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(continued) from SPSSI President Dr. Wendy Williams

New building at 7th Street. I recently was able to spend two wonderful days with Central Office staff at our new space on 7th Street. The whole time I was there, I kept marveling at how much this building will position SPSSI as a legitimate and valid policy organization on Capitol Hill. In particular, there is a small conference room on the main floor that will allow us to do things we have not been able to do before—from conducting small policy briefings to collaborating with community organizations and other scientific societies. We are in the planning stages of how to “unveil” the new space to our members, so stay tuned for more information on how we will use our new space to further our mission.

SPSSI Conference 2018 in Pittsburgh. I am thrilled to announce that Jason Lawrence and Asia Eaton will be the co-chairs of the 2018 SPSSI Conference in Pittsburgh. We have already begun the planning process, and we are working hard to include all the things you love about SPSSI conferences—outstanding academic research, connecting research to policy, encouraging exceptional teaching, contributing to and learning from our communities, and networking with our peers.  Look for the program theme and associated deadlines soon—but until then, please mark your calendars for June 29th-July 1st, 2018.

Bringing Policy Advocacy to SPSSI Council’s Meetings. To take advantage of the knowledge and skills of our Council, and to continue to advance our mission of advocating for science-based social policy, beginning in the Winter 2018 Council meeting, we will provide Council members with the opportunity to engage in science-based policy advocacy as part of their time on Council. We are excited for the opportunity to tap into the expertise of our members and look forward to giving you updates on these efforts as they move forward.

Strategic Planning. Given all of the changes to Central Office, the Council voted at its June meeting to engage in a new Strategic Planning Process. Although these processes can be long and involved, we think that it is an appropriate time to re-evaluate our priorities and to align our resources accordingly. We are thankful to the SPSSI leadership that brought the organization to the current place, and we welcome to the opportunity to envision how we can continue to grow the organization in this next phase. As part of this process, we will likely be reaching out to members for your input, so we hope you will join us in this endeavor—we cannot do the work we do without our members, and we want to make sure the society reflects your visions for it.

I think it is going to be a wonderful year for SPSSI, and I’m looking forward to working with you all to continue to advance SPSSI’s core values. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out to me with your comments, questions, or concerns.

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