Mark, François, and Bonnie. Each brought a particular style and attitude to his/her organization that has served us all well. We will miss each of them, but we are assured that each organization is in good hands moving forward.

We look forward to working with each of the new leaders, once they've had a chance to settle into their new roles. Please join me in welcoming those new Directors and wishing the very best for their success in the near and long terms.