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ASA at 175 – Selecting Leaders

By Ronald Wasserstein posted 03-12-2014 07:44



Two related activities of great importance to the future of the ASA are in full speed this week.  On Friday, March 14, the ASA’s 2014 elections – for positions beginning in 2015 – will open.   At the same time, the ASA’s Committee on Nominations is working to select nominees for ASA president and vice president, for elections to take place next spring.

In the January 23 ASA at 175 blog, I wrote about the processes by which nominees for the ASA Board are selected and elected.  I noted that there are separate processes for choosing the candidates for various Board positions, but that every ASA member is eligible to vote for each elected Board position.  Today we’ll focus on the two most senior Board positions.

The Committee on Nominations is responsible for selecting two candidates for president and two for vice president.  The ASA rotates these positions across the large sectors of our membership – business/industry, academe, and government.  This year, the committee is working to identify candidates for president from the government sector and for vice president from the academic sector.  Anyone can recommend potential candidates to the committee, and a call for nominations goes out each year in Amstat News (see the December 2013 issue, for example).

The committee takes on a tremendous responsibility, as the people selected for these positions have enormous influence on the direction of the association.  For the association to prosper, the committee must over time present a diverse set of candidates that is as representative of the association as possible.  The committee will complete its work for this year during the spring, and the candidates for president and vice president for the 2015 elections (taking office in 2016) will be announced this summer.

Beginning this Friday, March 14, ASA members will have the opportunity to vote for ASA president and vice president, and well as other ASA Board positions and many other leadership positions within the ASA.  You can read about the candidates in this month’s Amstat News.

With all that you have to do, it is easy to let voting for ASA leadership slide, assuming that others will do it.  An even more unfortunate assumption is sometimes made that it doesn’t matter who gets elected. As Executive Director, I have the privilege of working closely with ASA leadership on a day to day basis, and over an extended period of time.  It is easy for me to see what a big difference these wise and dedicated volunteer leaders make to this association.

Your vote matters.  Who gets elected matters.   Please, cast your vote, and let’s have our biggest turnout ever.

In 2014, the American Statistical Association is celebrating its 175th anniversary.  Over the course of this year, this blog will highlight aspects of that celebration, and look broadly at the ASA and its activities.  Please contact ASA Executive Director Ron Wasserstein ( if you would like to post an entry to this blog.