Douglas Richardson Selected as New AAG Executive Director

(Washington, DC) Dr. Douglas B. Richardson has been selected as the new Executive Director of the Association of American Geographers, effective January 1, 2003. Richardson, formerly President and founder of GeoResearch, Inc. has been serving as Director of Research and Strategic Initiatives at the AAG since July 2001. He succeeds retiring Executive Director Ronald F. Abler.

Richardson holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. (1980) in geography from Michigan State University. He has worked closely with American Indian tribes for over twenty years on natural resources, cultural, and ecological issues. His firm GeoResearch, Inc. achieved international prominence with the invention, development, and patenting of the first interactive GPS/GIS (global positioning system/geographic information system) technology, which has led to major advances in the way geographic information is now collected, mapped, integrated, and used within geography and in society at large. As President of GeoResearch, Richardson also directed many large-scale mapping, environmental, natural resource, and transportation research projects for domestic and international governmental agencies, NGO's, and private firms.

"Dr. Richardson is superbly qualified to lead the Association of American Geographers at this particular point in its history." said AAG President M. Duane Nellis. The Search and Selection Committee consisted of Nellis; AAG Past Presidents Janice J. Monk, Susan Cutter, Reginald G. Golledge, Judy M. Olson, Harold M. Rose, and Thomas Wilbanks; former AAG Councillor and Treasurer Joel Morrison; and AAG Councillor Cort Willmott. The Committee's selection of Richardson for the position of executive director was unanimous.

In accepting the position, Richardson said, "It has been a great privilege and pleasure to work with our talented membership and staff in the past, and I look forward to expanding my friendships from every corner of the discipline as we work together to strengthen geography and promote geographic understanding in the years ahead. We have before us a unique window of opportunity to create a far more central place for geography, both in the university and in society. Our success in realizing this potential will not only benefit the discipline internally, but will enable geography and geographers to contribute even more effectively to addressing the many pressing needs of today's rapidly changing world."

The Association of American Geographers is a scholarly, nonprofit organization founded in 1904 to advance professional studies in geography and to encourage the application of geography in business, education, and government. From a charter membership of 49 in 1904, the Association's membership has grown to over 8,000 individual and institutional members in 2003. Richardson is the Association's eighth full time Executive Director.

For more information, contact:

Amy Jo Woodruff
Association of American Geographers
1710 Sixteenth Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
202-234-1450
ajwoodruff@aag.org

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