Page 11 - WINTER2019
P. 11

• When asked which of a long list of activities the ASA should pursue in the next three to five years, the top three responses were
• Comment on legislation and regulations affecting acoustics (64%);
• Place op-eds supporting acoustics in key publications (e.g., The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post) (51%); and
• Submit written congressional testimony on subjects of importance to acoustics (46%).
Interestingly, all of these responses are “Society-wide” activ- ities, and grassroots activities that could be taken on by individuals were not rated as high.
Given these survey results, the question now is, where do we go from here? The AIP government relations team has made some suggestions of activities that the ASA could take up to become more involved in government advocacy, and here is a partial list:
• First, develop a set of principles of engagement regarding ASA advocacy to ensure advocacy efforts are bipartisan
and are focused on constructive engagement;
• Second, define an advisory structure and policy/process
guidelines, perhaps to advise the ASA EC;
• Pilot test some grassroots activities that have been suc-
cessful for other scientific societies, especially bringing EC members or a small set of volunteers to Capitol Hill for congressional visits day once a year;
• Clearly define what specific funding requests would look like, to be prepared for having something to say to con- gressional offices and at hearings;
• Develop two or three overarching advocacy messages and another two or three specialized or targeted messages to guide advocacy efforts; and
• Add a part-time or full-time ASA staff member or buy AIP supplemental services to help establish an advo-
cacy program.
Moving forward with any of these ideas needs to be con- sidered carefully by everyone in the ASA but particularly by the EC and Task Force C on Improved Communications and Public Relations. So now is an important time for you to provide YOUR input. If you have strong feelings, one way or the other, about any of these recommendations or if you have other ideas that you want to put forth, please let me know (, and I will be sure
that your thoughts get to the appropriate people on the ASA EC, Task Force C, and the ASA Panel on Public Policy and at ASA headquarters.
The ASA has never been involved in government advocacy before, but it is clear that a large fraction of the ASA mem- bership wants this. Legally, the ASA is allowed to do this type of lobbying, so long as it grows to be no larger than a small part of our overall budget. Our members overwhelm- ingly say that we need to be available to the US government to answer important questions. And if the regulators cut our acoustics budgets year after year and no one cries “help,” then those funding cuts become permanent. Clearly, we have to be our own advocates. No one will do it for us. And the ASA membership deserves a scientific society that will stand up for its members and work hard on their behalf.
On another topic, I am very happy to report that the ASA has just completed a search for its first paid finance director. The purpose of this finance director is to work closely with both the ASA Executive Director and Treasurer to provide leadership and direction to the finance functions of the Society, including directing, recommending, implementing, and monitoring financial policies and procedures and devel- oping financial reports understandable by ASA members.
The finance director will be responsible for managing the day-to-day financial activities and will oversee the monthly, year-end, and annual budgeting as well as all aspects of the annual audit. The finance director will be the primary staff member from ASA headquarters to act as liaison to the ASA
Audit, Finance, and Investments Committees as well as to the Acoustical Society Foundation Board.
The search came to a successful conclusion in September 2019 when Michael (Mike) R. McGovern, CPA, was named as the first ASA Finance Director. Mike’s main areas of expertise include nonprofit financial leadership and in corporate finance and accounting, and from earlier in his career, he has experience working on Wall Street. He made many connections there that could eventually be a benefit to the ASA. From the interview process, I can attest that Mike is very hands on, easy to talk to, good at explaining complex topics, and genuinely dedicated to ensuring the short- and long-term financial success of the ASA. He will report to Executive Director Susan Fox, and he will be regularly attending our ASA meetings. Please join me in welcoming Mike!
Winter 2019 | Acoustics Today | 11

   9   10   11   12   13