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ASHA Selects New Executive Director

New Leader Will Head the Nation's Largest Association for Speech, Language, and Hearing Professionals

ROCKVILLE, MD (October 2003) -
Arlene Pietranton, PhD, CCC-SLP* has been appointed the new executive director of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Pietranton, the third executive director in the 78-year history of the 110,000-member association, succeeds Frederick T. Spahr, PhD, CCC-SLP, who retires on December 31, after heading the association since 1980. Pietranton will begin her term on January 1, 2004.

Pietranton has been ASHA's chief staff officer for Speech-Language Pathology since 1996. She also serves as a liaison to several federal agencies and organizations; and facilitates government relations, ASHA's special interest divisions, and international relations units. In collaboration with the current executive director and other chief staff officers, Pietranton coordinates operations and determines priorities for the 220-person staff of ASHA's Rockville-based national office.

"The leadership of ASHA is delighted to have someone of Arlene's stature and background as our new Executive Director," said Glenda Ochsner, PhD, CCC-SLP president of ASHA. "We look forward to working with her in the years ahead."

Prior to coming to ASHA, Pietranton held several positions at George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, DC, including director for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Services and director for Rehabilitation Services. Before leaving the Medical Center, Pietranton was administrative director of the university's Neurological Institute where she oversaw the implementation and operation of a unified multidisciplinary center for neurological disorders. Pietranton received her bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees from George Washington University.

An ASHA Fellow**, Pietranton was an active ASHA volunteer before joining the National Office staff. She was a legislative councilor (1989-1994), chair of the ASHA political action committee-PAC (1993-94), and served on several ASHA committees. She also served as president of the District of Columbia Speech and Hearing Association (1993) and of the Society of Hospital Directors of Communicative Disorders Programs (1994).

Pietranton lives in Washington, DC with her husband, Frank, and two daughters Amsley and Kelsey.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 110,000 audiologists, speech, language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems including swallowing disorders. For more information, log onto www.asha.org

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(Editor's Note: *CCC is the designation of ASHA's Certificate of Clinical Competence indicating that stringent academic and practice requirements have been met that ensures that the highest qualified speech-language pathologist and/or audiologist is providing service to the public. **The ASHA Fellows designation recognizes professional or scientific achievement and is given to ASHA members who have made significant contributions to the professions. The award is one of the highest honors that ASHA can bestow and is retained for life.)


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