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Professor named president of global organization

Lauren Leathers

June 9, 2020

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Laura Bierema, a professor in the Mary Frances Early College of Education's department of lifelong education, administration and policy, will serve as the incoming president of the Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD).

The scholarly organization was developed to influence and encourage the creation and systematic study of theories, processes and techniques that advance human resource development. Because AHRD celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2018, a long-term focus of Bierema's presidency is to ensure the organization remains healthy when it celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Headshot of Laura Bierema

"Our members are academics, students and practitioners interested in research to advance leadership, adult learning and development, change and organizational development," Bierema said. "My short-term focus as president is in four areas: ensuring member value, monetizing assets, fundraising and fostering an inclusive scholarly community."

The University of Georgia has provided multi-generational leadership of this organization. Former College of Education faculty member presidents include professor and associate department head of the department of lifelong education, administration and policy Karen E Watkins, associate professor and coordinator in the department of lifelong education, administration and policy Wendy Ruona and former assistant professor Khalil Dirani. Alumna of the College, Julie Gedro (Ed.D. '00), is also a former president of the organization.

"Indeed, UGA has an incredible legacy with AHRD," Bierema said. "The College's learning, leadership and organization program in the department of lifelong education, administration and policy has trained many of the faculty who work in AHRD academic programs in the U.S. and elsewhere."

The organization's 2020 annual conference in Atlanta was hosted by the department of lifelong education, administration and policy. Anneliese Singh, the College's associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion, served as the keynote speaker on racial healing. Singh will return for a follow-up Facebook Live session on Friday, June 12, as AHRD implements their social media strategy and responds to the unjust murders and systematic racism caused by white supremacy.