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You are here: Home Candidates for the 2023 AAGL Board of Directors

Candidates for the 2023 AAGL Board of Directors

AAGL is pleased to announce the slate of candidates for the 2023 Board of Directors. Voting is open from October 1, 2022, to November 1, 2022. We applaud the Nominating Committee for putting forth such an impressive slate of candidates on the ballot. Don’t forget to cast your vote by November 1st!

Note: AAGL full members in good standing will receive a link via email from Simply Voting. Please click the link in your email to cast your vote.

Candidate for Secretary-Treasurer Candidate for Director from the General Membership Candidate for Director from North America (US/CANADA) Candidate for Director from Europe/Middle East/Africa
Ted Anderson,MD, PhD Jose “Tony” Carugno, MD Cara King, DO Sven Becker, MD, PhD
Grace Liu, MD Kelly Wright, MD Jamal Mourad, MD Sergio Haimovich, MD
Linda Yang, MD


Ted Anderson, MD, PhD
Candidate for Secretary-Treasurer

Since its inception, AAGL has been the key driver in elevating the perspective of minimally invasive gynecologic surgery from one of guarded skepticism to a widely accepted surgical standard. Its scope and influence has grown in through advocacy for patient care, recognition of fellowship trained surgeons, more appropriate coding and reimbursement, and most importantly, surgical education and training.
My relationship with AAGL has been diverse, impactful, and rewarding:

• Established an AAGL MIGS fellowship at Vanderbilt in 2005 that continues to thrive today with five fellowship-trained faculty; we have graduated over 20 fellows
• Served as a Board member (2008-2010); played a key role in transitioning FMIGS to be wholly affiliated with AAGL as a Professional Interest Partner organization
• Served on the FMIGS board, including former president
• Participated in initial design of the EMIG skills set, particularly the hysteroscopy component
• Received AAGL’s John Steege Mentorship Award

During my 3-yr term as an ACOG presidential officer, I supported increased collaboration between AAGL and ACOG, supported the EMIGS program to APGO/CREOG, and participated in activities that led to ABOG focused practice designation and now acceptance of EMIG as an alternative to FLS as a step toward OB/GYN Board Certification.

It is my goal to help AAGL continue to rise as a preeminent organization supporting gynecologic surgical education and practice. Specifically, I would like to help guide AAGL to the next level of excellence and recognition (1) through its educational programs, (2) through elevating EMIGS as THE standard for skills and cognitive performance evaluation in gynecologic laparoscopy and hysteroscopy nationwide, if not worldwide, and (3) partner with sister organizations to advocate for best quality standards of gynecologic surgical care. I would aim to optimize reimbursement for gynecologic surgeons, elevate the importance of high quality gynecologic surgical care, and seek new revenue streams to support AAGL’s efforts in these arenas.

It would be my honor to serve AAGL and my colleagues in this capacity. I humbly request your support.

Ted L. Anderson, MD, PhD, FACOG, FACS
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Nashville, TN USA

Grace Liu, MD
Candidate for Secretary-Treasurer

I am deeply honoured to be considered for the position of Secretary-Treasurer for the AAGL. Over the past 22 years, I have been fortunate enough to be part of this amazing organization: from a fellow, to a board of director, to a program director. I will serve the AAGL faithfully and continue to follow the mission statement of AAGL: to elevate the quality and safety of healthcare for women. I have devoted my career to providing women with access to minimally invasive surgical techniques and teaching these techniques to the future gynecologic surgeons.

AAGL is the foremost international organization for Minimally Invasive Gynaecologic Surgery (MIGS) and my vision would be to ensure that the global collaboration that we all value continues and grows. This spirit of trust and acceptance will build relationships that will ensure that all women around the world will have access to state of the art, current minimally invasive surgical treatment for gynecologic disease. To support and foster this growth, international membership should be encouraged. With AAGL support and collaboration with members and industry, cooperation with local societies and educational/surgical outreach spear-headed by the AAGL International Secretary could be developed with reciprocal programs and visiting surgical professorships for interested national and international sites.

For AAGL to grow, increased membership from our youngest surgeons is also crucial. This requires special consideration for our resident and fellowship learners. Educational MIGS initiatives, certification, research support and collaboration early in their training and even assigning established mentors to interested trainees would be positive steps in building our organization and ultimately securing the future of AAGL and healthcare to all women.

AAGL has been a pioneer in Women’s Health, and has continually demonstrated its strength in leadership, education, and research. I hope to be able to serve the membership, ensure that it continues to be inclusive of all members, and grow the organization both nationally and internationally.

