I stepped into the role of AAS Executive Director in April 2019 after ten years in Korea where I was an Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology in the Department of Korean Music and Associate Dean of Students in Seoul National University’s College of Music. My role at AAS includes being the conduit for communications with and between boards, committees, administrative staff, and the membership of the Association. I both oversee and engage in teamwork with our wonderful staff in handling conferences, finances, publications, and membership, as well as work with our staff and the Board of Directors in developing and implementing policies, programs, and strategic initiatives. For over twenty years, my academic work has centered on Korean music with a recent focus on the roles of women in sustaining traditional expressive culture in the southwest of Korea. I spend time away from the Secretariat working on academic publication, creative writing and translation projects, as well as engaging in musical practice on the violin/fiddle and haegŭm. Please feel free to contact me anytime.
Conference and Event Coordinator
Hello. As the Conference and Event Coordinator, my role provides support to the conference manager with logistics and planning related to the annual conference, along with helping support other AAS meetings and events, as needed. Before joining the association, I spent over 15 years working in marketing, public relations, and communications in non-profit organizations. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, traveling, spending time with my family and taking long walks with my puppy, Simon. If you have any questions related to the AAS annual conference or meetings, please feel free to contact me.
Maura Elizabeth Cunningham
Digital Media Manager
My name is Maura Elizabeth Cunningham, and I’ve been the Digital Media Manager at the AAS since 2016. My affiliation with the association, however, began a decade before I started working here: I joined the AAS as a student member back in 2006, and I also worked as the Journal of Asian Studies editorial assistant while earning my PhD in modern Chinese history at the University of California, Irvine. At the Secretariat, my days are filled with posting to the AAS social media accounts, editing the #AsiaNow blog, and overseeing the association’s online presence. Please email me anytime if you have questions, comments, or suggestions about any of those areas. I’m also always happy to speak with AAS members who are interested in exploring non-traditional academic careers, so don’t hesitate to drop me a line if you’d like to discuss that topic!
Programs Assistant and Grants Coordinator
Hello! My name is Molly DeDona and I started working at AAS the fall of 2019 as an intern. I graduated from the University of Michigan with a Master’s Degree in Japanese Studies in 2020 and then became a part time Digital Programming and Content Assistant. In May of 2021, I became full-time AAS staff as Programs Assistant and Grants Coordinator. I also edit the video recordings of the Digital Dialogues series, edit the AAS website, assist in EAA subscriptions, member management, a little bit of everything. Feel free to contact me with questions about grants, the Distinguished Speakers Bureau, or Digital Dialogues. よろしくお願いします！
Chief Financial Officer
I serve as AAS’s CFO and lead the organization’s accounting function. I was granted this opportunity through my CPA and consulting firm, Rehmann, where I am a Public Sector Solutions Principal. My focus is accounting and financial reporting for not-for-profit, higher education, and government organizations. In addition to the day-to-day accounting tasks, I have a passion to assist the AAS become more effective and efficient and to help address accounting challenges. My goal is to provide timely and accurate financial information to support the AAS and allow focus to be the mission and programs rather than accounting details. Please feel free to contact me regarding any accounting matters. I’m happy to help!
Director of Conferences and Events
As conference director, I am responsible for all logistics and planning related to the annual conference, including speaker and exhibitor management, the program committee, and the content on the AAS conference website. In addition, I handle the call for proposals for AAS-in-Asia conferences and serve as liaison for the AAS-in-Asia program and local planning committees. My background includes a M.S. in Hospitality & Tourism Management (Roosevelt University) and a B.A. in Communications (University of Michigan). I am a member of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) and have a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation. Please contact me if you have any general questions regarding AAS meetings and events.
Hello! As AAS Publications Manager, I am responsible for publications production at the AAS Secretariat in Ann Arbor. I moved to Michigan from my hometown of Manchester, England, the year that Bill Clinton became U.S. president and joined AAS the year that the U.S. hosted the World Cup (i.e., it’s been a few years!). I love books, movies, music (60s and 70s rock to punk to post-punk/new wave to “the next best band going” and back again!) and soccer (an avid Manchester United fan since 1976). If you are looking for information about our book series—ASIA SHORTS, KEY ISSUES IN ASIAN STUDIES, or ASIA PAST & PRESENT—or about our classroom/teaching journal, EDUCATION ABOUT ASIA, please e-mail me, visit the Publications section of the AAS website, or call me. And if you attend the AAS conference, be sure to stop by the AAS Publications booth to say hello.
Advertising and Marketing Manager
Konnichiwa! I am Jenna Yoshikawa, Advertising and Marketing Manager at the Association for Asian Studies. Being a native Guamanian of mixed Asian-European heritage whose first plane ride was before I could hold my neck up, I grew up appreciating the diverse cultures of the world. I have adventured through most of Asia and have enjoyed every minute. When you “do as the locals do,” Asia is an exciting place with aromatic food and intriguing infrastructures. With a resume that ranges from hospitality to marketing, I utilize my work experience to creatively promote the study of Asian Studies internationally through advertising and marketing. At AAS, I am also responsible for third-party advertising, e-flyer communications, AAS Career Center, and all graphic design tasks.
Director of Special Initiatives
I joined AAS in May 2017 and my role involves developing new strategic initiatives and events, as well as relations with funders. Prior to joining the AAS, I was Executive Director at the Center for Khmer Studies, an American overseas research center based in Cambodia, designing and running programs focused on the history, politics, and culture of Cambodia and neighboring countries in Southeast Asia. My experience in Cambodia also includes overseeing landmine clearance programs and a period living in a remote village in the northeast of the country researching the impacts of the Indochina War on ethnic minority communities. This formed the basis for my PhD at Cambridge University. In addition to my interest in Asian art history and material culture, my favorite hobby is the practice ofMuay Thai, or Thai boxing.
MEDIA INQUIRIES: Please contact the Executive Director, Hilary Finchum-Sung.