PRIM&R Announces Next Executive Director

December 3, 2013
For more information and interview opportunities, contact Kimberly Hensle Lowrance, Managing Director, PRIM&R, at

Boston, MA - After a comprehensive national search, the Board of Directors of Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R), an organization at the forefront of educating and engaging the public and the research community on the ethics of biomedical, social, and behavioral research, announces that Elisa A. Hurley, PhD, has been selected as PRIM&R’s next executive director, effective April 1, 2014. Dr. Hurley will succeed Joan Rachlin, JD, MPH, who retires March 31, 2014, after having served as executive director since 1975.

Dr. Hurley received a BA in philosophy from Brown University and a PhD in philosophy from Georgetown University. She has been PRIM&R’s education director since 2010. In that capacity, Dr. Hurley has overseen curriculum development and faculty cultivation for PRIM&R’s suite of in-person and virtual educational programs, including its annual conferences on advancing the ethics of research with human beings and animals; has managed PRIM&R’s public policy activities; and has served as a member of PRIM&R’s senior management team. Dr. Hurley also has taught webinars and short courses for PRIM&R; has been a blog contributor for both PRIM&R and other research-focused organizations; and has represented PRIM&R and its mission at meetings in the United States and abroad.  Dr. Hurley’s biography can be found here

"Elisa’s energetic commitment to PRIM&R’s mission, critical knowledge of the research ethics field, and demonstrated ability to connect effectively with PRIM&R’s constituencies, convinced the Board that she was the ideal person for the job," explained Alexander Capron, LLB, chair of PRIM&R’s Board of Directors. "The Board is looking forward to Elisa’s tenure as executive director and to working with Elisa as she leads PRIM&R into and through the next phase of its organizational life." 

Cynthia A. Gómez, PhD, chair of Search Committee, added, "The Board’s search for PRIM&R’s next executive director was an extensive one. We were pleased by the caliber of applicants and are grateful to all those who offered assistance and recommendations during the search process."

About PRIM&R

Founded in 1974, PRIM&R is the largest research ethics association in the world with more than 4,400 members. PRIM&R is a respected and unique forum in which stakeholders gather to discuss ethical issues and best practices, and to address controversies in the ever-changing field of research with human beings and animals. PRIM&R’s innovative and high quality educational offerings  prepare researchers and research ethics review committee members and staff for the difficult task of ensuring that ethical considerations are integrated into every level of their work; and its certification programs for research ethics administrators offer opportunities for professional advancement and the implementation of best practices in research.