Syril Pettit, MEM ('97) is the Executive Director of the ILSI Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI). HESI is a global, non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, that provides a platform for scientists from academia, government, industry, NGOs, and other research organizations to collaborate in addressing human and environmental health issues.  HESI's scientific initiatives develop multi-sector derived data and technical approaches to support improved public health via enhanced drug, chemical, environmental, and food safety.   Syril is the senior staff leader for HESI’s efforts to engage scientists from more than 80 universities, 40 government agencies, and 50 companies from around the globe in its programs.

Syril provides scientific and strategic leadership to the organization's 16 different technical programs in such areas as cardiovascular safety, genetic toxicology, risk assessment methodology, bioaccumulation, immunotoxicology, and more.  As Executive Director, Syril works closely with HESI’s program management staff in-house (all with advanced scientific degrees) as well as via interactions with the hundreds of scientific experts who participate in

HESI’s international programs.   She helps to ensure the technical rigor, efficiency, and balance of HESI’s initiatives as well as supporting efforts to ensure their effective communication to the scientific community.

Syril routinely speaks at international scientific meetings and as a lecturer at government and academic institutes, and has co-authored numerous scientific articles published in journals such as Science Translational Medicine, Toxicological Sciences, American Heart Journal, etc.  Over the last year she launched HESI’s CITE (Combining Interdisciplinary and Translational Expertise) initiative that has helped establish HESI’s role in providing international thought-leadership and expertise in moving research to public health application across diverse sectors.  Syril has been a staff member of HESI for 14 years and Executive Director since 2011.