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.

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 ASHA Convention in both Year 1 and Year 2 of their terms. Complimentary lodging is also provided at the ASHA Convention for Year 2 (only) of their terms.

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 (2017). Year 2 (2018), they serve as the co-chairs for the 2018 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 (2017)
Attend the Convention Program Committee kick-off meeting as a topic chair (September 2017); attend SPEB meeting(s); attend the 2017 program finalization meeting (June 2017); visit the host city for the 2018 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 2016); host 2018 CPC Kickoff meeting at ASHA National Office (September 2017) and attend other meetings as needed with the ASHA CEO and the current ASHA President.

  • Serve as topic chairs for 2017 Convention, including assisting current co-chairs with selection of topics and topic chairs
  • Participate in preliminary site planning for 2018
  • Participate in other Convention discussions and conference calls as necessary
  • Attend SPEB meetings according to SPEB membership rotation schedule
  • Meet with NSSLHA Executive Council

Year 2 (2018)

Continue work from the CPC Kickoff meeting in September of 2017; participate in conference calls and meetings as requested by Board and other Committees or Councils (BGSIG, for example); direct the 2018 Program finalization (scheduling) meeting (June); attend the Annual Convention (November).

  • Partner with ASHA's National Office staff and co-chair 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 and facilitate the distribution of funds and waivers amongst topic chairs
  • 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
  • Provide training and orientation to topic chairs, and facilitate communication amongst chairs, with regard to invited speakers, budget, review/accept/reject guidelines, and scheduling; maintain communication with topic chairs throughout all planning and review phases
  • Maintain currency of content in topic committees; review for overlap across topic areas; ensure coverage of important content within relevant topic areas (e.g., genetics); incorporate current issues and trends in the professions in developing content and topic areas; foster cross-collaboration between SLP and AUD topic areas—encourage cross-membership on General Interest topic areas
  • Support and encourage 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
  • 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; communicate with RSAC regarding plans for Research Symposium and share this information with appropriate topic committee(s)
  • Respond to calls/e-mails from individuals whose papers were rejected and who seek substantive explanations, following the Call for Papers Appeals policy and work with SPEB, as necessary, to resolve issues
  • Contribute written pieces for The ASHA Leader and other publications related to the Convention
  • Work with Convention Program Team to develop Opening General Session presentation
  • Maintain communication with Convention Program Team regarding issues and concerns that may arise

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


Eligibility Requirements

  • Be an ASHA member in good standing
  • Have served within the past 7 years on at least two prior Convention Program Committees and, preferably, at least once as a topic chair
  • Be willing to commit time in 2018 to develop and then enjoy the 2018 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
  • Ability to problem-solve and develop creative resolutions, if needed
  • Excellent communication skills (verbal and written)

Selection Process

  • SPEB will review applications and recommend one speech-language pathology and one audiology co-chair candidate to the Committee on Committees.
  • Decisions will be made by July 2016 and candidates will be notified thereafter.