Grace Liu, MD
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

Jose “Tony” Carugno, MD

Candidate for Director from the General Membership

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

I am honored to be considered as a candidate for the AAGL Board of Directors and am asking for your trust and support.  My name is Jose “Tony” Carugno, and I was born and raised in Valencia, Venezuela. After completing my OBGYN residency, I came to the United States seeking further training and surgical education. I repeated my residency training followed by an AAGL MIGS fellowship. I currently am the Minimally Invasive Division Director at the University of Miami, serve on the Executive Committee of the Global Community of Hysteroscopy, Editorial Board member of JMIG, and have been an active member of AAGL for many years.

Together, we make up this incredible organization. We should all be very proud of our accomplishments; however, our work cannot stop here. There are many women who continue to lack access to minimally invasive surgeons, many residents who complete their training with sub-optimal surgical experience, gaps in public knowledge and education exist, and limited referral centers and resources to MIGS in geographically remote areas.

If elected as a Board Member of the AAGL, I am committed to maximizing access and public awareness to minimally invasive surgical options to women around the globe by collaborating with other national and international societies, promoting educational opportunities to all residency programs, strengthening the MIGS fellowship, and continuing to ensure that the most innovative and least invasive techniques are offered to our patients. My passion for this field, diverse ethnic background, commitment to the underserved patient population, and devotion to academics and research makes me an ideal candidate to serve on the AAGL Board of Directors.

If elected to the AAGL Board of Directors 2023, I pledge:
1. To represent YOU by being readily available to listen to your concerns and advocating on your behalf. My email is
2. To promote equality, justice, and inclusion
3. To prioritize educating our young physicians throughout the world and encouraging further innovation and advancements in our field

I am thankful for your vote and support to represent you on the 2023-24 AAGL Board of Directors.

Jose “Tony” Carugno, MD FACOG
Associate Professor OBGYN
MIGS/Robotics Division Director
University of Miami. Miller School of Medicine.
Miami, FL. USA

Kelly Wright, MD
Candidate for Director from the General Membership

For over 50 years, the AAGL has been the preeminent organization for advancing gynecologic surgery through a strong focus on education, collaboration, and demonstration of the advancement in surgical technique to improve patient care for women.

Now having supported 20 years of fellows in practice and promoting knowledge within a broad membership base throughout the world, the AAGL has the opportunity to focus on quality measures that will advance gynecologic surgery beyond what is possible to what should be the standard of care.  My vision for the AAGL involves the following three aspects:

1. Despite a 1990 push to include more women in clinical studies, the National Institutes of Health continues to significantly underfund female-dominant diseases, with fibroids and endometriosis having two of the worst ratios for funding to quality of life and economic burden (1). If we don’t have funding for the diseases we treat, we cannot understand how to best treat them. The membership and leadership of the AAGL have the opportunity to lobby the NIH and partner with patient advocacy groups to raise awareness for this disparity. The AAGL could support young physician scientists to study our most common diseases through starter grants and education.

2.  In light of Dr. Lee’s historic update to the endometriosis ICD 10 codes, the AAGL should continue this work of advocating for updated ICD and CPT codes for proper billing and research. There are still so many unlisted CPT codes for the procedures we perform. Advocating for proper billing would allow for more equitable reimbursement for gynecologic surgeons.

3. Finally, the AAGL has the opportunity to set quality standards for performing gynecologic surgery similar to the American College of Surgeons’ work on NSQIP. To understand quality, we must first measure quality. These metrics can be important for payors and hospital privileging to set standards that ensure women are undergoing the safest and most effective surgical care possible. A national or international database, with continued practice standards publications from the practice committee, can take our field from what’s possible to what should be done.

Thank you to the AAGL Membership for your consideration!

Kelly Wright, MD
Cedars-Sinai, Los Angeles, CA

Mirin AA. Gender Disparity in the Funding of Diseases by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2021 Jul;30(7):956-963. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2020.8682. Epub 2020 Nov 27. PMID: 33232627; PMCID: PMC8290307.

Linda Yang, MD
Candidate for Director from the General Membership

I am honored to be considered as a candidate for the 2023 AAGL General Membership Board of Director position. My journey within the organization began 16 years ago, when I started my minimally invasive gynecologic surgery fellowship at Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA, which I regard as being the most pivotal moment in my career as a young gynecologic surgeon.

