Strategic Assembly

The Strategic Assembly is responsible for the Society's long-term strategic direction. Composed of the Board of Trustees, the Chairs of our Divisions, and the Chairs of our Committees, the Strategic Assembly is positioned to drive our strategic planning to new levels of impact.

Three key tasks of the Strategic Assembly are:

  • establish and update over time the AAS strategic plan;
  • monitor progress of the Society toward specific goals included in the strategic plan;
  • review the projects and programs of the Society to ensure they are aligned with and supportive of our strategic goals and mission.

A draft version of the Society’s Vision, Mission, Values, and Goals is ready for review and comment from our membership. Please email us with any questions or comments. We look forward to your input!

AAS Strategic Plan (DRAFT)

8 January 2021


We seek a world where all people value and benefit from a scientific understanding of astronomy that enhances their connection to and enjoyment of the universe around us.


To foster a diverse and welcoming astronomical community who investigates and shares our understanding of the universe.


  • We exhibit curiosity about the universe, which drives our pursuit of scientific research.
  • We act with scientific integrity and transparency as we responsibly and impartially acquire, share, manage, and use scientific data and understanding.
  • We demonstrate the highest level of ethical behavior in our interactions with scientists and the public.
  • We advocate for fair and accessible processes that broaden participation for all to create a diverse, welcoming, supportive community of scientific inquiry.
  • We inspire, support, and advance the next generation of astronomers.
  • We strive to effectively communicate scientific knowledge that is derived from scientific and peer-reviewed observational, computational and theoretical discoveries, robust and transparent scientific processes, and rigorous critical thinking.
  • We demonstrate respect for our environment through sustainable actions rooted in scientific understanding.
  • We use Society resources to sustainably create positive impacts for the astronomical community.

Five Strategic Priorities

1. Build equitable and inclusive practices within the astronomy research community.

  • A. Strengthen (and act on) AAS's commitment to equity, inclusion, and diversity.
  • B. Continually improve access to and participation in meetings and events, and all AAS services.
  • C. Construct a clear pathway to inclusive leadership in the AAS.
  • D. Increase the diversity of our governing Board, Division Leadership, and Committees.
  • E. Ensure equitable access to publishing in our journals by training editors, reviewers, and authors.

2. Address significant global issues that affect astronomy.

  • A. Develop a strategy for post-pandemic support for our members.
  • B. Engage a wide set of stakeholders in addressing the burgeoning industrialization of space and the degradation of the night sky from space and from the ground.
  • C. Be an effective scientific voice and advocate for addressing and mitigating climate change.
  • D. Engage AAS membership more deeply in policy advocacy.

3. Improve astronomical science dissemination, scientific publication and literacy, STEM education, and professional learning across all career paths chosen by astronomers.

  • A. Emphasize the role of the AAS in professional development and increase the number of development opportunities for our members throughout the year.
  • B. Build a college-to-career pipeline for new AAS undergraduate members.
  • C. Support and enhance formal and informal science education initiatives that make astronomy relevant and accessible.
  • D. Ensure ethical scientific standards and behavior in the AAS member community.
  • E. Enable open access for scientific content in our journals.

4. Cultivate our network of partnerships to strengthen new initiatives, advance our mission, and strive toward our vision.

  • A. Recruit and organize a larger pool of volunteers from our member community.
  • B. Enlarge and broaden the AAS member community.
  • C. Deepen the AAS relevance to and interaction with astronomy advocates (e.g., AAVSO, NPS, OCA, and many others) as well as the public.
  • D. Create a liaison group that pairs AAS members with specific organizations, giving those organizations connection to and investment in the AAS.

5. Improve transparency and interconnections among the AAS Board, Divisions, Committees, and Members to accomplish our goals.

  • A. Enhance transparency and communication between our Board, Divisions, and Strategic Assembly.
  • B. Enhance communication between Society leaders and members.
  • C. Establish training, documentation, and onboarding processes for volunteers at all levels.
  • D. Increase the operational efficiency of our governance structure.
  • E. Leverage wealth of AAS reports for community use and engagement.

Board of Trustees

Paula Szkody


Term: Jun 2020 – Jun 2022

Megan Donahue

Past President

Term: Jun 2020 – Jun 2021

Joan Schmelz

Senior Vice-President

Term: Jun 2018 – Jun 2021

Geoffrey Clayton

Second Vice-President

Term: Jun 2019 – Jun 2022

Stephen Unwin

Third Vice-President

Term: Jun 2020 – Jun 2023

Doris Daou


Term: Jun 2020 – Jun 2023

Alice Monet


Term: Jun 2019 – Jun 2022

Kevin Marvel

Executive Officer

Term: Jun 2006 – Present

Marcel Agüeros

At-Large Trustee

Term: Jun 2017 – Jun 2021

Kelsey Johnson

At-Large Trustee

Term: Jun 2017 – Jun 2021

Tereasa Brainerd

At-Large Trustee

Term: Jun 2018 – Jun 2021

Hannah Jang-Condell

At-Large Trustee

Term: Jun 2019 – Jun 2022

Edmund Bertschinger

At-Large Trustee

Term: Jun 2020 – Jun 2023

Division Chairs

Kathryn Volk

Division on Dynamical Astronomy

Amy Mainzer

Division for Planetary Sciences

Fiona Harrison

High Energy Astrophysics Division

Kevin Krisciunas

Historical Astronomy Division

Phillip Stancil

Laboratory Astrophysics Division

Dale Gary

Solar Physics Division

Committee Chairs

Alice Monet

Appointments Committee

Tonia Venters

Code of Ethics Committee

Joel Bregman

Committee on Astronomy and Public Policy

Iain Reid

Demographics Committee

Doris Daou

Finance Committee

Diane Frendak

Membership Committee

Rolf Danner

Committee for Sexual-Orientation & Gender Minorities in Astronomy

Travis Rector

Sustainability Committee

Joel Kastner

Committee on Employment

Joan Schmelz

Committee on Meetings

Jeffrey Hall

Committee on Light Pollution, Radio Interference, and Space Debris

Nicole Cabrera Salazar

Committee on the Status of Minorities in Astronomy

Lia Corrales

Committee on the Status of Minorities in Astronomy

Nicolle Zellner

Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy

Kimberly Coble

Education Committee

Lisa Prato

Publications Committee

Chris Sneden

Publications Committee

Alicia Aarnio

Site Visit Oversight Committee

Nancy Morrison

Site Visit Oversight Committee

Alicia Aarnio

Working Group on Accessibility and Disability

Karen Knierman

Working Group on Accessibility and Disability

Ashish Mahabal

Working Group on Astroinformatics and Astrostatistics

Jennifer Bartlett

Working Group on the Preservation of Astronomical Heritage

Eric Bellm

Working Group on Time Domain Astronomy