January 7, 2008

Catherine H. (Kate) Gottfred, PhD, a leader in the field of literacy development, began her one-year term as president of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) on January 1, 2008. Gottfred succeeds Noma Anderson, PhD, who will continue to serve on ASHA’s 2008 Board of Directors.

Gottfred comes to ASHA’s top elected office with 26 years of volunteer experience at the Association and a strong leadership history in the communications sciences and disorders community. As founder of the nonprofit Leap Learning Systems in Chicago, Gottfred has spent the past 19 years overseeing the development and delivery of literacy training programs and curricula to educators working with underserved youth.

“2008 promises to be an exciting year,” says Gottfred. “My primary goal is to make ASHA’s new governance model truly what it is meant to be–a nimble, effective voice for and of our Association members.”

Gottfred also looks forward to the new Strategic Pathway being implemented by ASHA, a planning and management system designed to help everyone in the Association understand and work toward a shared vision.

Volunteerism and education are in Gottfred’s roots. Her mother, a first-grade teacher and pioneer in the learning disabilities field, volunteered each summer teaching migrant workers’ children. From a young age, Gottfred assisted and learned from her mother as an unofficial teacher’s aide; and cites her mother as a continuing source of inspiration for her career.

“In the coming year, I hope to play an effective role helping ASHA continue to advocate for its members,” Gottfred says.