This is my last Presidential column, as the fabulous Patricia Moy (U of Washington) will take over as ICA President in May 2018. As you know, former Presidents remain on the Executive Committee for three years following our presidential terms. I am, therefore, looking forward to continuing to work on a number of important ICA initiatives. These include our ongoing work with the ICA Task Force on Sponsorship, to articulate the types of contributions that ICA will accept. As well, the Task Force on Ethics is working to articulate key ICA values and to strengthen our mission statement. These efforts will enable us to continue to probe and perhaps re-evaluate the ICA Political Engagement Policy, refreshing our understanding of how ICA can (and already does) engage in work that is politically effective for our members, including those in more precarious environments. This type of work is well underway—we continue to bolster regional communication scholarship and networking by supporting regional conferences in areas of the world lesser represented in ICA. We continue to support the work of regional groups, and our Board Members at Large in regions such as Africa, where we expand membership, support training and academic program development, and assist in networking, and work to disseminate African communication scholarship. This type of on the ground work enables us to fulfil our mandate and obligations as an “international” organization. But more than that, it spoils us, granting us access to bodies of rich, diverse scholarship that complement and expand our current strengths.
It has been profoundly enriching to me, both personally and professionally, to support regional ICA development and to engage with scholars in those areas. Meeting these scholars and taking in this rich research terrain has been illuminating and inspiring. We have much to learn, and to gain, in continuing to diversify ICA in tangible, meaningful ways—not only by adding members but by reading and citing their scholarship, and coming together in inclusive research networks.
It has been an honor to serve as the ICA president the past year. I have learned much, gained many new colleagues and friends, and feel inspired by the good will and commitment of our members. Thank you for your collegiality, your spirited work, and your generous engagement with ICA. See you all next month in Prague!