Introduction to the National Offices
“A pregnant suitcase…frequently described the location of the ‘National Office’ before 1958.”
- The First 75 Years: An Oral History, 1999
Until January 2, 1958, ASHA was administered through the unpaid office of an elected secretary-treasurer. The Association’s growth after World War II had created an overwhelming amount of work for the volunteer leadership that required more time than they were able to devote to its activities. By 1953, a Committee on Association Planning had formed to discuss the need for a National Office and the employing of a full-time executive secretary. The following year, 1954, the Committee to Study the Establishment of a National Office was appointed. A report given at the 1955 ASHA Convention endorsed the idea of a National Office and a paid full-time executive. Washington, DC was chosen as a likely location due to the Association’s relationship with agencies of the federal government and other public and private groups located in the nation’s capital. By 1957, the executive council had approved the search for an executive secretary.