American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

ASHA Convention Co-Chair (Volunteer Leader Position)

Each year two co-chairs are selected to plan and lead for the Annual Convention. One co-chair is selected to represent speech-language pathology, and one is selected to represent audiology. Learn more about the Call for Co-Chairs and how to apply.

ASHA Staff Liaison: Director, ASHA Convention & Meetings

Works Directly With: Program Team, Convention and Meetings

Co-Chairs' Major Responsibility: Coordination and oversight of the ASHA Convention program and Program Committee members (Topic Chairs)

Co-Chair Term: ASHA Convention co-chairs serve a two-year term. The co-chairs serve on the ASHA Convention Program Committee as topic chairs during year 1 (2015). Year 2 (2016), they serve as the co-chairs for the 2015 ASHA Convention.

Note: Any member who has served as an ASHA Convention co-chair may apply again to serve as a co-chair five years after their term ends.


Year 1 (2015)
Serve on ASHA's Scientific and Professional Education Board (SPEB). One co-chair continues on SPEB through 2015. Speech-language pathology and audiology co-chairs alternate in this role. In 2016, the audiology co-chair will serve.

  • Serve as topic coordinators for 2015 Convention.
  • Participate in preliminary site planning for 2016.
  • Participate in finalization (scheduling) meeting at the National Office.
  • Participate in other Convention discussions and conference calls as necessary.

Year 2 (2016)

  • Partner with ASHA's National Office staff to set and communicate goals and objectives for the ASHA Convention.
  • Provide Convention theme development and direction in cooperation with the ASHA president and ASHA Convention and Meetings team.
  • Develop, coordinate, and implement the overall direction and format of the annual Convention's educational program, including input on the selection of keynote speakers, sessions and presenters.
  • Consult with the Director of Convention and Meetings concerning the Convention budget, schedule, promotion, and overall Convention management. Monitor and adhere to the prescribed budget.
  • Consult with the National Office staff regarding preconference workshops, potential service projects, special activities, local arrangements, etc.
  • Implement the Convention planning timeline as developed by the Convention Program team.
  • Identify and invite ASHA members to serve as topic chairs to plan and design the Convention educational content, ensuring that clear, demonstrable learning outcomes for each session related to the overall Convention theme and goals as established.
  • Support (or kindly pressure) topic chairs in their efforts to recruit Convention Program Committee members to serve as reviewers.
  • Supervise and manage the review process and acceptance of papers according to the established procedures and timeline. Review program for overlapping or conflicting sessions during finalization meeting held in Rockville, Maryland in the spring.
  • Respond to calls/e-mails from individuals whose papers were rejected and who seek substantive explanations.
  • Coordinate the submission of invited/special sessions with topic chairs.
  • Communicate with the Special Interest Groups (SIGs) about how to best collaborate within topic guidelines to reduce conflict or repetitive sessions.
  • Attend scheduled Association meetings as required.

At the Convention

  • Lead the Conference Program team in execution of plans.
  • Serve as public face of the Convention, with several keynote speaking assignments. Host Convention Program Committee reception.
  • Attend and monitor various invited sessions during Convention.
  • Be in 14 places at once, smiling.

After the Convention

  • Report Convention results and feedback to appropriate National Office staff.
  • Serve as a resource for the upcoming co-chairs and topic chairs.
  • Overall meeting and travel requirements.

Year 1 (2015)
Attend the Convention Program Committee kick-off meeting as a topic chair (September 2014); attend SPEB meeting(s); attend the 2015 program finalization meeting (June 2015); visit the host city for the 2016 Convention with appropriate National Office staff to walk through the convention center to view/assign meeting space, visit various hotels and other venues where meetings/receptions may be held (August 2015); and attend other meetings as needed with the ASHA CEO and the current ASHA President.

Year 2 (2016)
Host/run Convention Program Committee kick-off meeting (September 2015); attend SPEB meeting(s); direct the 2016 Program finalization (scheduling) meeting (May 2016); attend the Annual Convention (November 2016).

Official travel as co-chair or co-chair elect is reimbursed according to the appropriate ASHA guidelines. Co-chairs will receive a complimentary registration for the 2015 and 2016 Conventions. Complimentary lodging is also provided at the 2016 Convention.


Eligibility Requirements

  • Be an ASHA member in good standing
  • Have served on at least two prior Convention Program Committees and preferably, at least once as a topic chair
  • Be willing to commit time in 2016 to develop and then enjoy the 2016 Convention

Additional Skills or Traits that will be Favorably Considered

  • Experience organizing, presenting and managing professional and scientific programs
  • Past experience as an ASHA volunteer leader in other capacities
  • Administrative, time management and organizational skills
  • Professional recognition
  • Creative approach to considering new continuing education formats and methodologies

Selection Process

  • SPEB will reviews applications and recommends one speech-language pathology and one audiology co-chair candidate to the Committee on Committees
  • Decisions will be made by July 2014 and candidates will be notified thereafter.

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