AES Executive Director Colleen Harper to Step Down

Audio Engineering Society, known as AES, announces that Colleen Harper will step down in March as Executive Director after three years.

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AES Executive Director Colleen Harper to Step Down

The Audio Engineering Society (AES) announced that Colleen Harper, executive director, will step down in March 2022. Harper, a Certified Association Executive (CAE), led the AES headquarters staff for the past three years.

According to a statement, Harper has a wealth of experience in the organizational management of professional membership and other non-profit organizations. With this, Harper worked hand-in-hand with the Society’s volunteer leadership, members and industry partners. She also helped shepherd the Society through a period of radical transition due to the repercussions of the global pandemic.

During Harper’s tenure, the AES has consistently advanced its global role. It also maintained its essential contributions to the professional audio industry’s vitality. It achieved this through promotion of the creative practice of audio arts, scientific and technological innovation, education and standards development.

Harper’s Impact on AES

“The AES has been privileged to have Colleen’s experience and unique skill set to rely upon during trying times,” says Josh Reiss, AES President.

He points out how AES has been in its best financial position for years, despite a global pandemic. Reiss then underscores Harper’s contributions in ushering forward-looking operational plans, procedures and practices. According to him, these will further solidify the Society’s role as a leading professional audio technological organization. He adds, “…On behalf of the Board of Directors, the Board of Governors and the Society’s membership, we offer Colleen our sincere gratitude and wish her well as her career takes her in new directions.”

“I care deeply about the AES, and I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished together,” remarks Harper. “The past three years have been a tremendously rewarding experience and some of the most challenging and enjoyable years I could have imagined.”

Harper also acknowledges that her decision to step down was indeed difficult. She then expresses her pride on having accomplished the goals established when joining the AES. “…As I leave to pursue a new challenge, I am genuinely sad to leave the Society, its dedicated staff and leadership, and the wonderful community that has accepted me as one of its own,” Harper adds.

Search for New Executive Director

The AES Board of Directors will soon look for Harper’s permanent replacement. It is currently in the process of creating a search committee to work with an outside search firm in the selection. In the meantime, Bill Foster, a veteran of AES leadership has agreed to serve again as Interim Executive Director. He will assume the role upon Harper’s departure in early March. Foster had previously served as Interim Executive Director during the search that led to Harper’s hire.

“Bill has proven his ability to see the Society through this type of transition,” states Reiss. He then expresses the Board’s confidence in Foster’s interim leadership. He adds, “…Colleen has set a high standard of performance that will be a perfect template to guide our search for her replacement.”

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