Mary DeMelim

September 6, 1930 – September 21, 2012

Brief Biography

DeMelim Obituary Portrait

Mary R. DeMelim was the first full-time Executive Director of The Institute of Management Sciences (TIMS), serving 1968--2004. She was the first non-practitioner to receive the society’s Distinguished Service Award (today’s George E. Kimball Medal). For nearly three decades, Mary oversaw the day-to-day operations of TIMS at its Rhode Island offices. Additionally, she was responsible for planning and running domestic and international conferences and meetings. Under her direction, TIMS grew into a thriving association with 15 full-time employees.

Mary believed that any project could be improved upon. The care and dedication with which she directed the operations of TIMS played a major role in shaping the society into a successful organization. She retired in 1995 after the Operations Research Society of America (ORSA) merged with TIMS to form the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). Mary maintained a close working relationship with the organization, serving as a consultant to the institute’s College on the Practice of Management Sciences.

In 2004, Mary was elected into the third class of INFORMS Fellows, recognizing her exceptional accomplishments and significant contributions to the advancement of OR/MS. In addition to her work with professional operations research organizations, she was an accomplished artist and global traveler. Mary passed away on September 21, 2012. She is survived by her loving husband, John E. DeMelim, her sons John R. and David DeMelim and their wives, and five grandchildren.


Non-Academic Affiliations
  • MRD Associates

Key Interests in OR/MS

Application Areas


(2012) INFORMS News: In Memoriam - Mary R. DeMelim (1930-2012). OR/MS Today, 39(6). (link)

Current Obituaries. Anderson-Winfield Funeral Home: Mary R. DeMelim. Accessed May 31, 2015. (link)

Awards and Honors

TIMS Distinguished Service Award/George E. Kimball Medal 1994

Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences Fellow 2004

Professional Service

The Institute of Management Sciences (TIMS), Executive Director 1968-1995