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Sally T. Hillsman Appointed New ASA Executive Officer

Sally T. Hillsman, a sociologist with a specialty in crime and justice, joins the American Sociological Association (ASA) as Executive Officer on May 15, 2002. Hillsman is currently the Deputy Director at the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), U.S. Department of Justice, where she has served since 1996. She succeeds Felice J. Levine, who has led the Association as Executive Officer since 1991. Levine leaves ASA to become Executive Director of the American Educational Research Association.

In making the announcement on behalf of ASA Council, ASA President Barbara Reskin said, “Sally Hillsman is a talented sociologist with the breadth of leadership that will contribute importantly to the advancement of sociology for many years ahead. We very much look forward to her arrival and to what she will add to the Association.”

ASA Secretary Kalleberg chaired the Committee on the Executive Office and Budget (EOB) that conducted the search. With equal enthusiasm, he indicated that “Hillsman was identified as an extraordinary candidate from a rich talent-pool of applicants. We are fortunate indeed to have a top-level administrator with experience in research, government, and non-profit organizations take the helm at ASA and represent the discipline.”

In accepting the appointment, Hillsman said, “It is a great privilege for me to be joining the ASA at a time in which the social and behavioral sciences are flourishing and making major contributions to both the development of scientific knowledge and public policy. I am looking forward to meeting the many challenges that lie ahead for the Association and the discipline.”

Hillsman has been responsible for developing and managing the external behavioral and social science research program and the intramural research program at the National Institute of Justice. Before joining NIJ, she was Vice President for Research at the National Center for State Courts in Williamsburg, Virginia, and, prior to that, Associate Director of the Vera Institute of Justice in New York City. She was also on the faculty in the Department of Sociology at Queens College of the City University of New York. Beyond Hillsman’s sociological work on crime and justice, she brings research expertise on labor markets and education, with an emphasis on race and gender.

In addition to being a longstanding member of the ASA, Hillsman has been active in the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP), the American Society of Criminology (ASC), and the Eastern Sociological Society (ESS). She is currently on the Executive Council of the ASC. She served on the Board of SSSP from 1977-80 and was Vice President in 1982-83.

A noted expert on research and science policy issues ranging from data access to confidentiality, Hillsman is currently a member of the ASA’s Committee on Professional Ethics and a member of the Social and Behavioral Science Working Group of the National Human Research Protections Advisory Committee. She earned her doctoral degree in sociology from Columbia University and her AB degree in economics and sociology from Mount Holyoke College. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Hillsman was the recipient of a Danforth Fellowship and a predoctoral Fellowship from the National Institute of Mental Health.

Noting “how impressive a sociologist, leader, administrator, and spokesperson Hillsman is,” Executive Officer Levine indicated that “we are already hard at work on the transition together. Our members can anticipate a person of enormous range, talent, and depth.”