American Counseling Association Announces First New CEO in 23 Years

May 18, 2022

American Counseling Association Announces First New CEO
in 23 Years

Shawn E. Boynes, CAE, FASAE Named CEO Effective July 20, 2022

Alexandria, VA: May 19, 2022 – After a nationwide search, the American Counseling Association (ACA) today announced that Shawn E. Boynes, CAE, FASAE is the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) effective July 20, 2022. Boynes will succeed Richard Yep, CAE, FASAE, ACA’s CEO of 23 years.

Boynes has more than 25 years of experience as an association executive. Currently serving as the Executive Director for the American Association of Anatomy (AAA), where he successfully transformed the association into a thriving society committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and leading impactful change in the scientific community. Prior to working with AAA, he was Senior Director of Education for the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

“I was honored to lead a search committee who devoted countless hours and dedication to making sure that we found the right candidate as our first new CEO of the 21st century. Shawn is a dynamic leader, who rose to the top of our very qualified group of candidates,” said S. Kent Butler, PhD, ACA President, “Having Shawn as our CEO ensures that the American Counseling Association will continue to thrive moving forward. I am positive that the counseling community will come to appreciate the expertise and skillsets that Shawn will bring to ACA as we enter this new and exciting chapter in the life of our association.”

The tenth chief staff officer in ACA’s 70-year history, Boynes is ACA’s first African American CEO and second CEO of color. A recognized leader in the association community, he is an active member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), sits on the Certified Association Executive Commission, and served on ASAE’s Board of Directors for three years. He was named an ASAE Fellow in 2017 and currently chairs the ASAE Fellows program. A dedicated advocate for Black professionals, he is also cohost of Text to Table, a podcast exploring race and leadership from the Black experience.

"I'm grateful for my tenure at ACA and believe that the Search Committee made an excellent choice in selecting Shawn. His extensive association experience, commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and the respect he has in the association community is proof that he is the right person at the right time to lead the amazing ACA staff," said Yep.

Boynes brings knowledge, expertise, and experience to the organization as it embarks on a newly adopted strategic plan. As CEO, he will implement the ideas, plans, and visions of the ACA Governing Council on behalf of the counseling profession and the clients and students that are served by ACA’s members.

“It is a privilege to be named ACA’s next CEO during this pivotal time in the organization’s life cycle. I’m excited and look forward to working with the Governing Council, staff, members, and other key stakeholders to further advance ACA’s mission and important strategic priorities. I also acknowledge Richard Yep for his decades of successful leadership, and I’m honored to succeed him,” said Boynes.

About the American Counseling Association

Founded in 1952 and based in Alexandria, VA, just outside Washington D.C., the American Counseling Association (ACA) is the largest member organization of counseling professionals in the world. Our 58,000 plus members work in various settings including, but not limited to, private practice, schools and universities, community clinics and government agencies. Our mission is to promote the professional development of counselors, advocate for counselors, and to ensure that ethical, culturally-inclusive practices protect our members’ clients and all people who seek counseling services. We work to raise awareness about the benefits provided by counseling for individuals who are facing mental health struggles and the challenges posed by everyday life in our fast-paced and sometimes stressful society. We believe everyone can benefit from the power of counseling.

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