Print Page | Contact Us | Sign In | Register
Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Karen J. Souter, MB, BS


Seattle, WA

I have been a SEA member for 14 years of which 6 years have been in service as a member of the board. I have led a number of workshops over the years; I have chaired 2 SEA Spring meetings in Seattle in 2009 and 2015. As a long-standing member of the Educational Meetings committee I have a strong understanding of how our society works and particularly how we continue to create interesting and innovative meetings. The committees are the lifeblood of the SEA! It is the committees that keep the day-to-day tasks of the society going and whose innovations continue to move us forward and upwards! SEA has 13 standing committees and various task forces.

Some of the more notable achievements of different committees in recent months include:

  • Getting the Journal of Education in Perioperative Medicine (JEPM) listed in PubMed Central (PMC)
  • Developing the “SEAd” Grant program, a $10,000 education research starter grant open to SEA faculty members (Research committee)

These highlights are just tips of the enormous “icebergs” of work that our committees generate. I shall look forward to the opportunity to work closely with the committee chairs and members to support their important work.

My vision for the future of the society is to see it continue to grow and advance anesthesia education. The SEA is a strong supporter of academic anesthesiology educators; we already offer a wide portfolio of resources (research opportunities, The Workshop on Teaching, milestone assessment tools, faculty development, etc.). I would like to see the society explore new avenues for supporting academic educators such as leadership development and by being at the forefront of new teaching strategies. In 2015 I co-chaired the SEA Spring meeting in Seattle where we joined forces with surgical educators. This experienced helped me better understand how our society can collaborate with other like-minded societies. I believe SEA has a great deal to offer as well as learn from collaborations and I hope we can forge more joint ventures with educators in anesthesia as well as other disciplines.

I am excited to be offered this opportunity to take the next step in the leadership of our society. At the same time I am grateful for the continuing support of the SEA members that has brought me to this point and I look forward to continuing to work with the society and all its members.

Stephanie B. Jones, MD

Vice President/President-Elect

Boston, MA

My participation in SEA began simply with gathering information at annual meetings. I was excited to meet other educators who shared my enthusiasm and faced similar challenges. Later, I joined the Committees on Resident Evaluation, then Educational Meetings, and Research. I loved the camaraderie and mentorship available to members of SEA. Through SEA’s work on the ACGME core competencies, for example, I attained the maximum reaccreditation term after my first RRC visit as Program Director at Beth Israel Deaconess. Reviewing submitted abstracts for the spring meetings always gets me thinking about ways to improve education for my own students, trainees, and faculty. I have also contributed to the society, having led workshops, served as Program Chair for the 2009 Fall and 2014 Spring Annual meetings, as a member of the Board of Directors, and currently Secretary. During that time, I progressed from junior faculty to assistant Program Director, to Program Director, and now Vice Chair for Education. As my personal career development needs have changed over the years, I have come to understand better the various roles that SEA must play in faculty development to provide resources and learning opportunities for everyone from residents and early faculty to senior leadership. Our more recent attention to recognizing educators and supporting their academic advancement through the Philip Liu Awards and SEAd grants demonstrates our commitment to furthering the specialty as a whole.

I have witnessed the evolution of SEA over the years from a small society to the strong organization it is today. My goal as President-elect would be to support the mission and growth of the organization, while maintaining the “family” feel that is so important to fostering personal relationships within the society. Linking our Fall meeting to SAAAPM in 2019 will provide an interesting opportunity to assess and meet the needs of core and subspecialty Program Directors, and add more of them to our membership ranks. The renewed and sustained efforts by the Medical Student and Resident Education committees are key to attracting residents and students to SEA; they are our future clinical educators.

SEA has been an essential part of my development in academic anesthesiology. I am honored to serve as your President-elect and continuing our wonderful forward progress.

John D. Mitchell, MD


Boston, MA

I am the Residency Program Director for the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care, and Pain Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and an Associate Professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School.

I have been a loyal SEA member since 2004. I began my service to SEA as the chair designee of the website committee in 2007 and chaired that committee from 2009-13. In that time, I assisted with the transition to 2 different and progressively more sophisticated websites for which I received a commendation for exceptional service from SEA. I have lead 2 rounds of strategic planning on the Board of Directors regarding technology in education. I also serve on the educational meetings committee and co-hosted the Spring meeting in Boston in 2014. I been honored to serve on our Board of Directors since 2012, and on the Finance Committee since 2014.

