ASAE President and CEO John H. Graham IV Passes Away

January 13, 2020

ASAE’s President and CEO, John H. Graham IV, FASAE, CAE, has passed away after an extended battle with cancer.

“While no words can adequately express our deep sorrow at losing our leader, the ASAE team is profoundly grateful for the opportunity to know and work with John. Graham was a transformative leader for ASAE and a mentor to many in the association community. During his tenure, which began August 1, 2003, ASAE more than doubled its membership and developed a wealth of innovative products and services to benefit association professionals and their partners. Graham leaves behind an organization marking its centennial in 2020, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of ASAE’s work moving forward,” ASAE said in a statement.  

With Graham's passing, the ASAE Board has announced that Susan Robertson, CAE, will continue to serve as interim president and CEO of ASAE.

In his acceptance of the 2013 Association TRENDS’ “Association Executive of the Year” award, Graham touched on why he found association management such a personally rewarding profession.

“Whatever our personal journeys have been – however we came to embrace associations as our life’s work – we can take great pride in the advancement of this profession,” Graham said.

He added, “Our organizations comprise an incredibly innovative, vibrant and diverse sector, and we see innumerable examples every day of how associations effect positive change – not just for the industries or professions they serve, but for society at large. America is quite simply a better place to live and work because the association community is leading the way in areas like professional development and credentialing, standard setting, community assistance, research, and volunteerism.”

Before ASAE, Graham served the American Diabetes Association in Alexandria, Va., for 24 years, the last 13 as CEO.

In his tenure as CEO, ADA quadrupled in size, from $50 million to $200 million in annual revenues and successfully moved from 53 independent, separately incorporated affiliate organizations to one nationwide organization with one staff, one budget and one plan.

Before joining ADA, Graham served the Boy Scouts of America for nine years. In May 2015, he was recognized by the Boy Scouts of America as a Distinguished Eagle Scout.

Graham served on the Association Committee of 100, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; as chairman of the Mobile Giving Foundation Board of Directors; on the Board of Directors of the Lambda Chi Alpha Foundation; and as President of the National Capital Area Council, Boy Scouts of America.

The Graham family will hold a private service for John in Pennsylvania and a memorial service in Washington, DC, will follow.

Add new comment

Partner Voices
Dallas already boasts 35,000 hotel rooms, award-winning global cuisine, and a walkable downtown. But we are just getting started. Visit Dallas is thrilled to announce that the city of Dallas is doubling down with a massive new convention center and entertainment district. Featuring 800,000 square feet of exhibit area, 260,000 square feet of meeting rooms, and 170,000 square feet of ballroom. The center will connect business travelers with dining and shopping options in the popular Cedars District means more places to get down to business, and even more ways to unwind. “Dallas is already a great meetings and conventions destination, with the accessibility of two major airports, affordable labor, and an outstanding hotel product,” said D. Bradley Kent, Visit Dallas senior vice president and chief sales officer. “The new center and Convention Center District will enhance Dallas’ competitive position and are exactly what our customers’ need and have been asking for." What’s New – AT&T Discovery District Located in the heart of Downtown Dallas, this new district on the AT&T corporate campus is tailor-made for groups of all sizes. It boasts a multi-sensory experience, including outdoor event space, the AT&T Theater, and multiple dining outlets including JAXON Beer Garden and The Exchange, a bustling food hall. Hotels Coming Soon Names like the JW Marriott (Downtown), lnterContinental Dallas (Uptown), and Hotel Swexan (Uptown) are adding luxury amenities and bountiful event spaces. The projects will debut in 2023 and beyond. JW Marriott This new, 15-story, 283-room hotel will open in the heart of the city’s downtown Arts District this year. The property features a 25,000-square-foot grand ballroom, as well as a spa, restaurant, lobby bar, fitness center, and a rooftop pool deck and bar. InterContinental Dallas  Located in Cityplace Tower in Uptown, InterContinental Dallas will feature sweeping panoramic views of the Dallas skyline. Guests will enjoy spacious, high-end rooms and amenities, including more than 21,000 square feet of event space.   Hotel Swexan Hotel Swexan, a new, 22-story luxury property, is rising in Uptown’s Harwood District and will make its mark on the Dallas skyline. Opening this year, it is a sculptural building with cantilevered upper floors, as well as a 75-foot rooftop infinity-edge swimming pool and a hidden underground lounge.