I’ve just returned from Washington, DC and I can ensure you that an incredible venue, hotel staff, and Local Arrangements Committee are waiting to welcome you for the 59th Annual Meeting of the ASA. The Marriott Wardman Park has been the home of several past ASA meetings, but it has recently undergone major renovations and the meeting space has been significantly upgraded. The program for this year’s meeting has continued to expand in response to an increase in the number of submissions to the CFP and the addition of innovative new events, such as the Advocacy Workshop and the new AfricaNow! sessions, which will be implemented at this year’s meeting.

Alem Hailu of Howard University, Carl LeVan of American University, and Eve Ferguson of the Library of Congress, our Local Arrangements Committee Co-Chairs, have ensured that those of you attending the meeting will get to experience the broader Washington, DC Africanist community. On the occasion of its 150th Anniversary, Howard University will be graciously hosting the opening reception of the meeting at the beautiful Blackburn Center. The closing ceremony, sponsored by American University and Georgetown University, will take place at the Marriott Wardman Park. To take full advantage of the plethora of Africa resources in Washington, DC, we are coordinating with the Library of Congress, Museum of African Art, National Humanities Alliance, and many other institutions to organize workshops, special sessions, and activities.

We are also exceptionally proud to welcome so many scholars from African Institutions to this year’s meeting. In addition to the six ASA Presidential Fellows, we will be welcoming twelve additional scholars sponsored through a Carnegie Corporation of New York grant. These scholars will present on three featured panels on the topics of “Imagining Africa at the Center: Bridging Scholarship, Policy, and Representation in African Studies”, “Innovations and Transformations in Public Health Higher Education”, and “The Impact of Climate Change on Development in Africa.”

In addition to The Annual Meeting, we are also very focused on the launch of the upcoming 60th Anniversary Fund Campaign. The ASA is excited to launch a fundraising campaign during a period in the Association’s history where the association is on stable financial ground, growing annually, and focused on developing new strategic initiatives.

I sincerely look forward to seeing all of you at this year’s Annual Meeting!