My research interests include teaching professionalism and communication skills, optimizing resident performance, ultrasound simulation, and increasing educational efficiency. I was a Rabkin Fellow in medical education in 2009-2010 and pursued a Medical Education Research Certificate through SEA in 2011-2012. I also was fortunate enough to receive a John Hedley Whyte research grant in 2010-2011 and a FAER education research grant in 2012-2014 to pursue topics in education research. I regularly collaborate with other SEA members in multicenter education research projects. Last year, I was honored with the inaugural Philip Liu award in Education Research at the SEA meeting in Jacksonville. My co-investigators and I gratefully donated the proceeds associated with that award to the SEA to further support other researchers.

My goals as Secretary are to continue to enhance the visibility of our organization, grow our membership, and enhance our implementation of valuable educational technologies as a specialty. This year, I initiated a SEA panel at the IARS, which I anticipate will become an annual feature at this meeting. Similarly, I will work with the Educational Meetings Committee to ensure the success of our fall meeting prior to the SAAAPM meeting in 2020. I believe these efforts will both increase our organizational visibility and further our mission of educating educators by reaching out beyond our usual forums. Finally, I will continue to work with the committee on the Advancement of Educational Technology committee to teach members about the latest educational technologies and keep our Society in the forefront of educational innovation.

I appreciate the opportunity I have had to represent you and serve the SEA to date. I look forward to continuing to help the SEA continue to grow and support educators in our specialty.

Jane Easdown, MD


Nashville, TN

Sound financial management and vision are necessary as SEA grows in stature as an academic society. I look forward to continuing the financial stewardship and be open to every new opportunity to use our funds wisely for our common vision and goals.

In the last years, the Finance Committee has worked diligently to support new opportunities for our society. In April 2015, we created the first investment policy and invested funds conservatively so that future projects can be supported. The SEAd grant endowment fund was established and first awarded in 2016 to support the educational research of an early career SEA member. The McLeskey Endowment, invested to support the lectureship, has reached its financial goal. In 2017 the Journal of Education and Perioperative Medicine (JEPM) became indexed through Pubmed and the Finance Committee supported the expansion of the journal. This year we launched our new website and also added the use of Guidebook- a resource to support our annual meetings. All these initiatives require financial oversight. Initiatives of this quality that support and benefit the SEA membership are key to our shared financial future.

I am a SEA Member since 1999 and a Board member since 2010. My medical training began in Canada at McGill University and since 1996 I am faculty in the neuroanesthesia division at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. SEA has been central to my career development as an educator. I am an elected member of the Academy of Excellence in Education, a group at Vanderbilt who peer coach and mentor other faculty. I have facilitated panels and workshops at ASA, SEA, SNACC, ACGME and IMSH meetings. I have served in many capacities for SEA-Treasurer, Chair of the Educational Meetings Committee and course director for the 2006 SEA spring meeting in Nashville. I am a member of the ASA Patient Safety Editorial Board who create the on- line educational modules for patient safety CME and MOCA. Through SEA I have found the opportunities and mentorship to progress in my medical education career, an opportunity I wish to see for all SEA members.

It is the duty of the Treasurer to support the vision of the Society through its financial activities. And we are always open to new opportunities. A sound financial foundation supports the future for all of us in SEA. I am honored to continue to serve you in this position. Thank you for your support and consideration.

Michael R. Sandison, MD

Past President

Delmar, NY

The best advice that I was given after I was appointed Director of Resident Education at Albany Medical Center in 1999 was to join the SEA. As a member, and a participant in the SEA Teaching Workshop in 2003, I developed as a medical teacher and professional educator. I gradually became involved in the educational offerings of the society, and in 2004, as a member of the SEA President’s Task Force on the ACGME Competencies, I co-chaired the Patient Care Workshop at the Harrisburg meeting. In 2006, I co-chaired two workshops at the Spring Meeting dealing with Phase 3 of the ACGME Outcomes Project, and we produced a final evaluation tool, which can also be used as a graduate employer assessment.

I also served as Program Chair for the SEA Fall 2008 meeting in Orlando. I have completed two terms on the SEA Board of Directors, and two terms as Treasurer. The past two terms were a challenging transition for the SEA, as the ASA moved to relinquish management of the sub-specialty organizations. I played an active role in the appointment and transition to SAMI as our management company.

