Vice President- Membership & Professional Recognition


Pelin Pekgün

Associate Professor of Management Science,
Faculty Director of M.S. in Business Analytics Program,
Darla Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina

Biographical Profile


  • M.S.(2005), Ph.D. (2007), Industrial Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA
  • B.S.(2000), M.S. (2001), Industrial Engineering, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey

Professional Experience

  • University of South Carolina (Faculty Director 2020-present, Associate Professor 2018-present; Assistant Professor 2012-2018)
  • Georgia Institute of Technology (Visiting Assistant Professor 2011-2012)
  • JDA Software Group (Manager, Analytical Services 2009-2011; Solution Architect/O.R. Consultant 2006-2009)

Current INFORMS Activities

  • VP of Membership and Professional Recognition, INFORMS Board of Directors (2020-present)
  • Member, INFORMS Practice Section Board and Practice Strategy Committee (2017/2018-present)
  • Track Chair, INFORMS Business Analytics Conference (2015-present)


Author of journal articles and book chapters that have appeared in Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, Production & Operations Management, Journal of Operations Management, Decision Sciences, IIE Transactions, INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics and others.

Vision Statement

I would be honored to continue in my role as the VP of Membership and Professional Recognition for a second term, if elected, working toward increasing and retaining INFORMS membership and ensuring that our awards exemplify the best characteristics of the science and technology of decision-making and the impact that it makes to save lives, save money and solve problems. Although my first term coincided with unprecedented circumstances facing a global pandemic, it has been an absolute pleasure to work with the wonderful INFORMS staff and volunteers in both membership and recognition areas. I have also had the privilege to serve in the Board of Directors at an important time to develop a new strategic plan and renew the vision and mission of INFORMS. Two of the strategic goals to make this plan actionable are particularly related to membership and recognition: “Enhance member value and experience” and “Advance diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in all we do.” I believe that there is an important synergy between these two goals. Being more diverse and equitable can not only lead to a larger membership base, but also create a safer, nondiscriminatory and more inclusive environment for our members for a better experience. Thus, my primary objective in my second term will be working toward implementing our strategic plan, with a particular focus on supporting the operationalization of these two goals.

In the area of professional recognition, my first term has focused on working with the Professional Recognition Committee on revising the policies for several awards toward consistent and clear practices, incorporating criteria for professional ethics into the Fellow selection process and establishing a formal revocation policy, devising a review policy to assess the health of awards, and preparing best practices to help with creating and managing successful awards at the subdivision level. Following the development of the new INFORMS strategic goals, we have established two task forces within the Professional Recognition Committee. The first task force will focus on a holistic award review to assess how the existing awards support the goals, identify areas with gaps in recognition opportunities, and assess award health. The second task force will focus on DEI to ensure consistency in the procedures of each award to promote DEI in award nomination and committee formation, ensure better visibility for volunteer opportunities, and gather demographics to assess DEI in award committees and awardees. In my second term, I will look forward to seeing these efforts through, and turning the findings into actions to better identify and recognize the outstanding work of our members with more diverse and equitable opportunities and policies. 

In the area of membership, my first term has focused on working with the Membership Committee and INFORMS staff on finding ways to support our members during challenging times, identifying member opportunities through a comprehensive market research study on key trends for O.R. & analytics professionals, assessing membership trends for growth and retention at various levels, and utilizing my involvement in other INFORMS committees such as the Practice Section Board and the Practice Strategy Committee to find ways to strengthen the ties between academia and industry. In my second term, I will look forward to continuing to champion these efforts, with a particular focus on assessing and advancing DEI in our membership base by expanding the collection of demographic information, such as gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, geography and affiliation (e.g., academia, industry). I will also work across INFORMS to identify opportunities that can enhance the value for our practitioner members, and ways to retain our student members for continued involvement with our profession and community post-graduation.