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About DIA


The Drug Information Association (DIA) was founded in 1964 by a group of 30 pharmaceutical professionals, medical writers and academicians who saw the need to facilitate communications and foster cooperative efforts among professionals working in health care industries primarily engaged in drug development, medical communications and health information. The founding of DIA was closely tied to the passing of the Kefauver-Harris Amendment on the heels of the devastation of thalidomide, a sedative used to treat morning sickness in pregnant women that was causing birth defects in Europe, Canada and other countries. Thomas Teal, a long-time pharmaceutical executive and DIA’s founder, felt strongly that a vehicle that provided accurate up-to -date pharmaceutical information was needed more than ever, thus the founding of DIA and eventually the publication of pharmaceutical research in the association’s official journal, The Drug Information Journal. (Read more about this landmark ruling at http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm322856.html)

Over the past 50 years, DIA has grown into an international, highly respected organization. The Association is fully independent; this ensures an unbiased environment for the Associations’ activities and goals. DIA provides educational and professional development opportunities for individuals working in the pharmaceutical and medical product development-related fields, as well as a global, unbiased forum for the exchange of information across multiple disciplines of programming and publications. These opportunities help facilitate the process of bringing life-saving medicines and health care technologies to the world.

To achieve these goals, DIA offers a large selection of meetings, webinars, e-learning and training programs throughout the world. The Association also provides three regular publications to its members including: The Global Forum, a news and information digital resource that keeps members advised of activities and events at the Association as well as current trends in the health care arena; Therapeutic Innovation & Regulatory Science, DIA’s official scholarly, peer-reviewed journal; and the CSO Directory, an annual, international digital reference guide compiling information from drug development and clinical trial companies.

The Association is governed by an international Board of Directors. A new president is elected each year by the members of DIA during the North America Annual Meeting. The Global Chief Executive is seated in the global center, located in Washington, DC and oversees the activities of the Association’s executive leadership, ensuring cohesive, global efforts to support the Association’s strategic plan.

DIA Through the Years

Founding ,1964 – 1980

Presidents : E. W. Martin, E. A. Conrad, Oliver Buchanan, Jean Weston, Donald Francke, Winifred Sewell, Paul De Haen, J. D. Archer, Charles Leighton,  Bob West, John R. Lewis, Frank J. Liska, Daniel A. Hussar, Dwight Tousignau, Samuel Rock, Howard Corey

  • The Association was founded in 1964 and incorporated in 1972 in the State of Maryland as a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3).  The founding members were a group of 30 individuals including medical writers, academicians and pharmaceutical industry professionals.  Their objective was the facilitation, standardization and sharing of information with professionals in medical and drug information related industries.  During this period, the main event was the Annual Meeting which is held in the United States.  Occasionally, additional meetings were conducted on specific topics.  The Drug Information Bulletin was published during this period.  


  • Mr. Thomas W. Teal managed the DIA and became the Editor-in-Chief of the Drug Information Journal.  At this time membership was approximately 300 members.


  • Mr. Thomas W. Teal assumed the position as DIA’s first Executive Director and Editor-in-Chief of the Drug Information Journal and headquartered The DIA Administrative Office in his Maple Glen, PA home.   


  • Carol Layer joined as Administrative Secretary.


Presidents: Judith K. Jones, Robert V. Cuddihy, Stephen J. Frycki, Peter H. Rheinstein Roger W. Croswell, Elizabeth F. Force, Joseph R. Assenzo, Peter H. Rheinstein, Elizabeth B. D'Angelo   


  • DIA Administrative Office moved to a medical office building in Maple Glen, PA.


  • Membership grew to about 4,000.


  • DIA moved to an office complex in Springhouse, PA, and staff grew to 17 employees.
  • The first DIA EuroMeeting was held.


  • The North American Steering Committee was established, shortly thereafter the Steering Committees for Europe was also created.

Presidents:  Karen K. Church, Roger W. Croswell, Harry A. Guess, Patricia E. Stewart, Louis A. Morris, David M. Cocchetto, John J. Donahue, Kenneth I. Kaitin, Elizabeth B. D’Angelo, Theresa P. Dowling


  • DIA established a contract office in Basel, Switzerland.
  • Membership increased to over 9,000, the number of meetings, training courses and symposia increased to over 30 per year.


  • Mr. Thomas Teal retired from the position of Executive Director, but continued as Editor-in-Chief of the Drug Information Journal.
  • Mr. Erich F. Lukas Jr., became the Executive Director of DIA
  • Membership increased to approximately 11,000 members


  • DIA held its first meeting in Japan.


  • The Steering Committee for South West Asia Pacific was established.


  • Joseph R. Assenzo  was named Executive Director
  • DIA’s website http://www.diahome.org was created and became operational in April.


  • Worldwide Headquarters was established in Fort Washington PA, staff size increased to 40 employees.


  • DIA established a contract office in Tokyo, Japan.

Presidents: John C. Alexander, Irwin G. Martin, Chuck Depew, Eleanor Perfetto, Theresa Musser,  Cynthia Kirk, Ronald D. Fitzmartin, Mary A. Dray, Jeffrey W. Sherman

  • DIA officially established an office in Basel Switzerland.
  • DIA Foundation was chartered.
  • Land for the DIA Worldwide Corporate Headquarters was purchased in Horsham, PA.


