Passing the Reins to ACM's New President
July 1, 2020
To all ACM members,
It is my great honor to extend a warm welcome to Gabriele Anderst-Kotsis, whose term as ACM President starts today. She brings leadership experience from all levels of academe, department head to vice-rector, and has a long history of volunteerism in the Austrian Computer Society as well as ACM. What I particularly admire about Gabriele is the way she combines energy and enthusiasm with the ability to think strategically. This is a powerful combination that is sure to lead ACM to great things over the next two years.
Beginning their terms with Gabriele are Joan Feigenbaum as Vice President and Elisa Bertino as Secretary/Treasurer. Both are award-winning computer scientists whose backgrounds combine industry and academic experiences. If you want to learn more about Gabriele, Joan, and Elisa, a good starting point is their biographies and candidate statements, which were published in the May issue of Communications of the ACM.
I'm very pleased that I can make one final announcement that is good news indeed. Last week, the ACM Council voted unanimously to "adopt the goal of opening the Digital Library within five years given that this can be achieved in a way that is sustainable for ACM and with the understanding that this may take longer due to the impact of COVID-19." This is something that many of us have wanted for some time. I'm sure we all look forward to hearing more about it in future bulletins.
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank some of the amazing people I've been privileged to work with at ACM. My "dream team" of fellow-officers—Alex Wolf, Elizabeth Churchill, and Yannis Ioannidis —helped identify our strategic goals and puzzle out how each priority could be advanced. The chairs of ACM's many Boards and Councils supported our goals enthusiastically, each of them launching an important new initiative over the course of our two-year terms.
Special thanks to Natalie Enright Jerger and John West, and to Lorraine Kisselburgh, who stepped up to the challenge of starting new cross-cutting councils on Diversity and Inclusion and Technology Policy (respectively). I owe a particular debt to Pat Ryan, ACM's COO, who was always patient as well as incredibly helpful, despite what must have seemed like endless questions. I also need to acknowledge all the incredible staff at ACM headquarters, from CEO Vicki Hanson to the newest hire; it is their dedication that has made it possible for ACM to continue business as usual during the pandemic. Finally, a big thank-you to you, the members of ACM, for giving me the privilege of serving as your President.