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Convention 2019
Call For Election Nominations for ABCT Officers: If Not You, Who?
— David Pantalone, Chair, Leadership and Elections Committee
FOR ME, LIKE SO MANY OF YOU, ABCT is one of my most treasured professional homes. Indeed, I think of the Annual Convention as my "CBT family reunion" and spend months looking forward to connecting with new colleagues, and seeing old friends, every year. For many years, I thought of the elected leaders of the organization as "others," some rarefied CBT deities with magical leadership powers. However, over time— as I have interacted with them more, and as friends and colleagues ascended into those roles—I realized that those individuals are not some qualitatively different type of human but, indeed, are just "us"—but the "us" from among the membership who have chosen to step forward and make a public commitment to give their time, energy, and effort to this organization that we value so dearly (OK, arguably, some may actually have magical leadership powers, but that is definitely not a prerequisite).

This column signals the time of year when our committee, the Leadership and Elections Committee, begins its task of recruiting members to fill the slate of nominees for elected offices. I have met so many smart, dedicated, and committed members of ABCT, and many of them already serve in leadership roles in their practices, their academic departments, or in other professional organizations (which shall not be named). I encourage you to think about whether you might be in a position to run for one of these elected offices or, if not this year, whether you can think of any of the "us" among the membership who might be well-suited for that task.

There are many reasons why extremely qualified members might count themselves out from pursuing elected office at ABCT. Some members might be concerned about the time commitment being too great, or they might be concerned that they know too little about the governance structure of the organization. Others may worry, as I once did, that leaders require some greater skill and knowledge than we possess. To that end, I would encourage anyone in that position to engage heartily in some reality testing, or to be in touch with any of the Leadership and Elections Committee members, any of the current or former elected leaders, or the organization’s Executive Director, Mary Jane Eimer. I am certain that any of us would be happy to talk through any member's potential candidacy with them (and the chances are that you are ready before you think you're ready).

For the 2019 election, we are recruiting for the President-Elect (2019–20; President, 2020–21; Immediate Past President, 2021–22) and for a Representative-at-Large (2019–22). Each of the Representatives-at-Large serves as a liaison to one of the branches of the association. The representative position up for 2019 election will serve as the liaison to the Academic & Professional Issues Coordinator and Committees. All full members in good standing are eligible to be nominated, and there is no limit to the number of members you can nominate for any of the positions. According to ABCT's bylaws, we require two candidates for President-Elect and three candidates for Representative-at-Large to successfully run the election. Electioneering starts at the Annual Convention. So, if you have a candidate in mind, or wish to nominate yourself, start the campaign now with the nominations and go to the Annual Convention and start making your case to the electorate. Remember, the candidates with the most nominations will ultimately be the only official names on the ballot: two for President-Elect and three for Representativeat-Large.

The Board of Directors–approved Leadership and Elections Committee includes a chair and two members, each serving concurrent 3-year terms (2016–19). The Chair is David Pantalone, from the University of Massachusetts Boston. The members are Patricia DiBartolo (, of Smith College, and Kristen Lindgren (, of the University of Washington School of Medicine.

One of the goals of the committee is to increase participation in the election process and, to that end, we are considering ways to further streamline the nomination and election process. Please know that such efforts are under way and, if you have any feedback or ideas, please don't hesitate to share them with me:


Every nomination counts! Encourage colleagues to run for office or consider running yourself. Nominate as many full members as you like for each office. The results will be tallied and the names of those individuals who receive the most nominations will appear on the election ballot next April. Only those nomination forms bearing a signature and postmark on or before February 1, 2019, will be counted.

Nomination acknowledges an individual's leadership abilities and dedication to behavior therapy and/or cognitive therapy, empirically supported science, and to ABCT. When completing the nomination form, please take into consideration that these individuals will be entrusted to represent the interests of ABCT members in important policy decisions in the coming years.Only full and new member professionals can nominate candidates. Contact the Leadership and Elections Chair for more information about serving ABCT or to get more information on the positions.


  • Complete, sign, and mail form to:
    David Pantalone, Ph.D., Leadership & Elections Chair, ABCT, 305 Seventh Ave., New York, NY 10001.
  • Scan and email to
  • Fax to ABCT at 212-647-1865



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Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies
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