Not only have I observed and benefited firsthand from AAGL’s mission to training future generations of expert gynecologic surgeons, but I have witnessed the tremendous global impact of our organization though partnerships with international societies and colleagues. AAGL’s collaboration with industry, government and patient advocacy groups have undoubtedly improved access to high-quality surgical care. The members and leaders of the AAGL have transformed women’s health care worldwide through education, research, and innovation.

As an AAGL member, I have had opportunities to contribute to the advancement of MIGS through various roles including but not limited to postgraduate course teaching faculty/co-chair and member of several committees including Barbara Levy AchieveHER Award, Professional Education, Membership and FMIGS Video Subcommittee. I was honored to serve on the Scientific Program Committee for the first-ever virtual 49th AAGL Global Congress, “Breaking Barriers”, which was a true representation of how dedication, creativity and endless effort can overcome unforeseen challenges and push boundaries in how science, research, and ideas are shared. As a surgical educator and in my current role as an FMIGS assistant program director, I recognize the importance of promoting the educational excellence and growth of fellows, residents, and those beyond training. I also strongly believe that mentorship and sponsorship of early career surgeons is paramount in building future leaders within our community.

Reflecting upon these opportunities and contributions, I hope to use my experiences to help shape the future of the AAGL, together with other emerging thought leaders and colleagues in our field. My vision for the AAGL is to embrace and cultivate a culture of inclusive leadership, change and innovation to improve health equity and access to surgical care for all patients by harnessing the power and energy of our diverse AAGL membership.

Linda Yang, MD
Northwestern Medicine
Chicago, IL

Cara King, DO
Candidate for Director from North America (US/CANADA)

I am honored to be considered for this Board position and greatly appreciate this opportunity. If provided with the opportunity to serve, I would fully support the principles guiding the AAGL and enhance its mission.
As I reflect over the course of my career, a constant theme through each phase and transition has been and is the sponsorship and leadership from the AAGL. The level of surgical expertise and shared passion for surgical education, mentorship, innovation, and patient advocacy on a global level is unparalleled. If elected as an AAGL Board member, these steadfast principles will remain at the center of my term.

The AAGL is uniquely positioned to change the global culture of surgical education through the promotion of faculty development and integration of surgical coaching. The video-based coaching platform removes geographical barriers and allows educational efforts to be harmonized amongst domestic locations as well as abroad. Specifically, pairing a graduating fellow with a certified AAGL surgical coach would offer extended support during this vulnerable transition. Coaching integrates all areas of operative performance including technical, cognitive, communication, and stress management skills and could assist with bridging this evolution between fellowship and independent practice.

Furthermore, I envision the AAGL continuing its mission of innovation and elevation of surgical skills through incorporation of video-based assessment. Partnership with various technology platforms could optimize efficiency of video annotation, assessment, and review. These assessments, partnered with formative feedback through surgical coaching, could elevate surgical performance with the goal of mastery of various procedures, while also enhancing non-technical skills, equally necessary, such as decision making and intraoperative judgement. Empowering surgeons to safely master new skills and hone their craft through continuous professional development would in turn optimize patient care and enhance workplace engagement. Mirroring the pilot programs unrolled in general surgical societies would add great value to our membership and make the AAGL a pioneer.

Through the mentorship and leadership of Dr. Ted Lee, a highlight in my career over the past 2 years has been the development and integration of the updated ICD codes for endometriosis. The process of creating new codes and working synergistically with the AAGL, ACOG, and the CDC to put these into practice was invaluable. Moving forward, I hope to continue to work with legislature to educate leadership on the importance of detailed tracking to address disparities in care, improve diagnostic accuracy, and allocate resources appropriately. Furthermore, these updated ICD codes will hopefully be the impetus needed to drive future change to endometriosis CPT codes.

Lastly, supporting sustainability of the surgeon workforce through optimized ergonomics and enhanced instruments to accommodate smaller hands is mission critical. Partnership with industry and alternate societies would allow robust discussion regarding surgeon needs, risks of surgeon injury, and optimized instrument design.

Cara King, DO
Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland, OH


Jamal Mourad, MD
Candidate for Director from North America (US/CANADA)

I am very excited about the opportunity to serve as a member of the Board of Directors for the AAGL.
I have been attending AAGL meetings for more than 20 years and for the past 8 years actively involved as a Program Director for the FMIGS program at our institution. The AAGL’s impact on our specialty is incommensurable. From the support it provides to general members, didactics, tutorials, SurgeryU, FMIGS Bootcamps, etc… to its most valuable creation – the Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery.

