ASM Strategic Plan

ASM Strategic Plan


American Society for Microbiology
Approved by the ASM Council
May, 2001
(Extended to 2013 by CPCApril 2012)


The ASM Mission

The ASM is the world's largest scientific society of individuals interested in the microbiological sciences.  The mission of the American Society for Microbiology is to advance the microbiological sciences as a vehicle for understanding life processes and to apply and communicate this knowledge for the improvement of health and environmental and economic well-being worldwide.  To achieve these goals, ASM will:

  • Support programs of education, training and public information;
  • Publish journals and books; convene meetings, workshops and colloquia;
  • Promote the contributions and promise of the microbiological sciences; 
  • Recognize achievement and distinction among its practitioners;
  • Set standards of ethical and professional behavior.


Core Values

The core values we have identified provide the ethical and professional framework for the mission and fundamental aims of ASM.


  • Discovery. Discovery is the driving force of the continuously evolving life sciences. In this regard, the microbiological sciences enjoy a unique vitality, vigor and excitement.
  • Professionalism. We value quality and rigor in the conduct of science generally, and in the microbiological sciences in particular.
  • Service. We believe that the Society and its members have a responsibility to increase public understanding and appreciation of science, and to ensure that the knowledge and skills of microbiologists are used to enhance human welfare.
  • Leadership. We are committed to maintaining and strengthening the Society's leadership role in enhancing the quality of science, its preeminent reputation among life science organizations, and its visible presence in national and international activities that relate to microbiology.
  • Integrity. The Society expects its members to adhere to the highest standards of objectivity, ethics and integrity in scientific inquiry.
  • Diversity. Membership is open to all individuals interested in microbiology. We encourage underrepresented groups to enter, and advance in, the profession of microbiology.
  • Stability. The ASM rests on a sound fiscal foundation. We recognize our continuing obligation to safeguard, and make responsible use of, the Society's capital resources.


Our Vision of the Future

The following statements describe ASM’s preferred future in the opinion of key constituencies:


  • The Society, as a vibrant and progressive organization, provides leadership in the life sciences and to the worldwide community of microbiologists. ASM represents and serves life scientists.  Members participate actively in the Society's volunteer programs and governance. 
  • The Society provides forums both domestically and internationally for the exchange of microbiological information.
  • ASM plays a key role in ensuring a healthy research enterprise.  Discoveries in the microbiological sciences contribute to the improvement of human health, the quality of life, and the environment.
  • ASM plays an important role in life science education at all levels, and contributes significantly to increased public understanding of the microbiological sciences.
  • ASM provides an effective voice for the microbiological sciences in the formulation and development of informed science and technology policies.


Strategic Goals

  • Promote the scope and relevance of the microbiological sciences;
    The Society will provide effective communications both internally among the membership and externally to the public. Increasing knowledge of microbiology benefits society in general, and scientific research encourages young scientists to pursue careers in the microbiological sciences.

  • Enhance the Society’s leadership role in the international microbiological community;
    Continuous global changes require expanded international exchange of scientific information.  No country is isolated from the impact of global environmental change, and disease is found in the remotest parts of the world.  ASM should strive to increase its international role as policy advisor and educator on matters that increase understanding of both the threats and opportunities posed by microbes.  Through systematic outreach initiatives, ASM will make its services available to scientists worldwide.

  •  Develop new and enhance existing programs, products and services
    The range of constituencies served by ASM reflects a continual evolution of the biological disciplines.  For this reason the Society must constantly query its membership as it reevaluates the quality and relevance of its programs.  In meeting this challenge, ASM strives to offer the most effective platform for its services, including an increasing emphasis on electronic formats and distribution via the Internet.

  • Commit volunteer and staff resources to support the Society’s mission;
    ASM thrives on the commitment of its volunteer members and professional staff to work in tandem to provide expeditious and effective responses to new opportunities and challenges. For the continued success of the organization, ASM is committed to the recruitment, training, and recognition of both volunteers and staff.  Dedication to ASM, particularly by those closely involved and participating in its programs, will ensure the Society’s continued growth.
  • Increase women and minority representation in the microbiological sciences at all levels.
    As the population of the U.S. changes over the next century, it will become much more ethnically and culturally diverse. The future growth and success of microbiology as a profession and ASM as the representative of that profession will depend significantly on increased representation of diverse populations in the profession and membership. Consistent with our stated mission, core values and vision of the future, all program units need to consider how we can increase diversity in Society programs, the microbiological sciences, and science in general.
  • Increase the professional opportunities for microbiologists at all educational and career levels;
    The microbiological sciences are changing significantly and rapidly as new scientific methods and approaches develop, and as economic and governmental policies change.  Microbiologists need training to keep abreast of these new areas and to remain competitive in their careers.  ASM is committed to providing opportunities for its members to receive this needed training.
  • Ensure financial stability of the organization;
    ASM must remain fiscally solvent.  Sufficient strategic reserves will allow the Society to endure an economic downturn while still accepting the challenge of mounting new programs and responding to new opportunities.  Financial planning must include long-range assessments of existing programs, particularly those  related to meetings and publications, the Society’s principal sources of financial support.  Revenues from these activities, combined with sound investments, fund raising, and corporate partnerships, will ensure financial stability.
  • Educate individuals at all levels in the microbiological sciences. 
    To sustain microbiology as an academic discipline, ASM will commit resources to ensure that microbiology remains an essential component of the life sciences educational curriculum.   Further, as microbiology evolves, ASM will engage in the ongoing education of students from elementary and high school education through undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate education to ensure a skilled workforce, a viable profession, and a continuing supply of microbiologists in the future.  In addition, ASM will engage in the education and professional development of individuals who educate these students.