Our employees are chosen for their specific skills and experience, many with clinical backgrounds; others have worked for health departments within Member countries and have built strong, valuable networks. They have a deep understanding of how clinical terminology is used within these environments.

Those staff involved with applications, architecture and delivery have a wide variety of technical and project management skills between them, and are fully conversant with the latest technologies. Our administrative teams proactively support the organization and are made up of high calibre individuals with years of experience in their respective fields of expertise.

Our leadership team

Don Sweete, Chief Executive Officer

Don Sweete
Don Sweete is Chief Executive Officer of SNOMED International. He joined SNOMED International in 2014, bringing more than 30 years of industry leadership and executive management experience to his role.
As CEO, Don leads the corporate direction and strategy of SNOMED International, and is responsible for all facets of the business ranging from product content, technical support, customer relationship management, and organization enabling functions. Since joining the organization, Sweete has worked to share SNOMED International’s broadening strategy and vision with its Members, customers, and partners globally.

Prior to becoming CEO, Don Sweete served as a member of SNOMED International’s Management Board (formerly known as IHTSDO), from October 2011 to December 2013. During this time he held positions on various Management Board Committees (Executive, Finance, Transition, Implementation and Innovation) contributing to the success of the organization. In his previous role as Executive Regional Director of the Standards Collaborative and Atlantic Region for Canada Health Infoway, he was responsible for all digital health implementations in the region and fulfilling the national standards agenda.

A graduate of Canada’s Dalhousie University, Don possesses extensive experience in health services and health information technology where he has held executive positions with both commercial (SHL Systemhouse, Siemens, Cerner) and governmental (Assistant Deputy Minister of Corporate Services Ministry of Health Nova Scotia) organizations over the course of the past 3 decades.

Jim Case, Chief Terminologist

Jim Case
Jim joined SNOMED International in June 2015, seconded on a part time basis from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), providing leadership across the Content Development and Mapping areas. After retiring from the NLM in December 2018, Jim transitioned wholly to SNOMED International, retaining his half-time role as the Head of Terminology.
Jim received his MS in Genetics from Stanford University and both his D.V.M. and Ph.D. (Comparative Pathology) from UC Davis. He served as Professor of Clinical Diagnostic Informatics with the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System at UC Davis from 1986 until 2010. In 1995, his efforts were focused on the development of national veterinary data standards.
Having been heavily involved in standards development organizations, Jim has served as a member of the Laboratory LOINC committee, co-chair of the Health Level Seven vocabulary work group, Director at large for HL7 and is currently a member of the WHO Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee for ICD-11. He was Professor of Clinical Diagnostic Informatics at the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, from 1987-2010.  He served at the NLM from January 2010 to December 2018, where his primary role was the development and maintenance of the US extension to SNOMED CT and addition of US content into the International release of SNOMED CT. He is the first veterinarian to be elected to the American College of Medical Informatics.

Rory Davidson, Chief Information Officer

Rory Davidson
Rory joined the SNOMED International in January 2013 with a background in technology, having worked in a wide range of countries, industries, technologies and roles. As Chief Information Officer, Rory is responsible for the effective integration of SNOMED International’s content development and technology teams, to ensure that the delivery of SNOMED CT and relevant technology services continue to meet the high standard and expected outcomes of the organization’s members, the wider community and internal stakeholders. Previously, Rory led the SNOMED International Technology Services group ensuring that the technology platform was put in place to secure the quality, maintenance and delivery of SNOMED CT as well as the day to day operations of SNOMED International. 

Before joining the organization, Rory worked as part of the end to end solutions architecture team responsible for the roll-out of smart energy meters in the UK, and prior to that he worked for the Department of Health in the UK as the Lead Technical Architect for the National Pandemic Flu Service and the Lead Technical Architect for Primary Care within NHS Connecting for Health. Rory has also held the role of Head of User Solutions at Atos KPMG Consulting, covering the design and implementation of user experience practices across multiple technologies and industries.

Kelly Kuru, Chief Communications Officer

Kelly Kuru
Kelly joined SNOMED International in February 2017 with over 10 years experience in the health and health informatics industry. In this position, Kelly is responsible for leading SNOMED International’s internal and external communications presence internationally, including global media relations and Member country and employee communications. 

Prior to joining SNOMED International, Kelly was positioned at Canada Health Infoway and was responsible for digital health strategy development, vendor liaison, as well as driving strategic communications and stakeholder engagement in pursuit of the organization’s clinical interoperability and standards program.

A graduate of the Universities of Western Ontario and Victoria, Kelly thrives on communicating and engaging with staff, stakeholders and influencers to successfully support achievement of organizational vision and strategic priorities. 

Shelley Lipon, Chief Customer Officer

Shelley Lipon
Shelley leads the Customer and Stakeholder Relations and Education and Product Support teams and joined SNOMED International in October of 2014 after spending the last 10 years with Canada Health Infoway (“Infoway”). During her time at Infoway she was responsible for all client relations and investment projects for the mid-western region, also leading Infoway's Certification Service for 3 years. 

Prior to working for Infoway Shelley was the CEO of the Saskatchewan Health Information Network, the provincial agency responsible for the development and implementation of the electronic health record across the Province. Shelley is a fellow Chartered Accountant and also holds a certified corporate director accreditation.

Kuldip Nijjar, Chief Financial Officer

Kuldip Nijjar
Kuldip joined SNOMED International in March 2014 to oversee all aspects of financial management and corporate services within the organization. Kuldip's responsibilities range from annual planning and budgeting, financial control, procurement, risk management and management reporting to the governing bodies of the Association, to overseeing the Corporate Services team based in Denmark and the UK. 

Prior to joining the organization, Kuldip worked at a senior level in a number of FTSE 100 companies and brings in excess of twenty years’ experience in financial management, operational management and project management. Kuldip is a fellow Chartered Accountant and holds a first class honors degree in Accountancy.

Our culture

SNOMED International isn’t your “normal” 9-5 organization. With a highly qualified and driven staff spread across the globe, we all work independently and from home in a global community where our colleagues might be several time zones apart. This means that any time of day, and any day of the week, someone, somewhere is working hard to ensure that SNOMED International delivers on its promises to Members, users, and even internal staff. 

One might imagine that having a completely distributed workforce might be overly challenging when it comes to creating a cohesive and collaborative culture. However, we believe we have found the right path - one in which we infuse a high degree of flexibility and autonomy into all that we do, enabling our working lives and our personal lives to happily coexist, and resulting in a happy and fulfilled team.

Life is not a round of endless meetings; staff have time to concentrate in peace, or in as much peace as they choose. Teams connect via video conferencing and various chat apps; we hold annual meetings and events where staff is brought together to spend time learning what’s new in one anothers’ worlds and strengthening our connections across the organization and meeting with the broader Community of Practice, bringing the important work that we do every day into reality. 

Diversity, equity and inclusion

SNOMED International believes that diversity enriches the organization. It does so through exposure to a range of ways to understand and engage with the world, identify challenges, and discover, design and deliver solutions.

We also strive to foster an environment where everyone feels respected, valued and empowered through:

  • The acceptance and encouragement of different and unique identities, characteristics, experiences and perspectives.
  • Supporting employees’ professional aspirations and successes through ongoing and individualized assessments of needs and aspirations, providing appropriate resources and growth opportunities.
  • Fostering a welcoming culture in which differences are celebrated and everyone is valued, respected, and able to reach their full potential.
  • Engaging with Members and other stakeholders to integrate inclusive content in SNOMED CT.


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