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Session 9: ASAE: Inclusion, Diversity & Equality(DEI), and what this means for globally-engaged associations

DEI has been thrust centre stage during the pandemic, driven by shocking stories of inequality, injustice and exclusion that have resonated around the globe.  Economic inequality has also increased in many regions, and a considerable number of countries are now facing “vaccine apartheid”, creating the very real risk of being unable to attend international meetings, and cutting them off from essential knowledge and connections.  Whilst many associations have a long and successful history of fighting for a wide range of fundamental human rights, the global dimension adds many layers of complexity to the challenges in policymaking, operational practices and communication.  Recently appointed ASAE leader Michelle Mason has been a long-time passionate advocate for DEI, and shares her views on how international associations can address these challenging but vital issues.

Moderator: Martin Sirk, Owner, Sirk Serendipity


21 February 2022


3:45 pm - 4:45 pm




  • Martin Sirk
    Martin Sirk
    International Advisor, Global Association Hubs Partnership

    Martin Sirk runs the strategic consultancy Sirk Serendipity. Major clients include Global Association Hubs Partnership, advising Brussels, Dubai, Singapore and Washington DC how to assist international associations in achieving their strategic goals, as well as tech start-ups, international associations and meetings industry companies, including the International Association for the Study of Pain, SITE, UFI, IMEX, and AI-driven interpretation company Wordly.

    From 2002 to 2018, Martin was CEO of ICCA, the International Congress and Convention Association, and prior to that, he held senior positions with Hilton International, Brighton and Hove City Council, and the British Tourist Authority.

    His areas of expertise and interest include meeting design, association strategy and development, social and economic impact of meetings, destination marketing, networking theory, and the future evolution of the meetings industry.

    Martin divides his time between Amsterdam and California, when not travelling on projects.

  • Michelle I. Mason
    Michelle I. Mason
    President & CEO, American Society of Association Executives

    Michelle Mason serves as the President & CEO of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). She is passionate about the advancement of the professional practice of association management. Prior to ASAE, Michelle served as the President and CEO of Association Forum for seven years; as Managing Director of Strategy and Innovation at the American Society for Quality (ASQ); and Vice President of Strategic and Future Focused Research Programs at ASAE. Michelle currently serves on Destinations International Foundation, and Tourism Diversity Matters (TDM). Michelle is a Chicago Business Journal Women of Influence Honoree 2019, Chicago Defender Women of Excellence Honoree 2019, and the CEO Update Professional Society CEO of the Year 2020. Michelle is a certified association executive (CAE), Fellow of the American Society for Association Executives (FASAE) and a Certified Quality Improvement Associate (CQIA).

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