Palo Alto, California – AAAI is pleased to announce that Stephen Smith (Carnegie Mellon University, USA) has been elected to serve as the next President-Elect. He will serve in that role for two years, beginning in July, and will then serve as President for two years, followed by two years as Past President.
When notified of his election, Smith commented, “It is a great honor for me to serve as AAAI’s next President-Elect. I’m excited for the opportunity to help AAAI steer the AI research enterprise forward and looking forward to the challenge.”
Francesca Rossi, who took over as President in July, noted, “I am very happy that the AAAI community has chosen Stephen as the next president. His experience on AI publications and his long service to AAAI will facilitate, support, and accelerate AAAI’s activities towards a more impactful association. Looking forward to working with him!”
AAAI established the three stages of Executive leadership to ensure continuity and support, even as the role of the President changes every two years. The President acts as the principal executive officer of AAAI, with assistance from the Past President, President-Elect, and Secretary-Treasurer. The Past President also presides over the Nominating Committee, the Fellows Committee, and several Awards Committees.
Smith joins the AAAI Presidency with significant leadership experience at both AAAI and other AI organizations. He is a Research Professor of Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University. He received a BS Degree in Mathematics from Westminster College, and MS and Ph.D. Degrees in Computer Science from the University of Pittsburgh. Prof. Smith’s research focuses broadly on the theory and practice of next-generation technologies for automated planning, scheduling, and control of large multi-actor systems. He pioneered the development and use of constraint-based search and optimization models for solving planning and scheduling problems and has successfully fielded AI-based planning and scheduling systems in a range of application domains. He is an AAAI Fellow, has several best paper awards and received the 2018 Robert S. Engelmore Memorial Lecture Award. Prof. Smith has a long record of service to the AI research community. He was a founding member of the executive council of ICAPS, served as program chair for ICAPS-06 and general chair of ICAPS-17, and he has served on the PC, SPC, as Area Chair and on conference organizing committees for AAAI, IJCAI, ICAPS, AAMAS, and NeurIPS. He was a AAAI Councilor from 2014-2017 and has since continued as a member of the AAAI Executive Council, where he has overseen the transition of AAAI Press to a new set of publishers as Chair of the Publications Committee.
AAAI would also like to thank Yolanda Gil – AAAI President 2018-2020 and Past President 2020-2022 – for their tremendous donation of time and energy during the last six years of service as an officer on the Executive Committee.
Gil said, “It has been my privilege to serve the AI community and work with AAAI members to create a 20-year roadmap for AI research, establishing strong initiatives for broadening participation in AI, and increasing the visibility and reach of AI education activities.”
Regarding Smith’s election, Gil added, “After collaborating with Steve on planning research for many years, I had a chance to work with him on the AAAI Council and eventually I asked him to lead the AAAI Publications Committee to oversee the transition of AAAI Press. He brings incredible creativity and energy to all endeavors. AAAI is in great hands.”
In addition to the new President-Elect, AAAI is pleased to announce the four incoming Councilors elected to three-year terms:
Maria Chang (IBM Research, USA)
Kristian Kersting (Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany)
Jihie Kim (Dongguk University, South Korea)
Anita Raja (The City University of New York, USA)
Bart Selman, who has served as AAAI’s President since 2020 and who will now be transitioning to the role of Past President, commented on the new Executive Council, saying: “We are excited to welcome our new council members. They represent a broad range of expertise and will push us into new directions.”
The new President-Elect and Councilors were installed at the July meeting of the Executive Council. AAAI congratulates all the new members of the AAAI Executive Council.
Finally, we thank the four retiring Councilors for their dedicated service and generous donations of time: Yiling Chen (Harvard University, UDA), Judy Goldsmith (University of Kentucky, USA), Odest Chadwicke Jenkins (University of Michigan, USA), Brian Scassellati (Yale University, USA)
The eight councilors elected in 2020 and 2021 will continue their terms of service during the coming year. For a complete list of current officers and councilors, please refer to http://www.aaai.org/Organization/officers.php.
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