47th Annual Meeting INS Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient
New York City, New York, USA, February 20-23, 2019

Gordon J. Chelune
Gordon J. Chelune, PhD, ABPP-CN

Gordon Chelune is the second person in the history of the INS to be honored with the INS Lifetime Service Award. Gordon became the INS Executive Director in 2014 after serving as a member at large on the Board from 2002-2005 and as INS Treasurer from 2008-2014. All of the INS presidents who have served with him were unanimous in their praise for his leadership. They noted that he is a thoughtful, passionate, and patient leader. Gordon also is a good listener. When you talk with him he is fully present, focused, and engaged despite the swirl of issues he manages as Executive Director. He is a master of organizational detail, which makes for some of the longest emails any of us have ever seen! As a result, though, he leaves a legacy of clearer and more transparent society procedures, which will be the critical foundation for the society’s future growth. Gordon has always taken pride in representing INS in a positive way. He clearly cares about the best interests of the society. Importantly he is also a pragmatist, being sure that the organization’s goals don’t outstrip its financial resources—one of the less glamorous but absolutely critical responsibilities of the Executive Director. But Gordon is not all work: He takes his networking responsibilities just as seriously, so he can always be found late at night and into the wee hours at the conference bar.

Immediately after he became Executive Director, Gordon moved the INS office to Salt Lake City and with the President began planning the development of a 5-year strategic plan, which was hammered out and approved by the INS Board in the summer of 2015 at the INS Pacific Rim Conference in Sydney. All of the INS presidents acknowledged Gordon’s critical role in developing this strategic plan to bring INS into a new era. The plan emphasized modernizing the INS office (including revamping the organization’s website) in order to increase operational efficiency, increasing member benefits (including educational resources such as video interviews of influential INS leaders and a more interactive newsletter), and expanding collaborations with other neuropsychology organizations throughout the world. The first inter-organizational Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed with the Federation of European Societies of Neuropsychology in 2016, followed by the Australian Psychological Society College of Clinical Neuropsychologists in 2017, and the Latin American Society of Neuropsychology and Australasian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment in 2018. Negotiations are currently underway to establish MOUs with other organizations. More recently, Gordon has been instrumental in identifying additional sources of funding for INS—another critical step in the society’s development. All of these characteristics have made Gordon an excellent Executive Director of INS.

In addition to his contributions to INS, Gordon has also played significant roles in other neuropsychology organizations, serving as President of the National Academy of Neuropsychology and Society of Clinical Neuropsychology of the American Psychological Association, and as a board member of the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology and the Association of Postdoctoral Programs in Clinical Neuropsychology. His honors include Fellow status in the Society of Clinical Neuropsychology, National Academy of Neuropsychology, and Society of Personality Assessment, with the latter recognizing his early work in personality assessment. He has also been recognized for his outstanding contribution to the Practice and Science of Clinical Neuropsychology by the National Academy of Neuropsychology. And, finally, in 2015 he was honored with the Distinguished Lifetime Contribution to Neuropsychology Award by the National Academy of Neuropsychology.

Gordon is Board Certified in Neuropsychology through the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology of ABPP (1985). He has held a variety of faculty positions at the University of Georgia, San Diego VA and University of California at San Diego, and Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Since 2006, he has been a Professor at the University of Utah in the Department of Neurology. He has served on many federal grant review boards, journal editorial boards, and is well known for giving more than 80 workshops reflecting his broad research and clinical interests, including evidence based practice in a broad array of patients, the reliable change index, and neuropsychological changes with aging, dementia, and epilepsy.

Gordon’s research has always been translational in the true sense of the word. He has published over 115 peer-reviewed papers, which have had a strong influence on clinical practice. Much of his research focuses on the enhancement of accurate neuropsychological diagnosis across different populations (e.g., schizophrenia, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, dementia). He has made significant contributions to our understanding of the psychometric characteristics of many standardized instruments, and was involved with many of the Wechsler standardization studies. Most importantly, his research brought the very influential reliable change index into the realm of neuropsychology. With his move to the University of Utah in 2006, Gordon’s clinical and research work began to focus more upon aging and dementia, as well as the impact of health variables on cognition.

Given his outstanding record of contributions to INS and the field of neuropsychology, Gordon was chosen to receive the 2nd INS Lifetime Service Award.