Board Roundup: ASHG Board Reviews Committee Action Plans, Finances

Conference table and chairs in modern meeting room
Source: hxdbzxy/

The ASHG Board of Directors met on April 25-26 in Rockville, MD to discuss the Society’s annual meeting programming, meet with committee chairs from the ASHG Membership & Career Growth Group including the Awards Committee, Membership Engagement Committee and Career Development Committee, review ASHG’s financial position, advance ASHG’s strategic planning process by reviewing committee action plans and make any needed changes based on current priorities, and welcome Amanda Perl, the Society’s new CEO.

Action Plan Refreshes

Over the past four months, Committees have met to talk about the goals and objectives of the refreshed ASHG Strategic Plan and determine what changes were needed to their existing action plans, if any, to align with the updated Plan. Following these discussions, each group finalized a robust set of activities. These plans are an illustration of the creativity, dedication, knowledge, energy, and breadth of thinking that committee members lend to the Board-set vision. Committees presenting refreshed action plans included the Career Development Committee (CDC), Digital Learning Committee, Government and Public Advocacy Committee (GPAC), Membership Engagement Committee (MEC), Professional Practice and Social Implications Committee (PPSI), and the Public Education and Awareness Committee (PEAC). The board is interested in diving deeper into the scope of some plans and will encourage additional committee deliberations to ensure the scope of activities are manageable and align with the committee charge.

Scientific Publications Update

AJHG and HGGA Journal CoversBruce Korf, MD, PhD, Editor-in-Chief, American Journal of Human Genetics (AJHG) and Michael Bamshad, MD, Editor-in-Chief, HGG Advances  discussed ASHG’s publications activities. During a year of uncertainty for scientific journals, ASHG’s journal leadership maintained quality standards for publishing while working to increase readership and reduce barriers to submission. AJHG is planning to publish a series of forward-looking articles based on the NHGRI’s “Bold Predictions” which will include some curated content. AJHG also will publish a retrospective in honor of the publication’s 75th anniversary, and HGG Advances continues using its online blog to highlight published papers.

ASHG 2024 Annual Meeting

ASHG’s Program Committee Chair Beth Sullivan, PhD, reviewed highlights of the ASHG 2024 Annual Meeting program. Sullivan discussed some of the trends the Program Committee saw in abstracts submissions in 2023, including an increase in single-cell approach abstracts and a decrease in molecular cytogenetic approaches. As a response to feedback to assist presenters, there will be live training sessions for speakers and moderators, sharing information that was previously only shared asynchronously for participants.

The Board also considered a proposal that would take the annual meeting to a schedule of five rotating cities to include major biomedical centers on both the East and West Coasts, Canada, and the center of the United States. This proposal is similar to how other scientific organizations host their meetings due to favorable contracts and reduced costs. The Board will approve the specific cities for the rotation after receiving the ASHG staffs’ analysis of cities and their convention center facilities.


ASHG demonstrates strong financial responsibility and health and has been successful in supporting its mission in the face of uncertainty surrounding journal royalty revenue for calendar year 2025 and beyond and increased inflation impacting all areas. The ASHG Board reviewed the results of Fiscal Year 2023 and progress to date in Fiscal Year 2024. ASHG’s financial health is driven by consistent revenues, efficient operations, and controlled expenses. ASHG’s Strategic Reserve Fund works to cover the future year’s operating budget and a percentage of other identified liabilities. Following a review by the Finance & Audit Committee, the Board approved the FY25 operating and Strategic Investment Fund budgets as proposed.

Membership and Career Growth Clusters

The Board and the committees of the Membership and the Career Growth Cluster – the Awards Committee, Membership Engagement Committee, and the Career Development Committee – recognize that the field of genetics and genomics has expanded greatly over the last 10-15 years and individuals with a degree in human genetics now have more career options than ever before, including non-academic careers. There are a number of new activities currently underway at the Society including peer mentoring and new career resources as well as shared interest group meet ups designed to engage members including trainees and other categories of individuals from industry as some examples. The chairs of the committees shared information on plans to create additional benefits for members based on their interests.

Program Updates

ASHG staff provided an update on the Society’s advocacy activities. A top priority for the Society and its members is to ensure sustained funding for NIH and other relevant agencies in fiscal year (FY) 2025, supporting increases (or protecting against cuts) to the overall NIH budget, and informing potential legislation that would impact the human genetics and genomics research community. To that end, ASHG has been working to cultivate the Society’s member engagement, build NIH Congressional champions, and taking action with advocacy coalition partners.

Staff also presented on the proceedings of the Society’s first-ever HBCU Partnership Summit, which brought together and meaningfully engaged faculty, administrators, students, and funders connected to HBCUs with a goal to identify barriers and opportunities to equity and inclusion in human genetics & genomics research and workforce.

The Board’s next formal meeting is scheduled for November 3-November 4, in Denver, CO, just prior to the start of the ASHG 2024 Annual Meeting, which will run November 5-9.





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