Dionne Price Elected President of American Statistical Association

Dionne Price, director of Division of Biometrics IV in the Office of Biostatistics, Office of Translational Sciences, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, US Food and Drug Administration, has been elected the 118th president of the American Statistical Association (ASA). She will serve a one-year term as president-elect beginning January 1, 2022; her term as president becomes effective January 1, 2023.

The ASA membership also elected Nicholas J. Horton, Beitzel Professor of Technology and Society (Statistics and Data Science), Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Amherst College, as ASA vice president. Horton’s term begins January 1, 2022.

Price will be the first African-American president of the ASA. She credits her experience as a summer intern at the National Institutes of Health while an undergraduate student at Norfolk State University in Virginia, one of the country’s historically Black colleges and universities, with exposing her to the work of statisticians and setting her on the path to becoming a statistician herself.

One of her goals as ASA president is to make sure a variety of young people today have an opportunity similar to hers to see the enormous impact of statisticians. “Although much time has passed since I was an undergraduate, I believe there is still more work to be done in terms of increasing the awareness of statistics as a profession,” Price said. “Undoubtedly, there are untapped quantitative thinkers with great potential to impact the ASA community.” Price thinks it is imperative we highlight the benefits of ASA membership as we also increase awareness of statistics. “The ASA is a community, and one of great value to statisticians,” Price said.

Price also wants to continue the ASA’s efforts aimed at justice, equity, diversity and inclusion for all. “It is important that we increase our collective awareness and understanding of the experiences of quantitative thinkers from various backgrounds,” she said. She believes these efforts will strengthen our community.

Price said she intends for the statistical community to continue playing an active role in science policy, advocating for sound statistical theory and ensuring the value of statisticians is recognized. “Throughout 2020, we were constantly presented with data and interpretations of those data pertaining to the coronavirus pandemic,” she said. “Now, more than ever, we must ensure that statistics is properly used to answer questions of interest.”

In her current role at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Price provides leadership to statisticians developing and applying methodology used in the regulation of drug products. She has been involved in the FDA response to many public health challenges, including serving on the Antibacterial Drug Development Task Force and as a member of the teams reviewing products to treat Ebola and coronavirus infections. She currently leads cross-cutting, collaborative efforts across FDA to better use complex, innovative trial designs in pharmaceutical drug development.

Horton begins his tenure as ASA vice president after 25 years of active service to the ASA. He has served on the ASA Board, Council of Chapters and Council of Sections and chaired the Guidelines for Undergraduate Programs in Statistics working group, ASA Section on Statistics and Data Science Education and ASA/NCTM Joint Committee. Horton is active in the Boston Chapter.

His ASA awards include the Undergraduate Teaching Award from the Boston Chapter in 2018, the Founders Award for Distinguished Service in 2017, the Distinguished Service Award from the Boston Chapter in 2011 and the Waller Award for excellence and innovation in the instruction of elementary statistics at the undergraduate level in 2009. He was elected an ASA Fellow in 2012.

Horton earned his ScD in biostatistics from Harvard University in 1999. He is the author of more than 180 papers about statistical methodology, clinical research, health services and statistics and data science education, as well as four books about data science and statistics in R. He was the chair of the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies. Horton is co-chair of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine’s Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics and served on two National Academies projects related to data science education. He is also the director of the Five College Statistics Program.

Horton’s top two priorities for his tenure are to help ensure statistics is at the core of data science and to work toward a more diverse and inclusive profession that fosters the success of those who have been historically underrepresented and underappreciated.

The ASA membership also elected the following:

  • Michelle Shardell, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Maryland School of Medicine, as the Council of Sections Representative to the ASA Board
  • Kendra Schmid, Professor of Biostatistics, University of Nebraska Medical Center, as the Council of Chapters Representative to the ASA Board
  • Susan Paddock, Chief Statistician and Executive Vice President at NORC at the University of Chicago, as Chair-Elect of the Council of Sections Governing Board
  • Mimi Kim, Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, as Chair-Elect of the Council of Chapters Governing Board

The entire slate of election results, including officers for each of the ASA’s 29 sections, can be found here.