SEA has nurtured my career in residency education, and I feel a very strong loyalty to this organization and its future well-being. My vision for the future of the Society is first to ensure that we provide expert educational offerings to all physician teachers of anesthesiology, while protecting our financial solvency and reserves. Second, we must develop and share educational tools, including curriculum and milestones assessment products. Third, we must continue to foster and protect the spirit of idealism, the principle of inclusion, and the shared educational mission that characterizes the culture of SEA.


Jeffrey S. Berger, MD, MBA


Washington, DC

Jeffrey Berger, MD is a Professor of Anesthesiology at The George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences. He completed his medical degree, residency training and served as junior faculty in New York where he was affiliated with The University of Rochester, Weill Cornell Medical Center, and New York University.

Dr. Berger completed a Masters in Business Administration at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He is actively involved in leadership within GW's Anesthesiology Department as a former Director of the Residency Program and Obstetric Anesthesiology. Dr. Berger has published more than 50 works in peer-reviewed journals and books. He co-authored the McGraw Hill publication, "Anesthesia Core Review: Part I, Basic Exam (2014)," and "Anesthesia Core Review: Part II, Advanced Exam (2016)." He is Associate Editor for the Journal of Graduate Medical Education. At the University level, Dr. Berger serves as Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education and Designated Institutional Official at GW. In 2016, Dr. Berger was awarded the prestigious Parker Palmer - Courage to Teach Award from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

Dr. Berger has over 10 years of leadership experience in the Society for Education in Anesthesia (SEA), where he has led workshops, chaired a fall meeting, and chaired/participated in several committees; he currently serves as co-Editor-in-Chief of the Society's Journal, the Journal of Education in Perioperative Medicine (JEPM), and he is completing an elected term on the Board of Directors. Dr. Berger is excited about the opportunity to continue his work with this important Society.

Franklyn P. Cladis, MD


Pittsburgh, PA

My name is Franklyn Cladis and I am currently a Member of the Board of Directors for SEA and I am pleased to be considered for re-election to the board. This society is an incredibly important resource for anesthesiologists involved with education and it has helped me in a variety of ways. I have been the program director for the Pediatric Anesthesiology Fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC since 2007 and I am the President for the Pediatric Anesthesia Program Directors Association (PAPDA). I am also one of the editors for Smith’s Anesthesia for Infants and Children, a question writer for the ABA Pediatric Anesthesiology Certifying exam and an ABA board examiner. I have personally benefited from my SEA membership over the past decade.

In 2005 I became a member of SEA to network and to expand my education skill sets. I found mentorship, friendship, and camaraderie. Over several years I became more involved with the SEA Research Committee and was fortunate enough to chair that committee from 2009 to 2015. The success of the Research committee comes from the hard work of the members. During my term as Research Chair our primary responsibility was to grade and provide feedback for all of the abstracts and posters submitted to the yearly spring meetings. In addition we also implemented several changes. Over the past five years we transitioned to an on-line abstract submission and grading system, created the research consultant, and navigated the introduction of MERC for two SEA meetings.

One of my greatest honors was helping with the development and implementation of the SEAd Grant. This starter grant represents a significant milestone for SEA by financially giving back to its membership. It is a statement of the commitment of SEA to medical education research and to its members.

It has been a privilege to serve SEA as member of the Board of Directors. I am honored to continue serving as a member of the board and serving the membership of SEA for a third term.

Melissa L. Davidson, MD


Burlington, VT

Thank you for allowing me to express my sincere interest in becoming a board member of the Society for Education in Anesthesia. I will try to summarize my passion for education and convey how important SEA has been in my life.

My entire career has been focused in medical education at all levels. Just months after graduating from residency, I was asked to assume responsibility for a nearly non-existent medical student Anesthesiology elective. The reason for choosing me was simple: I shared an office with the outgoing director. Somehow that qualified me for the responsibility of mentoring young physicians! This was to be the best decision I ever made. With no formal training in education I created a new medical student curriculum, which included a take-home exam consisting of open-ended questions that was provided to students on the first day of the elective, with instructions to find the answers “any way you can”. While the original intent was to encourage dialogue between students and faculty in the OR, the outcomes were far bigger. I was fascinated by students’ resourcefulness in those pre-internet days, and my philosophy of a leaner-centered approach in all things educational was borne. I had found my professional purpose.

