John H. Graham IV

In Memoriam: ASAE President and CEO John H. Graham IV

John H. Graham IV, president and CEO of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), has passed away after an extended battle with cancer, the organization reports. 

“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,” the organization said in a written statement. “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.”

“John’s leadership, counsel and dedication have left a lasting and transformative impact on our industry, to which we are eternally grateful,” said the Meetings Mean Business Coalition (MMBC). “Our hope is to honor his legacy through our work for years to come. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and the entire association community during this difficult time.”

"John was a visionary who guided and shaped the work of associations to the benefit of thousands of workers and organizations around the country,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. “John was a close, trusted partner of U.S. Travel for many years, lending invaluable support to the American travel industry. While we will miss John's leadership, it is his friendship and inimitable compassion that will be missed most of all.”

Prior to joining the ASAE, Graham served the American Diabetes Association in Alexandria, VA, for 24 years, the last 13 as chief executive officer. 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.