Log in
  • Home
  • Announcing AAHB's Next Executive Director

Letter from the President

David W SealDavid W. Seal, PhD, FAAHB
New AAHB Executive Director

Mar. 5, 2024

Dear Members of the AAHB,

I hope this message finds you well. Following the announcement of Joanne Sommer’s upcoming retirement, I am delighted to share exciting news about the selection of our new Executive Director.

Last year, in response to Joanne's retirement plans, I formed an Executive Director Search Committee, which comprised of myself (President), Dr. Julie Croff (President-Elect), Dr. Philip Massey (senior Member Delegate), and Joanne Sommers (current Executive Director). We received strong applications and after a meticulous review of materials, interviews, and discussions, the Executive Director Search Committee has selected Dr. David Seal to be the next Executive Director of the Academy. I am thrilled to announce that Dr. Seal has accepted this position, and he will officially assume the role on July 1, 2024.

Dr. Seal (David) has had a wealth of experience in academia and health behavior research. David is currently a professor at the Department of Social, Behavioral, and Population Sciences at the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University. Prior to his time at Tulane, he was on the faculty for Center for AIDS Intervention Research in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine and the Institute for Health and Society at the Medical College of Wisconsin. David has extensive experience and expertise with the conduct of social behavioral formative and intervention research within a multicultural community-based participatory framework.

As we welcome David to this new role, it is important to acknowledge his contributions to the Academy in various capacities. A long-time AAHB member, Fellow, and past president (2010-2011), David attended his first AAHB meeting in Napa in 2000. Currently, he serves as the chair of the AAHB Diversity and Equity Council, which played a unique role in shaping the program for the 2023 conference in San Francisco.

In David's own words, “I am honored to have been selected as the next Executive Director. AAHB has been a part of my professional and personal life for 23 years. I am deeply committed to the organization. Service as the Executive Director of AAHB will enable me to continue to meaningfully give to an organization that has been such an important part of the majority of my professional life.”

David’s transition to Executive Director will involve overseeing aspects such as financial management, organizational development, meeting and conference planning, membership management, communication strategies, and coordination of activities. Many of you know David as a kind, generous, individual with a good sense of humor. Fewer may know that he brings experience in operating non-profit programs, having grown up and worked at his family’s community center, Delhaven Community Center. His organizational skills, dedication to AAHB, and extensive knowledge of the Academy make him an outstanding fit for the position.

The Executive Director transition will commence on April 1 to ensure a seamless shift, with David’s official start date set for July 1. I extend my sincere gratitude to Joanne for her willingness to assist with the transition and beyond, in addition to her outstanding contributions to the academy over the past 15 years. We will host a retirement celebration session for Joanne in Savannah, GA, during the 2024 annual conference, and all of you are invited to join us. I would also like to express my deepest appreciation for the tremendous efforts of the Executive Director Search Committee. Their thorough work was instrumental in finding the best candidate for this important role.

Join me in extending a warm welcome to David as the new Executive Director of AAHB! We are excited about the prospect of working alongside him in his newly assumed role at the Academy.

Best regards,
Hsien-Chang Lin, PhD, FAAHB

© 2024 American Academy of Health Behavior. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software