January / February 2019

A New Year Begins for Young Professionals in 2019

LeAnna M. Pearson

Happy 2019! The last time I saw many of you was at the ISPE 2018 Annual Meeting & Expo in Philadelphia, where I started my tenure as the ISPE International Young Professionals Chair.

When I began my involvement with ISPE in graduate school, I found not just a technical and professional community, but a family. I am currently part of the bluebird bio family as well—a member of the Quality Assurance groups as a QAV Manager at the Durham, North Carolina, site. In this amazing role I get to work with other talented individuals as we create bluebird’s first gene therapy manufacturing facility. So far, this job has taken me on travels around the world and pushed me far past what I thought I could do. I have loved every moment of it!

Young Professionals Benefits

Being an ISPE Young Professionals has many benefits, including:

  • Identifying, supporting, and sharing local affiliate and chapter programs that serve Young Professionals and enhance their ISPE experience
  • Providing guidance and best practices for affiliates and chapters as they establish new Young Professionals or student groups
  • Interfacing with other ISPE Communities of Practice to increase Young Professionals and student involvement
  • Providing Young Professionals input to continuing ISPE initiatives

Young Professionals Changes

We were honored to receive the Committee of the Year award at the Membership and Awards Breakfast during the ISPE 2018 Annual Meeting & Expo. As 2019 begins, I want to build on this momentum. As Young Professionals we span both age range and experience levels. While you can be a new graduate, you can also be someone who is new to the industry and looking to make more professional connections. We have grown in the past year and will continue to grow in the year to come. If you are looking to attend a Young Professionals event or are interested in starting a Young Professional Group, contact me or post on the Young Professionals Online Community.

Join US

As Walt Disney said, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” Please “begin doing” by joining us. We want your expertise and your thoughts on development and growth. Volunteering for a local or international spot on the Young Professional Committee can take as much time as you want it to.

When I first started, I just called into the meetings and listened. As I started to feel more comfortable, I decided to take on more responsibility, starting with smaller roles that eventually led me to my current position. The sidebar Open Positions lists several committees that are looking for Young Professional members. You can choose one of these, or find another one that interests you. You can view ISPE’s roster of Communities of Practice.

I have received much helpful guidance and feedback from both the Young Professionals leaders and the International Board of Directors; while I am much more assured of what I am doing, I still look to many of those people, whom I now call friends, for that same guidance from time to time. Let’s be honest—we will always be growing in our careers, and nobody knows it all. I am and will always be humbled by the time that people have spent helping me navigate my early-career journey as the International Young Professional Chair.


  • Young Professionals Community Secretary
  • PE Magazine Committee
  • iSpeak Blog
  • Annual Meeting Planning: Europe or Asia–Pacific Contact

LeAnna Pearson, IYPC Chair,