Australian woman elected to lead International Statistical Institute

 In News

The election results for 2015-2019 for the leadership team of the International Statistical Institute (ISI) include the announcement of Helen MacGillivray as the President-elect for 2015-2017, and President for 2017-2019.

Established in 1885, ISI is a large international professional organisation, of high standing across the world and with significant influence with governments, business, academia and other professional organisations. Its mission is to promote the understanding, development and good practice of statistics worldwide. ISI has observer status with the UN, successfully applies for grants for capacity building from the World Bank and other organisations such as the African Development Bank, and has many organisational members including national statistical offices and central banks. ISI is a flexible organisation including seven semi-autonomous Associations covering a wide spectrum of statistical sciences and applications, special interest groups, outreach committees to grow Statistics across various regions of the world. It has national statistical societies as affiliates, and collaborates with large organisations such as the Royal Statistical Society and the American Statistical Association.

Helen will be only the second Australian and the second woman to lead ISI in its 128 years of history with a roll-call of international statisticians as predecessors. The previous president from Australia was Dennis Trewin (Australian statistician 2000-2006) in 2003-2005. Helen will lead an Executive of president-elect and four vice-presidents, oversee the ISI Permanent Office in The Hague, and head the ISI Council of the Executive plus 23 members, including the 7 Association Presidents. Professor Bronwyn Harch is currently one of the Association presidents.

Helen was the first female President and the first female Honorary Life Member of the Statistical Society of Australia and was one of the first Australian Senior Learning and Teaching Fellows. She is currently an ISI Vice-President, and a past president of the International Association for Statistical Education. She is co-editor of the journal Teaching Statistics and of the Australian Conferences on Teaching Statistics, and member of the International Programme Executives for both the 8th and 9th International Conferences on Teaching Statistics.  She has been a member of the organising or editorial committees for many conferences, including World Statistics Conferences, Australian Statistics Conferences, Southern Hemisphere Conferences on Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics, and Australasian Engineering Education Conferences.

Helen’s university teaching and curriculum design experience of 40 years extends across many areas of statistical sciences and their applications, across all levels of subjects, all class sizes up to 600 and most disciplines. Her work has received many national or university grants and awards, including a national leadership grant and a national award for outstanding contributions to student learning. She has published widely, including textbooks, book chapters and almost 100 refereed, keynote or invited papers, and delivered approximately 100 local, national or international presentations and workshops. She has lead significant developments in learning support in mathematics and statistics, and was a Visiting Fellow for the UK’s Centre of Excellence in Loughborough. Helen has played key roles in mathematics and statistics school education on curriculum committees, assessment, as a statistical advisor in research and moderation, in professional development of teachers and in developing and delivering a variety of successful extension and enrichment programs in mathematics and statistics for high school students.

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