The Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs kicked off its annual summer organizational day with a farewell ceremony for Col. Wanda Salzer, who has served as CDMRP director since September 2013.

At the beginning of her tenure with the CDMRP, Salzer provided successful leadership during an organizational merger with the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, which brought together the two research organizations under the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.

"When I started here, this organization was half the size of what it is now," said Salzer during her farewell ceremony. "It has been my pleasure to watch CDMRP grow and take on new challenges."

Currently, the CDMRP organization has a staff of more than 110 military, civilian and contractor employees.

The farewell ceremony was presided over by Col. Sang Pak, CDMRP deputy director. He presented Salzer with farewell gifts from the group, and commented on the pending leadership change.

"Our fearless leader will be departing in a few months, and she is sure to go and do great things," said Pak.

As the ceremony was low key, scheduled to coincide with the annual CDMRP summer picnic, the event was viewed by many as similar to Salzer's typical leadership style, with the focus remaining on the work at hand.

"I'm going to miss this, working with professionals that are so dedicated and committed to the mission," said Salzer. "You are all in good hands with Col. Dalal. I know he will bring new ideas, and new ideas are always good."

"I will miss you all. Thank you all," she concluded.

At the end of June, the CDMRP will welcome Col. Stephen Dalal as its new director, while Salzer will depart in August to serve at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland.