INFORMS Names Elena Gerstmann Executive Director

CATONSVILLE, MD – INFORMS, the leading association for operations research and analytics professionals, announced today that Elena Gerstmann, Ph.D., FASAE, CAE, has been named Executive Director effective July 27.

Before joining INFORMS, Dr. Gerstmann served as a consultant, facilitator, researcher, and leader on key client projects for Avenue M Group. She previously served on the senior executive team at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) where she was responsible for strategy and planning, volunteer leadership development, corporate communications, international relationships, board relationships, and executive operations. Before being recruited to ASME, Gerstmann was an executive with IEEE, the world’s largest professional association for the advancement of technology. 

Gerstmann earned her doctorate in social psychology from Rutgers University. A Fellow of the American Society for Association Executives (ASAE) and a Certified Association Executive, Gerstmann is a recognized thought leader in the association community. In 2017, she received the ASAE’s Professional Performance Award, which recognizes invaluable contributions made by association executives who are at the top level within their organizations. She served on the ASAE and ASAE Foundation Board of Directors from 2012-2015. Previously, she was chair of the ASAE Research Committee.

As Executive Director, Gerstmann will lead INFORMS, its Board, members, and 55-person staff through the development and implementation of a new strategic planning process. This will ensure the organization continues to meet the evolving needs of operations research, analytics, and other data science professionals, while ensuring ongoing operational excellence.

“On behalf of the INFORMS Board of Directors, we are delighted to announce that Elena Gerstmann has been selected as our next Executive Director,” said INFORMS President Pinar Keskinocak and President-elect Stephen C. Graves. “After a comprehensive national search that evaluated many excellent candidates, it was clear that Elena possessed the perfect intersection of association leadership skills and experience, combined with the unique understanding of technical professional societies such as INFORMS. Elena’s qualifications make her an exceptional choice to lead us into our future as we embark on a new strategic planning process while navigating the rapidly evolving business, societal, and technological challenges of this unprecedented time.” 

“I could not be more excited to join the INFORMS community,” said Gerstmann. “Just look at the world around us, and the incredible contributions operations research and analytics professionals make to society, business, and government. They are truly saving lives, saving money, and solving problems. After spending years with other STEM associations and consulting with many professional associations, I look forward to helping this great organization continue to meet its mission and continue to evolve and thrive.”

Gerstmann will take over for Melissa Moore, who is retiring. Moore has served as executive director since 2011.



With over 12,000 members from nearly 90 countries, INFORMS is the largest international association of operations research (O.R.) and analytics professionals and students. INFORMS provides unique networking and learning opportunities for individual professionals and organizations of all types and sizes, to better understand and use O.R. and analytics tools and methods to transform strategic visions and achieve better outcomes. Visit or @informs.



INFORMS Names Elena Gerstmann Executive Director

Media Contact

Ashley Smith
Public Affairs Coordinator
Catonsville, MD
[email protected]

See all Releases