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03.20.2023 | SSP News & Releases

SSP’s Emerging Leaders: Where are they now?

Nominations for the Society for Scholarly Publishing’s annual Emerging Leader Award, which highlights leadership qualities among SSP members, are open through this Friday, March 24. The Emerging Leader Award was established in 2012 to acknowledge up-and-coming leaders who have demonstrated outstanding service and contributions to scholarly publishing. Any SSP member may submit a nomination packet suggesting an SSP Emerging Leader Award candidate. Self-nominations are accepted. 

Past winners have gone on to top-level positions throughout the industry and continued important advocacy work for early career researchers, professionals with disabilities, and more.

Since being named the inaugural Emerging Leader Award recipient in 2012, Michelle Rubinstein (née Norell) has served as Director of Sales at Atypon, an ePublishing and e-commerce company popular with scholarly publishers, and previously held a seat on the SSP Board of Directors. In addition, she’s the Lead Growth Strategist with the Association of American Medical Colleges, a not-for-profit, academic medicine association based in Philadelphia.

The 2014 award winner, Sara Rouhi, is now the director of strategic partnerships at the Public Library of Science, a leader in Open Access publishing for scientific and medical research. As a member of the leadership team, she helped launch the PLOS Global Equity model in 2021, which aims to address geographic inequity in Open Access business models. Rouhi was awarded the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP)’s Innovation in Publishing award later that year for her work. Rouhi also served as a board member for SSP and currently serves on the Education Committee.

Following her 2018 Emerging Leader Award win, Isabel Thompson has worked as a strategy and investment analyst for Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, and as head of Data Platforms at Digital Science. Most recently, she has been head of product for LabDAO, a scientific innovation network focused on supporting early career scientists in computational biology through accessing funding, finding collaborators, and performing research.

Ben Mudrak, one of two co-winners in 2020, has an academic background in microbiology but transitioned to the publishing realm to improve how scholarly research is shared. Today, Mudrak is a senior product manager at the American Chemical Society and oversees the operations and editorial decisions of ChemRxiv, a preprint service for the field of chemistry research.

The second winner from 2020, Oxford, UK-based Simon Holt, is the head of content acquisition central strategies at scholarly publishing powerhouse Elsevier and chairs Elsevier Enabled, which represents colleagues with disabilities in the company. A visually impaired person, Holt has pushed for disability inclusion and accessibility in the publishing world throughout his decade-plus career.

If you or someone you know meets the eligibility criteria—including joining the scholarly publishing field within the last 12 years and demonstrating leadership qualities on an SSP committee or task force—submit a nomination packet by March 24 to be considered. The 2023 Emerging Leader Award will be presented at SSP’s 45th Annual Meeting in Portland, May 31—June 2.

News contribution by SSP member, Lia Grabowski. Lia is an Associate Managing Editor with Wiley.

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