ASM's governance has two major components: the Board of Directors (BOD) and the Council on Microbial Sciences (COMS). The BOD has the primary fiduciary responsibility for governance and the exercise and assignment of power of authority for the Society. The BOD sets the strategic direction and upholds the objectives of the Society, authorizes policy matters, directs fiduciary, legal, and business decisions, and hires, oversees, and works in partnership with the CEO. The BOD is made up of the five officers—President, President-Elect, Past President, Treasurer, and Secretary—the CEO in a non-voting ex officio capacity, two members designated from COMS, and ten Directors nominated and voted on by the membership.
The COMS supports the work of ASM by prioritizing the scientific focus of the Society and identifying to the BOD upcoming opportunities in microbial sciences and scientific trends to ensure effective programs and scientific activities that benefit the members and the scientific community at large. COMS is made up of 35 Branch Councilors, 27 Division Councilors, eight Division Interdisciplinary representatives to balance the representation from Branches and Divisions, ten Councilors nominated and voted on by the membership, and eight Program Board/Committee Chairs. COMS will elect a Chair and Vice Chair from the COMS members. The five officers, the CEO, and the Chair of the Academy Board of Governors all serve on COMS in non-voting ex officio capacity.
See our Governance documents.
Read more about our officers and boards below.
ASM has five officers, the President, President-Elect, Past President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
- The President chairs the Board of Directors (BOD) and presides at meetings of the BOD, Annual and Special Meetings of the Membership, and, together with the CEO, acts as primary spokesperson for the Society. The President also serves ex officio, without vote, on the Council on Microbial Sciences (COMS).
- The President-Elect provides secondary leadership for the Society, substitutes for the President when needed, and prepares to serve as President. The President-Elect also assists the President, is a voting member of the BOD and an ex officio, nonvoting member of COMS, and substitutes for the President in the absence of the President. The President-Elect takes precedence over the Past President in substituting for the President. The President-Elect also reviews the performance of the BOD Standing Committees and the Program Board/Committee Chairs and chairs the Appointments Committee.
- The Past President assists the President and is a voting member of the BOD and an ex officio, nonvoting member of COMS. The Past President chairs the Nominating Committee and the Council of Past Presidents.
- The Secretary assists the President and is responsible for overseeing the accuracy of the minutes of all meetings of the BOD and meetings of the Membership.
- The Treasurer is responsible for overseeing all moneys and valuable effects in the name and to the credit of the Society and for overseeing full and accurate accounting of receipts and disbursements. The Treasurer is also chair of the Finance Committee and, together with the CEO and Finance Director, renders to the BOD an account of the financial transactions and status of the Society.
ASM is comprised of five boards: Education, Journals, Meetings, Membership, and Public and Scientific Affairs, plus the American Academy of Microbiology. Boards guide the major ASM programs. The chair of each Board is a voting member of COMS. Each board has committees with specific assignments within the board's area of responsibility.
In addition, there are three standing committees: Communications, Professional Practice, and ASM Press. The chairs of the Committees are also voting members of COMS.
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The mission of the ASM Journals program is to advance the microbiological sciences through the pursuit of scientific knowledge and dissemination of the results of fundamental and applied research. Edited by working scientists who are drawn from eminent institutions around the world, ASM Journals have delivered excellence and value for over 90 years. Known for their quality, rigor, and fairness, ASM Journals continue to provide current, influential coverage of basic and clinical microbial research.
The Society hosts large annual meetings and other regional, national and international topical conferences, symposia, live teleconferences, and webinars.
ASM Microbe, being introduced in 2016, integrates ASM's two premier events, General Meeting and ICAAC, becoming the largest gathering of microbiologists in the world, and offering a true trans- disciplinary experience by exploring the full scope of microbiology from basic science to translational and clinical application. ASM Microbe offers a chance to explore new approaches to learning, connections and collaboration.
CME accreditation and other types of accreditation for multiple disciplines are provided by ASM.
The mission of the Membership Board of ASM is to communicate and demonstrate the relevance of the benefits of ASM's programs and products to scientists around the world working in microbiology. The Board supports the professional development of its members, including those who are underrepresented in the sciences, by providing services such as career placement, mentoring, networking opportunities, and by awarding annual career development grants for postdoctoral women. The Board also provides resources and management support for a robust national network of regional and local professional activities through ASM Branches and Student and Postdoctoral Chapters. In addition, the Board maintains the Center for the History of Microbiology/ASM Archives, thereby preserving the historic contributions of microbiologists and the Society for future generations.
Underlying the ASM's dedication to the advancement of scientific knowledge is its commitment that science serves the public interest. To address scientific matters affecting the public interest, the ASM created the Public and Scientific Affairs Board (PSAB) in 1979. The PSAB monitors legislation and regulation and develops positions for the Society on public policy issues. The PSAB encourages the adoption of sound policies affecting science and technology and the discipline of microbiology. The PSAB responds to policy makers who may request or require an understanding of research and technology in microbiology.
The Academy is the honorific leadership group within the ASM. The mission of the Academy is to recognize scientists for outstanding contributions to microbiology and provide microbiological expertise in the service of science and the public. The Academy administers ASM's awards, convenes several colloquia a year for in-depth analysis of critical issues in microbiology, and honors distinguished scientists by electing them to Fellowship in the Academy.
The Core Purpose of the American Society of Microbiology's Communications is to engage, inform and excite about our science. Its vision is to connect people with our science to increase their appreciation, understanding and excitement about the world of microbes through communications excellence.
To support this vision, Communications provides media relations functions, public outreach, communication training, websites, social media and other resources for ASM. It also oversees the production of Microbe magazine, which is the news magazine of the ASM, and is published monthly in print and online.
The Professional Practice Committee's mission is to provide professional development opportunities and content to members to increase their skill, enhance their job performance and contribute to the profession. The Professional Practice Committee oversees professional certification, accreditation of postgraduate clinical training programs, the clinical microbiology portal, mentoring for clinical microbiologists and the Speakers' Bureau. The Professional Practice Committee also develops evidence-based and consensus-based practice guidelines.
ASM Press, the book publishing division of the American Society for Microbiology, is the premier publisher of microbiology titles. The ASM Press Committee, a standing committee of ASM's CPC, creates the vision for and oversees the implementation of established product lines and development of future publishing products that respond to market needs. Wholly dedicated to the science of microbiology, ASM Press publishes a broad selection of content, including textbooks, references, monographs, and general interest titles that are used as the foundational texts in colleges and universities and as reference materials in laboratories and governmental agencies around the world. ASM Press content is subjected to a rigorous peer review and development process.