The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has announced that Alice Keller, editor of GIA’s award-winning journal, Gems & Gemology, has been promoted to editor-in-chief. Keller is only the third person to hold the post since the creation of G&G in the mid-1930s.
In making the announcement, GIA president William E. Boyajian praised Keller’s success in leading G&G. “Back in the 1980s,” he said, “Alice spearheaded a transition to take G&G to yet another level … [It] now enjoys the acclaim of the industry and is the recognizable flagship publication of GIA.” Boyajian noted that Richard T. Liddicoat Jr., GIA’s late chairman and chief editor of G&G since 1952, had endorsed Keller as the person to succeed him at the helm of G&G. “Mr. Liddicoat’s recent passing [on July 23] ushers in a new reality and an appropriate passing of the baton,” said Boyajian. Liddicoat worked closely with Keller as she developed G&G into the world’s premier source of research on new sources of gem materials and critical identification challenges in gemology.
With more than 8,000 readers in some 90 countries, G&G has won several awards, including “Best Scientific Journal in America.” “After more than two decades of working with Richard Liddicoat, benefiting from his profound intellect and experience, I am humbled by the prospect of assuming the position he held for the last 50 years,” said Keller. “I recognize, though, that gemology is a dynamic field, and G&G must continue to meet the needs of its readers and the gemological community at large.”
A native of Evanston, Ill., Keller joined GIA in 1980 as managing editor of Gems & Gemology. She was promoted to editor in 1984 and to editor and director in 1995. In addition to introducing a larger format and more contemporary full-color design to the journal, she recruited an editorial review board of top experts in gemology and related fields to implement a rigorous peer review process for all articles. This process-and the articles that resulted from the efforts of reviewers, editors, and authors-catapulted the journal to the leadership position it holds today.
Keller holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a master’s degree from Georgetown University. Before joining GIA, she worked for eight years in the publishing industry. She has written several articles for G&G and edited two books, and served as co-chairperson of the Third International Gemological Symposium, held in San Diego in 1999. “I feel fortunate to have this opportunity to work with such a talented staff and such superb contributors to promote research and the broad dissemination of information in our young science,” Keller said.
Assuming Keller’s position as editor will be Brendan Laurs, who has served as G&G’s senior editor for five years. A native of southern California, Laurs has a bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of California Santa Barbara and a master’s in geology from Oregon State University, as well as a Graduate Gemologist diploma from GIA. “Brendan has demonstrated the drive, dedication, and expertise necessary to maintain, and even expand on, the journal’s relevance and contribution to the field of gemology,” said Boyajian. Assistant editor Stuart Overlin has been promoted to associate editor. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Overlin has been with G&G since 1997. “Stuart’s editorial skills and commitment to the quality of G&G are indispensable,” said Keller.