North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics

In 1997, due to the internationalization plans of the ACL, the ACL Executive formed a setup committee consisting of Sandra Carberry, Eduard Hovy, and Marilyn Walker to establish a new North American chapter (NAACL). The setup committee held open discussion meetings at both COLING-98 and ACL-99, and created a constitution modeled after that of the European chapter. The setup committee also ran the first election electronically (with help from Drago Radev), in December 1999. Both the setup committee and the general membership nominated candidates, resulting in a slate of 2 nominees for Chair, 2 for Secretary, 3 for Treasurer, and 17 for 4 Board Member positions. Based on the election results, the new NAACL chapter was officially formed on January 1, 2000, and the setup committee dissolved. The following was the founding Executive for 2000-2001:
Chair:Diane Litman
Secretary:Claire Cardie
Treasurer:Barbara Di Eugenio
New Board members: Ralph Grishman, Martha Palmer, Phil Resnik, Janyce Wiebe
Original Setup Members
(one year only):
Sandra Carberry, Eduard Hovy, Marilyn Walker
ACL Secretary-Treasurer
(ex officio):
Kathleen McCoy
Nominating Committee: Andrew Kehler, Lori Levin, Daniel Marcu

Since its founding, NAACL has begun a very successful series of Chapter Meetings. The first conference was held in Seattle, WA in 2000, and was colocated with ANLP. Marie Meteer was the general chair, and Janyce Wiebe was the program chair. The second conference was held in Pittsburgh, PA in 2001, and attracted approximately 500 people. Lori Levin was General Chair, Kevin Knight Program Chair, and Alon Lavie Local Arrangements Chair. Our third meeting will be held in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 2003 with Eduard Hovy as General Chair, Marti Hearst and Mari Ostendorf as PC co-chairs, and Dekang Lin as Local Arrangements Chair. The meeting will be slightly different, as we are conducting an experimental merger with the Human Language Technology Conference. We are very excited about this merger, as we feel that NLP researchers and the broader HLT community (which typically includes more speech, information retrieval, and applications) will both benefit from this new event.

In addition to serving its members through its chapter meetings, which are held whenever ACL is not in North America, the chapter is also starting to institutionalize support of educational initiatives. In 2002, we entered into a 3 year cooperation with the Johns Hopkins's CSLP Summer School on Human Language Technology, to fund approximately 10 undergraduate and/or graduate students to attend a 10 day hands-on course covering NLP and speech. We would like to continue such efforts and expand our support in the future to include cooperation with other relevant North American summer schools.

Diane Litman, NAACL Chair
Last Revision: June 17, 2002