I was fortunate that Phil Liu became my chair in 1996 and encouraged me to attend the SEA Teaching Workshop. There I met the “best of the best” anesthesia educators who became (and remain) my mentors, colleagues and friends. If anesthesia education had become my purpose, then the work of SEA became my passion. I was honored to be asked to co-direct the SEA Workshop on Teaching with Steve Kimatian in 2006. We have worked hard to continually update the curriculum to meet the needs of our learners. My greatest joy has been meeting the nearly 400 faculty from across the country who have attended this workshop over the past 11 years. I have also been privileged to participate in SEA meetings with many workshop presentations, panel discussions, and abstract submissions, as well as serving on committees including Competencies, Milestones, and Research. I have witnessed SEA’s significant growth through the years as our mission has broadened, not just with increased emphasis on education with ACGME initiatives, but also through faculty development, educational research, and curriculum innovation.

Various leadership positions throughout my career, including Medical Student Director, Program Director, Interim Chair of the department, Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education, and Associate Editor of MedEdPORTAL, has given me a 360-degree perspective of anesthesia education. I believe these experiences would allow me as a board member to appreciate many viewpoints as decisions are made for the benefit of our members and for advancement of SEA’s mission. In addition, serving departments with small residencies allows me to understand challenges being faced by smaller programs, such as limited research funding, mentoring opportunities, etc. My specific goal as a board member would be to respond to and advocate for the needs of small to medium sized programs. My philosophy has always been to do whatever needs to be done to help students, residents, colleagues and programs succeed. Or in the words of Bob Willenkin, to do “whatever it takes to get learners to learn.” It would be an honor to serve the society in this capacity.

Carol Ann B. Diachun, MD, MSEd


Jacksonville, FL

I am truly honored to work for this Society as a Member of the Board of Directors. I cannot imagine my career as an educator, associate residency program director and now program director and associate chair for education without SEA. This Society has provided me with the tools for teaching and evaluating my residents as well as numerous opportunities for my own professional development. Through SEA I have developed a network of colleagues, mentors and good friends. The excitement and enthusiasm for education is literally infectious at our meetings. Since joining SEA more than a decade ago, I have been heavily involved in this community.

My dearest mentor, Dr. Denham Ward, encouraged my passion in education fostered my work in committees at SEA, including sponsoring me at SEA’s Teaching Workshop many years ago. These opportunities only spurred me to become an even better educator. I completed a Dean’s Teaching Fellowship at the University of Rochester and graduated with my Masters of Science in Health Professions Education in fall 2014 from the Warner School of Education. In 2014, I moved to become Residency Program Director and Associate Chair for Education at the University of Florida – Jacksonville. In this role I have used many of the ideas and innovations I learnt through SEA to redesign our entire program to incorporate a flipped classroom model, active learning and reflective practice - both from a viewpoint of the residency as well as faculty development.

Since 2004 I have contributed numerous workshops and posters at SEA. I have also been actively involved in committee work. With the Committee on Faculty Development, I helped organize the initial Educator’s Portal for the SEA website and was one of the original Peer Teaching Coaches for our Society. I have continued to actively provide feedback to workshop presenters in this role.

Some of the most challenging work I have done for SEA was as the Program Director for our highly innovative June 2013 SEA national meeting,” Milestones & Assessment: Are You Ready?” The meeting utilized 36 workshops to teach about Milestones and provided a collaborative environment in which participants designed over 50 assessment products addressing Milestones that are available to all SEA members via the SEA website. This meeting was the highest-attended spring meeting for SEA and was accomplished during a period when the Society’s management was in transition.

Since 2012 I have also served as Chair and Chair-designee of the Educational Meetings Committee. During this time, we have had many highly successful and innovative meetings. We created a peer-review process for the meeting workshop submissions process improving quality; we incorporated the AAMC MERC workshops in 2012 and 2014; we designed a huge collaborative effort with the Milestones workshops in 2013 and we shared ideas with our surgical colleagues in the first-ever combined meeting with the Association of Surgical Educators in 2015 in Seattle. These all reflect my inherent belief in innovation and collaboration. With hard work and the willingness to try, together we can accomplish so many things.

