World's Largest Computing Society Elects First All-Female Leadership Team

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New ACM Officers to Address Transformations in the Field


ACM President-elect Hanson

“This is an opportunity to highlight the contributions that women have made to computing and to inspire young women to view computing as a career.”

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, has announced the election of new officers who will lead the organization for a two-year term beginning July 1. Heading the new team will be incoming President Vicki L. Hanson. Hanson is a Distinguished Professor of Computing at Rochester Institute of Technology, and Professor and Chair of Inclusive Technologies at University of Dundee. Joining Hanson as Vice President will be Cherri M. Pancake, Professor Emeritus and Intel Faculty Fellow in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Oregon State University; and, as Secretary/Treasurer, Elizabeth Churchill, Director of User Experience at Google.

In addition, Members-at-Large elected to four-year terms are Gabriele Anderst-Kotsis, Professor and Head of the Department of Telecooperation at Johannes Kepler University Linz; Susan Dumais, Distinguished Scientist and Deputy Managing Director at Microsoft Research; Elizabeth Mynatt, Professor of Interactive Computing in the College of Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology; Pam Samuelson, Richard M. Sherman Distinguished Professor of Law and Information at University of California, Berkeley's School of Law; and Eugene H. Spafford, Professor and Executive Director at Purdue University's Center for Education and Research in Information Security and Assurance (CERIAS).

President-elect Hanson said her key priorities include reaching out to practitioners and young professionals. “I am honored to have been elected. In this position, I look forward to working with ACM’s global community to serve researchers and practitioners in computing.” ACM’s new leadership team recognizes that, although the number of computing professionals throughout the world continues to increase, it does not necessarily follow that they participate in professional membership organizations. “Young people coming of age today are surrounded by readily available content and have increasingly fluid careers,” explains Hanson. She hopes to establish a young professionals advisory board, among other initiatives.

Hanson was named a Fellow of ACM for contributions to computing technologies for people with disabilities; she is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the British Computer Society. Hanson has worked on issues of inclusion for older adults and disabled individuals throughout her career. An active ACM member for more than 20 years, Hanson currently serves as ACM Vice President. She is Past Chair of the ACM SIG Governing Board, Past Chair of ACM's Special Interest Group on Accessible Computing (SIGACCESS), and was co-Editor-in-Chief of ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing. With this election, ACM will have its first all-female Executive Committee. A member of the ACM-W Executive Committee, Hanson notes, “This is an opportunity to highlight the contributions that women have made to computing and to inspire young women to view computing as a career.”

Cherri M. Pancake, incoming ACM Vice President, believes that ACM is in a unique position to foster more collaboration among ACM’s global membership. In her candidate’s statement she noted, “Many of ACM’s nearly 100,000 members live outside the United States. This presents many new opportunities for collaborating with colleagues worldwide, but to take full advantage of them we must first overcome the challenges of distance and culture. I believe the most effective way to overcome the challenges of distance and culture is to actively engage our worldwide membership in shaping the ACM of the future.”

A member of ACM since 1982, Pancake has been ACM Awards Co-Chair since 2012 and a member of ACM Council since 2013. Over the past 25 years, she has served in a wide variety of roles. She has held leadership roles with the SC Conference (formerly called Supercomputing) since 1990. Pancake led efforts to create a Special Interest Group focusing on High Performance Computing, formalized in 2012 as SIGHPC, and has served as Chair since its inception.

Newly-elected ACM Secretary/Treasurer Elizabeth Churchill believes that ACM can continue to be a guiding presence for computing professionals throughout their careers. “It is my belief that ACM can continue to provide the strongest foundational social network for a life-long career in all aspects of computer science,” said Churchill in her candidate’s statement. “But to do this we will have to provide a better platform for those in the early stages of their careers.”

As Director of User Experience at Google, Churchill’s focus is on the design and development of connected devices and of developer tools for device ecosystems. She has built research groups and led research in a number of well-known companies, including eBay Research Labs and Yahoo!. Churchill served on the Executive Committee of the ACM's Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (SIGCHI) for eight years, six of them as Executive Vice President.

About ACM
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.

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