Julie Swann

Julie Swann

Allison Distinguished Professor and Head,
Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, NC State University

Biographical Profile


  • Ph.D. & M.S. in Industrial Engineering/Management Science, Northwestern University
  • B.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering, Georgia Tech

Professional Experience

  • 2017+:
    • Allison Distinguished Professor and ISE Department Head, NC State
    • Adjunct/Affiliate in Biomedical Engineering
  • 2015-2017:
    • Harold R. & Mary Anne Nash Professor (ISyE, Georgia Tech)
    • Various faculty positions (2002-2015)
  • 2007-2017: Co-director of GT Center for Health and Humanitarian Systems
  • 2009-2010: CDC, Advisor on H1N1 pandemic response

Selected INFORMS and Related Activities

  • Chair of CIEADH (Council of Industrial Engineering Academic Department Heads), 2021-present
  • Chair of ACORD (Association of Chairs of Operations Research Departments), 2017-2018 
  • Co-founder, President of Junior Faculty Interest Group (2001-2003) 
  • Other INFORMS:
    • President, Section on Public Sector Operations Research; Chair, MSOM Supply Chain SIG (2009-2011); Subdivisions Council (2009-2011)
  • Committees: Strategic Planning (2018); Advocacy Governance (2020-2022), competitions (many)
  • Conferences: 
    • 2006 MSOM Conference, Organizing Committee; Multi-Echelon/Public Applications of Supply Chain Management, Chair
    • 10+ years co-chairing global Health and Humanitarian Logistics conference
  • Editorial: 
    • Guest editor of Interfaces issue on Humanitarian Applications; previous editorial roles (e.g., Operations Research, M&SOM, POM, Encyclopedia of OR
    • government briefings, 2000+ media appearances, National Academies service
  • Select Awards:
    • GT Steven A. Denning Faculty Award for Global Engagement (2016)
    • Fellow, AIMBE and IISE 
    • INFORMS Volunteer Service Award (2020)
    • NSF CAREER Award (2004) 


Publications in OR/MS journals, e.g., Operations Research, M&SOM, POM, and Annals of Applied Statistics, and health journals (2020 JCR impact factors), e.g., JAMA Network Open (45.540), J. of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (10.228), Ophthalmology (8.470), J. of AIDS (3.475), Vaccine (3.143), Health Services Research (2.351), Medical Decision Making (2.309), etc. Opinion columns, e.g., The New York Times (7/2010), The Hill (4/2020, 10/2020, 8/2021), etc.

More information can be found at:

Vision Statement

I am proud of the impact that INFORMS has had over its long history, and I am honored to be nominated for President.  

We are all aware our world is changing, and indeed, the pace of change has accelerated. The pandemic has hastened adoption of automation; ubiquitous data collection has led to algorithms governing society; and the Earth itself may be irrevocably altered. So, what does that mean for today?  

I believe we need to continue focusing on innovation, tying it to the impact of INFORMS and its membership, while ensuring inclusiveness across the organization. I think we can identify existing challenges and successes, and consider what changes are needed. Modifications may be needed across INFORMS’ infrastructure, information flow, or even incentives, to help align decisions across the enterprise.  

If elected, I plan the following.

(i) Listen to members throughout INFORMS about challenges, opportunities, and aspirations for the organization.

I believe leadership of professional societies should promote the success of the organization and its members, especially while encouraging inclusivity and long-term sustainability. The COVID-19 pandemic brought on many challenges, but it also ignited new ideas and opportunities that excite me for INFORMS, e.g., conference experiences, membership communications, advocacy participation, member and organizational visibility, continued advancement in diversity, and measurement and evaluation toward the strategic plan. However, I know each of you has tremendous ideas I want to hear. 

If elected, I would engage in a period of listening that is intentional and structured, hearing voices from throughout INFORMS on aspirations and opportunities for the organization.

(ii) Identify mechanisms within the INFORMS enterprise to enhance innovation (and impact and inclusion).

INFORMS has many components, such as subdivisions, publications, and conferences – are there successes from INFORMS or other societies that can be identified, learned, and shared across the organizational matrix? Examples include journals publishing articles about available data, societies creating new Fellow awards, interdisciplinary paper competitions, etc. What incentives are or could be in place, that align decisions across INFORMS, to help increase innovation, enhance impact, or improve inclusion? 

(iii) Evaluate current or new ideas for effect on innovation, impact, or inclusion.

It is important to evaluate existing or potential innovations so we can allocate limited resources effectively, while scaling efficiently. We do not have time, money, or energy to implement all ideas. We can evaluate ideas, e.g., through objective measures, member feedback, or structured thinking, in advance and after an initial implementation. It will also be important to measure outcomes relative to INFORMS’ strategic plan, such as member satisfaction with conferences, progress with diversity and inclusion in our community, etc. And as many know, measurement drives behavior.

(iv) Determine how to organizationally implement and sustain the process for the future.

What would be needed to repeat an activity by other journals or divisions, or to scale it? In some cases, information sharing can enable repeatability (e.g., across journals or subdivisions). In general, we should examine infrastructure (e.g., committees, officers, links among them, processes for change) and information (what flows when and how to whom) to identify and execute new ideas efficiently and effectively while ensuring repeatability of the process.

I have had many leadership roles within INFORMS and other organizations. If elected, I look forward to collaborating with you as we continue to move toward the INFORMS vision of “better decision-making for a just, prosperous, and sustainable world” and its mission to advance and promote “the science and technology of decision-making to save lives, save money, and solve problems.”