The Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS) has, since its founding 1976, been the preeminent group representing regulatory affairs professionals involved in the regulation of healthcare products. With support from a dedicated professional staff, RAPS is led by 13 highly committed, distinguished and accomplished members of its board of directors.
The board sets RAPS' strategic direction, positioning it to best meet the needs and challenges of the regulatory profession.
An Opportunity to Lead RAPS and the Regulatory Profession
Much like the regulatory profession itself, the RAPS board is dynamic and evolving. Each year, the board takes on new members to ensure RAPS is constantly considering new ideas, perspectives, voices and directions.
"There are a lot of new challenges ahead," said Edward Tabor, vice president of North American regulatory affairs at Fresenius Kabi. "The regulatory landscape is constantly evolving." With new challenges come new opportunities for the regulatory profession-new opportunities RAPS is working hard to make sure the regulatory profession is positioned to capitalize upon.
RAPS is now looking for the next crop of regulatory leaders, mentors, teachers and strategic thinkers to join its board of directors for the 2014-2016 term. That someone might well be you.
"This is a great opportunity to lead the premier global organization for regulatory professionals and to help shape the future of the regulatory profession," said Cecilia Kimberlin, former chairman of the RAPS board. "Service on the board is a rewarding experience-professionally and personally-providing a unique opportunity to lead and serve the global regulatory profession and advance the value and role of RAPS around the globe."
A Keystone on Career Growth
Why should you think about joining the board of directors? As our current directors will attest, there are many reasons.
For many, their involvement in RAPS grew as RAPS helped them to grow their careers. "I had served in various capacities with increasing responsibilities," recalls Robert Yocher, a RAPS director and senior vice president of regulatory affairs and quality assurance at HeartWare Inc. "I attained my [Regulatory Affairs Certification] before participating as a speaker, author, committee chair and chair of the Boston Chapter," he added. Yocher said this experience has proved invaluable to him in being able to gain knowledge of both the role that RAPS plays in the profession and the needs of regulators. This experience, he said, made him decide to apply to become a member of the board.
Yocher's experience closely mirrors experiences recounted by Tabor.
"For many years, I had been active in a number of RAPS activities, including publishing articles in Regulatory Focus, chairing a pre-meeting symposium at the RAPS annual meeting, organizing and chairing a session in the annual meeting, and publishing a book on Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) with RAPS," Tabor explained. "It became clear to me that I ought to put these experiences to work to help guide RAPS as an organization."
Susumu Nozawa, director of technical and regulatory policy at Becton Dickinson, concurred, saying he took a similar path to the board, but from a more global perspective.
"My participation in the RAPS Board was 'ground up' from a region," Nozawa said. "I was very active in regulatory reform in Japan. In the course of those actions, it became clear that opportunities for US-based companies to learn regulatory requirements of non-US or non-EU regions were very limited, and I wanted to create such opportunities for them."
A Sense of Reward and Helping Others
For Yocher, Tabor and Nozawa, the RAPS board has represented not just the growth of their careers, but a chance to give back as well. Nozawa said the board position has given him the opportunity to leverage his regulatory experience to give back to others, and also to learn from those who have been in the field for decades. "Some board members here have 20-30 years' experience in industry or as a regulator," observed Nozawa. "This level of experience is one few others can offer."
Nozawa said what he finds most rewarding is the opportunity to give back to the regulatory profession. "The more we work, the more regulatory professionals can benefit from the work we do," he explained. "From new training modules, new delivery methods, news sources and new ways to meet with professionals…I have seen a lot of progress."
Tabor concurred. "I have found it very rewarding to be able to advocate for RAPS to my regulatory colleagues. I had had no idea how broad the influence of RAPS is until I served on the board. In addition, one of the key learning experiences comes from interacting with the other board members, many of whom come from an array of different types of regulatory positions, including some positions located in other parts of the world."
"Knowing you are helping to set the direction of RAPS for the future is most rewarding," Yocher added. "The society has indeed created and elevated the responsibilities of regulatory affairs into a true profession including credentialing. It has elevated the profession to one which is now regularly included in the 'C suite' with many senior regulatory professionals now serving as officers of their companies."
"I'm proud to be a board member of this incredible organization, which is supported by so many enthusiastic regulatory professionals around the globe," Nozawa concluded.
If you are interested in applying to join RAPS' board of directors for the 2014-2016 term, please send the completed nomination form, resume/CV and at least two letters of support to firstname.lastname@example.org by 26 April 2013.
More information can be found on the Board Nominations Process webpage, or the RAPS Board of Directors page.