ACR Searches for a New CEO
"Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality." — Warren Bennis
In case you haven't heard the recent announcements, you may not be aware at the American College of Radiology is looking for a successor to Dr. Harvey L. Neiman, MD, FACR, CEO of the College, who has decided to retire.
Let's take a look back and then forward. When the College was founded in 1923, Dr. Albert Soiland of Los Angeles served as ACR secretary for several years and then as president for one year. His practice was devoted primarily to radiation therapy. In the mid-1930s, ACR management was passed to Dr. Ben H. Ornfoff, a Chicago academic radiologist. Shortly thereafter, the ACR hired Mac F. Cahal, JD, a lawyer and journalist from Kansas, to run the College, and he continued in that position until 1947. Cahal became an ACR honorary fellow in 1974. From 1947 until the early 1980s, a young Chicago man with a law degree from Northwestern, William C. Stronach, served as the ACR executive director.
In 1969, the College began radiation therapy projects in Philadelphia, and John Curry, whose background was in medical management, was hired to oversee those projects. His first major assignment was working in NCI's early randomized clinical trials for head and neck cancer. When Stronach's health began to fail, the board hired a federal administrator, Rue Harris, an educational psychologist with expertise in test design.
After a relatively short time, in 1982, John Curry was promoted to ACR executive. He presided over the move when the College decided to transfer its headquarters from Chicago to Reston, Virginia, in 1985. Curry remained in the position of executive director until 2002. At that time, Neiman was nearing the end of his tenure as chair of the ACR Board of Chancellors, at which time he would normally have run for election as president. E. Stephen Amis Jr., MD, FACR, vice chair of the BOC, took over as chair of the ACR Search Committee, tasked with finding a new executive, and it was decided that for the first time since the 1940s, a radiologist would manage the College. Neiman became the seventh person to lead the college — first as executive director and then as CEO. It should also be noted that Otha Linton, who holds a master of science degree in journalism, served with distinction as associate executive director of the ACR for 35 years, retiring in 1997.
Neiman has provided more than 20 years of outstanding leadership and service to the College. Before his election as chair of the Board of Chancellors, he served for many years as a member of the board and chair the ACR Commission on Economics and the Commission on Ultrasound. During his time as executive director and CEO, a variety of new initiatives have taken us into the future and helped ACR become a leading society. Neiman played an integral role in this progress and was in many cases the creator of several core programs and new ideas for the College. During his tenure, he oversaw the successful launch of the ACR Education Center, the Radiology Leadership Institute™, the ACR Dose Registry®, the JACR®, the American Institute for Radiologic Pathology, Case in Point, and ACR Informatics. The Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute, launched in 2012, was named after him.
Neiman has a reputation around the world as a scholar, author, researcher, educator, thinker, leader, and visionary. We owe him a great debt of gratitude for all of the remarkable things he has accomplished for our organization and for the profession of radiology.
As current chair of the ACR Board, I have established a search committee and we have contracted with an outside consulting firm. Looking forward, we will create an updated job description and will then solicit applications and interview candidates. The Board of Chancellors has suggested that we seek another radiologist and look for someone who might lead the management of the College for 10 years or more. We will certainly consider radiologists, but we will not limit the search on that criterion alone. Other physicians, PhDs, or business people may turn out to be our best choices in the end. We expect this process to take several months. Ideally, we will hire the next CEO by the first of the year. We would hope that for several months the new CEO will be able to work with and shadow Neiman. The transition to a new CEO is targeted to occur near AMCLC 2014.
By Paul H. Ellenbogen, MD, FACR, Chair