Our Work

The American Society for Microbiology strives to represent the interests of its membership and the field of microbiology. We are governed by bylaws and members who volunteer to lead the organization.


ASM Board of Directors

The ASM Board of Directors, supported by the Committees of the Board, provides strategic direction to our Society. It is responsible for the organizational, business, legal, financial and governance matters of our organization. The Board of Directors is chaired by the president. Annual elections to the board begin in the late summer each year with a call for nominations from ASM membership.

Serving on the ASM Board is an honor and a privilege, one that carries with it the responsibility to serve the interests of ASM, its members and stakeholders and to accomplish its mission. Board directors should conduct themselves and perform their duties in an exemplary fashion, commensurate with the position of leadership in which they serve. All board members are expected to abide by key legal duties, as defined in the D.C. Code of Law—the duties of care, loyalty and obedience. Directors have basic responsibilities that derive from these duties, which include the following:

  • To support the mission and purpose of ASM and to abide by its policies.
  • To be diligent in attending, preparing for and participating in board meetings and related activities on behalf of ASM.
  • To ensure that the financial affairs of ASM are, to the best of the board member's knowledge, managed responsibly and prudently.
  • To always act in good faith and in the best interests of ASM and not in the interest of a specific constituency, interest group or individual.
  • To maintain the confidentiality of sensitive, privileged or proprietary information obtained because of board service.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors (BOD) is made up of committed ASM members who volunteer their time in support of the organization. It is the highest governing body of the Society and oversees all other bodies and functions.

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Committee of the Board

ASM members serve on ASM Committes of the Board; critical positions that help to guide the organization and are an opportunity to shape the direction of the Society.

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Program Committees

ASM members make an impact by volunteering to serve on Program Committees, guiding the organizational programs, providing support and aiding in event-critical decisions which shape ASM's programs.

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ASM's Council on Microbial Sciences

ASM’s Council on Microbial Sciences (COMS) is a key connection between ASM’s members and ASM’s leaders—and the place where members can get involved with their society. In partnership with the Board of Directors, the CEO and staff, COMS keeps a finger on the pulse of new developments in microbial sciences and helps develop innovative ways to move the field and ASM forward.

COMS members are organized into 8 broad communities. Each community conducts retreats on a 4-year cycle, helping set scientific priorities and ensure effective programs and activities by identifying opportunities in the microbial sciences. Nominations closed on Sept. 14, 2023, for COMS At-Large Councilors and will open again next year.

ASM Program Committees

By serving on a committee, ASM members are uniquely positioned to contribute to the mission of promoting and advancing the microbial sciences, harnessing their science to serve humanity and solve the most pressing global and public health challenges. ASM has 9 Program Committees, covering a variety of roles in the organization. Calls for ASM committee applications open every year in the winter, and appointments are made in the spring.

We highly encourage a large and diverse pool of applicants interested and willing to serve in volunteer leadership positions. Information on each role can be viewed on the volunteer page.

The Board of Directors is over the Council on Microbial Sciences (Advisory), ASP Program Committees and American Academy of Microbiology and the Chief Executive Officer.

ASM Articles of Incorporation

The ASM Articles of Incorporation establish the legal basis for the establishment of our Society.

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ASM Bylaws

The ASM Bylaws are designed to stand the test of time by including fundamental elements, with much of the detail about how activities occur explained in the Policies and Procedures Manual.

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ASM Policies and Procedures Manual

The ASM Policies and Procedures Manual is a living document that contains guidelines, procedures, practices and traditions for operating and governing our Society.

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