ICIS History & Leadership

Dues paying members of the International Congress of Infant Studies elect the society’s Officers and Members-at-Large who are responsible for running the society according to the society’s bylaws

The origins of the International Congress of Infant Studies can be traced back to the early 1960s, when, as described by ICIS historians B.Z. Karmel and J.M. Gardner, a small group of psychologists, pediatricians, psychiatrists and neurologists studying infant development decided to hold a meeting to discuss the latest research. Because most of the participants also belonged to the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), the infant-focused meeting was planned so as to meet in the off-year from the SRCD biennial meeting. The Committee met biannually in this way for about the next decade and a half, inviting a few new members each year to address the group. By the late 1970s, at a time when the field of infancy research was enjoying a popularity explosion, the number of researchers interested in attending the biennial CRI meetings outpaced the CRI’s capacity to handle them. Thus, the first meeting of the International Congress of Infants Studies was held in Providence, RI in 1978. From its very beginnings, ICIS has reflected an interdisciplinary approach to basic and applied studies of infant development. And importantly, it has always encouraged student participation – most members started as students. ICIS has also attempted to maintain a strong international orientation as international members were among the originals, and have meetings at international locations at least every 6 years.


Past Presidents

    1. USANEW ORLEANS May 2016 – Karen Adolph, President
    2. GermanyBERLIN July 2014- Daphne Maurer, President
    3. USAMINNEAPOLIS June 2012 – Dick Aslin, President
    4. USABALTIMORE March 2010 – David Lewkowicz, President
    5. CanadaVANCOUVER March 2008 – Les Cohen, President
    6. JapanKYOTO July 2006 – Joe Campos, President
    7. USACHICAGO May 2004
    8. CanadaTORONTO April 2002 – Arnold Sameroff, President
    9. UKBRIGHTON July 2000 – Rachel Keen, President
    10. USAATLANTA April 1998 – Esther Thelen, President
    11. USAPROVIDENCE April 1996 – Carolyn Rovee-Collier, President
    12. FrancePARIS June 1994 – Tiffany Field, President
    13. USAMIAMI May 1992
    14. CanadaMONTREAL April 1990
    15. USAWASHINGTON DC April 1988
    16. USALOS ANGELES April 1986
    17. USANEW YORK April 1984
    18. USAAUSTIN April 1982
    19. USANEW HAVEN April 1980
    20. USAPROVIDENCE April 1978

ICIS Statements


Letter to NIH Regarding Clinical Trials

ICIS has written the following letter to NIH regarding Clinical Trials.  Please read through the letter and let NIH know your thoughts regarding their change in policy.  Special thank you to Lisa Oakes for drafting the response.


Kathy Hirsch-Pasek, President
Karen Adolph, Past President
Lisa Oakes, President Elect

Joint statement regarding President Trump’s executive order “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States”


We at the International Congress of Infant Studies, the Cognitive Development Society and the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology  hold that the pursuit of knowledge embodied by science is best served by engagement and interaction with all serious scholars regardless of national origin or creed. We are dismayed by any attempt to restrict opportunities for scientists to fully participate in global academic dialogue. Such efforts are immoral and they undermine the scientific enterprise. Understanding the complexity of human behavior requires us to explain how behavior varies across and within cultures.  Policy decisions aimed at helping all children thrive must therefore be based on science that is global and generalizable. We are committed to ensuring participation for scientists of all nations.

Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, President
Karen Adolph, Past President
Daphne Maurer, Past President
Lisa Oakes, President Elect
Rachel Barr,  Secretary
Roberta Golinkoff, Treasurer

CDS Logo
David Uttal, President
Amanda Woodward, Past President
Paul Lansley Harris, President Elect
David Sobel, Treasurer

Nathan Fox, President
April Ronca, Past President
Rachel Barr, President Elect

Executive Committee

President Kathy Hirsh-Pasek Temple University
President-Elect Lisa Oakes University of California, Davis
Past-President Karen Adolph New York University
Treasurer Roberta Golinkoff University of Delaware
Secretary Rachel Barr Georgetown University


John Richards (2012 – 2018) University of South Carolina
Catherine Tamis-LeMonda (2014 – 2018) New York University
Scott Johnson (2014 – 2020) University of California Los Angeles
Reiko Mazuka (2016 – 2020) Riken Brain Institute
Thierry Nazzi (2016 – 2020) Paris Descartes University
Jane Herbert (2016 – 2022) University of Wollongong
Denis Mareschal (2016 – 2022) Birkbeck University of London

ICIS Committees

Chaired by Jenny Saffran

Chaired by Past-President, Karen Adolph

Chaired by Secretary, Rachel Barr
Editor of Infancy, John Colombo

Chaired by Sam Putnam, Martha Arterbery

Chaired by President-Elect, Lisa Oakes

Chaired by Scott Johnson

Chaired by Jane Herbert

Chaired by Denis Mareschal

Chaired by Catherine Tamis-LeMonda


Marischal De Armond

Jude Ross & Michelle Smith

David Lewkowicz