  • Dr. Michel Mikhail became the Director of European Operations in Basel, Switzerland.
  • Construction of DIA’s new Worldwide Corporate Headquarters in Horsham, PA, was completed.
  • DIA, LLC, opened Japan Branch Office in Tokyo.


  • Joseph R. Assenzo retired and Dr. Irwin Martin served as DIA Acting Executive Director.  Dr. Wayne Nitchuck joined DIA as Director of European Operations, and Hiroyuki Usuki became the Director, DIA Japan.
  • DIA sponsored over 130 education events, and launched its first certification program for Certified Clinical Investigators; membership increased to approximately 25,000.
  • The DIA Foundation began operations and provided support to students, government agencies and research programs fostering international development, regulatory fellowships, educational grants and research grants through its charitable and philanthropic activities.


  • David Maola, Esq. was named as the Executive Director of DIA and Dr. Brigitte Franke-Bray was appointed Director, European Operations.


  • DIA’s certification program for Certified Clinical Investigators was transferred to the Association of Clinical Research Professionals certification program to support the broad based, neutral forum which is DIA’s mission and transferred this program to an institution dedicated to this specific goal.
  • DIA’s new website was updated and released, facilitating and personalizing information for DIA members.
  • DIA’s flagship meetings (the DIA Annual Meeting and EuroMeeting) broke previous attendance records. In addition, programs and activities to facilitate and reward volunteer, involvement with DIA were strategically planned and activated.  
  • DIA Board of Directors voted to dissolve the DIA Foundation and pursue its philanthropic mission through DIA as a not-for-profit 501(c) (3).


  • Board approved a pilot program for the development of chapters.  It was decided to begin with two student chapters at Eastern Michigan State University and at the University of Copenhagen.
  • Business plan for training was approved to offer a certificate program.
  • Philanthropic Program established to provide funding to research projects and events.
  • Revised Bylaws were approved.


  • India office (DIA India Private Limited) opened in Mumbai; Director of India was hired and the Provisional Advisory Council India (pACI) was established.
  • DIA China office opened, Provisional Advisory Council China (pACC) was established and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the SFDA/CCPIE.
  • Annual Meeting in Boston had the highest attendance in DIA history.
  • Two new legal entities were established in Europe, DIA Europe GmbH and DIA elearning Europe GmbH.


  • Revised version of the DIA Today, now called the Global Forum, launched as a new publication, the first DIA publication to include a student member on its editorial board.
  • DIA presented our first training workshop in China and first China Annual Meeting in collaboration with the SFDA/CCPIE.
  • Leadership from the FDA, WHO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, International Vaccine Initiative, Developing Countries Regulatory Network, and BIO Ventures for Global Health, convened at DIA’s first Global Vaccine Development for World Health Symposium.
  • DIA presented our first Regulatory Communications workshop and Regulatory Affairs training course in Japan, and our first CMC Compliance meeting and Evaluation of Quality & Bioavailability workshop in India.
  • DIA presented our first Annual Meeting Online, a selection of webinars delivered live during Annual Meeting presentations to participants who could not attend in person.
  • Paul Pomerantz was named the Worldwide Executive Director of DIA.
  • DIA announced new Vision and Mission statements that raised our association’s role from a neutral venue for sharing information to one that facilitates knowledge required to raise the level of health and well being worldwide.

2010- Current
Presidents: Richard O. Day, Yves Juillet, Ling Su
Current President: Minnie Baylor-Henry (2013)
Incoming President: Per Spindler (2014)

  • DIA and the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association (CPA) collaborate on first quarterly Chinese language DIA/CPA newsletter.
  • First Annual Canadian Meeting in collaboration with the Clinical Research Association of Canada to simultaneously webcast a tutorial.
  • First DIA 2010 Korea Meeting.
  • Launch of DIA ConneX connects DIA SIAC members virtually worldwide.
  • First Steering Committee of Latin America, established by DIA Board of Directors, with representatives from Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico.


  • Launched the SIAC Leadership Council (SLC), a group created to provide oversight while allowing the Special Interest Area Communities (SIACs) to grow globally.
  • New Regional Directors for Japan and India, and the first Director for North America and first Program Development Coordinator for Latin America, were hired.
  • First-ever North America Patient Advocate Fellowship Program is created as DIA Student and Patient Advocate activities continued to grow exponentially.
  • DIA served as co-sponsor of the Asia-Pacific region’s first Asia Regulatory Conference.
  • DIA opened a satellite office in Washington, DC.


  • The DIA Philanthropy Program was reintroduced with a primary focus on DIA’s own Patient Advocate program.     
  • DIA SIACs become Communities to more accurately reflect the global nature of the association


  • Barbara Lopez Kunz was named the Global Chief Executive of DIA.
  • DIA Board of Directors approved the first DIA Strategic Plan for implementation in 2014.
  • DIA solidified its presence in Washington, DC with the opening of offices at 21 DuPont Circle NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20036

DIA Annual Report

DIA 2013 Annual Report

Read DIA 2013 Annual Report



DIA 2012 Annual Report

Read DIA 2012 Highlights & Financial Report