Just as impressive as the list of attributes is the list of brilliant surgeons and professors from all over the world. If I am selected by the general membership to be one of our Board members, I will strive to advance the AAGL’s agenda of surgical excellence, education and collaboration. I believe that the AAGL Board members are the ambassadors and stewardesses of this strong tradition of values emphasizing the importance of sharing knowledge and collaboration to enable the younger generations to excel as did their predecessors.

I am committed to adding value to the current platform and supporting the team in future endeavors and challenges that may arise. Tomorrow’s AAGL is made stronger by what we do today and as a member of the Board of Directors I intend to get to work on day one advocating for continued progress and building on the existing robust platform created for excellence in patient care, education, diversity, research and innovation.

Jamal Mourad, MD
Banner University Medical Center – Phoenix
Mesa, AZ

Sven Becker, MD, PhD
Candidate for Director from Europe/Middle East/Africa

Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The learning and teaching of Surgery becomes more fascinating to me all the time. In Phase I, we observe and assist. In Phase II, we are being guided by a more experienced surgeon. Phase III is the most important one: We are the most experienced surgeon, we decide how far we can go – but we can still call more senior colleagues for advice. Phase IV is, when we ourselves have become that “more senior colleague” and are called in for the most difficult parts, for the complications. During phase IV we become a complete surgeon.

And then there is phase V, which is where I am: Director of a University-OB/GYN-Department, Head of Gyn-Oncology, with a special focus on minimally invasive surgery. I still teach residents the basics, coach fellows, but now, I have to decide, who can do it alone, who will be backup – keeping in mind the high obligation we have towards our patients, whose lives we can improve, sometimes save, but also always ruin.

As I give lectures and perform live-surgeries all around the world, I see and understand how difficult it remains to become a complete gynecologic surgeon, particularly outside the United States and Europe. I have worked with the AAGL, FIGO and other organizations on many international projects. The heart of surgery is teaching. Only as teachers do we become complete surgeons. Only as teachers do we fulfill the Hippocratic Oath as it should be read. The heart of the AAGL is teaching, too, and that is where I hope to make my contribution as a Board Member.

Sven Becker, MD, PhD
Frankfurt University Women’s Center
Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany

Sergio Haimovich
Candidate for Director from Europe/Middle East/Africa

The AAGL vision over the last few years has been to become more global and inclusive, both inside the society itself and by promoting MIGS around the world with emphasis in low-income geographic areas. My personal academic and clinical trajectory focusing on hysteroscopy has been the same, as a founder and co-chair of GCH (Global Community of Hysteroscopy) I have contributed to bring excellence in minimally invasive surgery and training of many physicians/surgeons on a global base. A very important part of my efforts has been devoted to the AAGL, in which I have actively participated as faculty in many courses and currently as the Vice-Chair of the Hysteroscopy SIG and the AAGL Social Media Ambassador for the Hysteroscopy SIG.

My actions and achievements, and not my words, speak about myself. I truly believe that I can become an ambassador for the AAGL and become a bridge between members from different geographic locations and cultural backgrounds.

A little bit about myself. I was born and raised in Uruguay, although I emigrated as a child, I am active as a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the Republic University. I attended Med School, OB/GYN residency and obtained a PhD in Barcelona (Spain), where I spent over 30 years of practice focusing on MIGS. I am proud to say that I was the first to introduce the use of Diode laser in office hysteroscopy (2007) and the first to start performing submucosal myomectomy enucleation in office setting (2013). I am currently an active Board member of the Hysteroscopy SIG at the Catalonian ObGyn Society.

Five years ago, I moved with my family to Israel, where I function as the Director of the Gynecology Department at the Laniado University Hospital, Clinical Assistant Professor at the Edelson Med School and the Chair of the Hysteroscopy SIG at the Israeli Gynecology Endoscopy Society.

Like the AAGL mission statement, my professional life trajectory is based on excellence in clinical practice, education, research, and innovation.

If elected as a member of the Board of Directors of the AAGL, I will bring my enthusiasm, motivation, and experience to enhance the great teamwork of the board, pushing on the same direction, spreading MIGS innovation and technology worldwide, without forgetting the important role of the AAGL inside the United States.

Hope that you give me the opportunity to become part of this wonderful and important team by giving me your support.

Warm regards,
Sergio Haimovich, MD
Laniado University Hospital
Hertzeliya, ISRAEL

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