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In honor of Women’s History Month, we prepare for the future by looking back at our female presidents, to admire their accomplishments, and to reflect on the great distances they have traveled in their professional fields. We can learn from these powerful and influential women who have preceded us and have achieved so much. Our third female president, Marina Stajić, illustrates the international diversity of our organization.
AAFS Past President Marina Stajić earned her undergraduate degree in Chemistry from University of Novi Sad, Yugoslavia in 1972, and subsequently, her doctoral degree in Forensic Toxicology from the University of Maryland in 1977. Soon after, Dr. Stajić joined the Virginia Bureau of Forensic Science as the head of the Northern Virginia Toxicology Laboratory where she remained for nine years.
Dr. Stajić joined the staff of the Office of Chief Medical Examiner, City of New York, in 1986 and served as the head of the office’s Forensic Toxicology Lab for 29 years. From 2004-2015, she served on the New York Commission on Forensic Science, developing minimum standards and a program of accreditation for all forensic laboratories in New York state.
Dr. Stajić’s service to the Academy is impressive. She was elected as Provisional Member into the Toxicology Section in 1976, and was promoted to Fellow in 1980. In 1992-1993, Dr. Stajić was the third woman, and second-youngest person, to serve as AAFS President. During her term as President, the Interdisciplinary Symposium—now a staple in the AAFS meeting program—got its start. She also served as the Delegation Leader of the second delegation to the People’s Republic of China in the summer of 1992. She has served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Forensic Sciences from 1988-2017, and as a member of the Forensic Sciences Foundation Board of Trustees from 2000-2008. In 1997, Dr. Stajić was honored with the Toxicology Section Alexander O. Gettler Award, and in 2013 she received the AAFS Distinguished Fellow award.
Dr. Stajić has been an active member of many professional organizations throughout her distinguished career, including the Society of Forensic Toxicologists, the International Association of Forensic Toxicologists, and the American Board of Forensic Toxicology (President 2008-2012).
Dr. Stajić frequently lectures and provides expert testimony in the field of forensic toxicology. She was appointed Adjunct Associate Professor of Forensic Medicine (Toxicology) at New York University Medical Center in 1987 and Clinical Professor at PACE University, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Forensic Sciences Program in 2010. Dr. Stajić has authored and co-authored numerous scientific articles on the subject of forensic toxicology.