Deborah A. Schwengel, MD, MEd


Baltimore, MD

It is with great enthusiasm that I submit my candidacy for a Board of Directors position for SEA. I have been a member of SEA for over 10 years; my enthusiasm for the society continues to grow. My leadership experience in medical education in my home institution, Johns Hopkins, has included clerkship director, associate program director, pediatric fellowship director and residency program director. I have completed a Master of Education in the Health Professions, have been actively involved in health professions innovations and program building and educational research. I now serve as Director of Educational Research in our Department. I was SEA Spring meeting Chair in 2016 in Baltimore and am an active member of the Meetings and Research Committees. Over my years of involvement I have realized that SEA provides a community of educators that is supportive, informative and welcoming. This nurturing community should be advertised. I believe there are many anesthesiology educators who would thrive with us and need to know about SEA. We need to be sharing our enthusiasm for the society with our colleagues across the country.

My experiences have given me significant understanding of the needs of both faculty and trainees interested in medical education and the challenges of building programs and overcoming barriers to change. I enjoy working in a collaborative environment and wish to bring my talents to an already talented Board. I believe we should be creative and open-minded about the possibilities for SEA. I am interested in exploring new endeavors and new ways of conducting our meetings to attract more members and to make our meetings and sessions more valuable to members and guests. Options could include destination meetings, changing the structure of the sessions, providing more options within the meeting schedule and continuing the momentum that has built around the presentation of curricular and research projects. I believe we need to actively engage in new technologies, more mentorship and ongoing community building. As a society we should aggressively help each other flourish as educators and prepare for promotions especially given the challenges that many educators face in pursuing academic advancement at some institutions. I see the following as priorities:


  • Build the SEA community: aggressively infect others.
  • More professional development related to program development, curriculum development, educational research, educational leadership and sustainability in the modern medical workplace.
  • Adjust our meetings to reflect best practices in teaching and use of innovative techniques.
  • Maintain networking and community building at SEA meetings that continue between meetings.
  • Create bulletin board of presentations for people working on promotion – help each other get promoted as educators, invite each other to give talks at home institutions.

Samuel D. Yanofsky, MD, MSEd


West Hollywood, AA

I currently serve as a Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology and Medical Education at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) and as an Attending at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) in the Department of Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine. I am a graduate of McGill University, Montréal, Québec (Baccalaureate of Science in Physiology) and St. Louis University Medical School. I completed my residency in Anesthesiology at University of Connecticut Health Center (U Conn) followed by a two-year fellowship in Pediatric Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In 2004, I received a Master of Science in Medical Education from the USC Rossier School of Education.

I am currently the Director of Education and Faculty Development for the Department of Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine. I support educational training for Healthcare Professionals at CHLA for a wide variety of allied healthcare providers. I was awarded the 2005 Excellence in Education Award by the Department of Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine at CHLA. In 2006, I received a FAER grant and institutional grants for examining a model curriculum for teaching the ACGME general competencies of Professionalism, Interpersonal and Communication Skills, and Systems-Based Practice to fellows and residents.

At the institution/university level, I am involved on several committees tasked with improving graduate medical education within CHLA and competency-based education for medical students within USC Keck School of Medicine. I am co-instructor for mid-level career health care professionals in the Master of Academic Medicine at USC Keck School of Medicine specifically in the following two courses in the areas of leadership and organizational change.

Nationally, I have served as chair for the education meetings and research committee for SEA and served on the board of directors for one term. I have continued to provide numerous educational workshops and presentations for my anesthesia colleagues including sessions for SEA and the Society of Pediatric Anesthesiology and the ASA. I just completed a six-year term finally as the Past-President of the Pediatric Anesthesiology Program Directors Committee and am involved in the education committee for the Society for Pediatric Anesthesiology. I have made my personal mission to teach leadership/organizational change and physician well being in medicine and anesthesiology while contributing consistently to national organizations, as I believe this is how medical educators have the largest influence on our future physicians and the entire profession.

As a member of the board, I will support the SEA with the following three priorities: 1. Continue to provide educational training in my area of interests and medical education research, 2. Share our expertise with other national anesthesia societies, ACGME and the RRC, 3. Advance the mission and vision of SEA.

The SEA is proud to be a member-driven organization, dedicated to the teaching and development of future anesthesiologists, and to the advancement of those who educate them.

Contact Info:

Society for Education in Anesthesia
6737 W. Washington St, Suite 4210 • Milwaukee, WI 53214 • (414) 389-8614