|Carnegie Mellon University
|University of Texas at Austin
|University of Southern California / ISI
|Universidad Nacional de Córdoba
|University of Texas at Austin
|University of Washington
|University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
|Georgia Institute of Technology
Graham Neubig is an associate professor at the Language Technologies Institute of Carnegie Mellon University. His research focuses on natural language processing, with a particular interest in fundamentals, applications, and understanding of large language models for tasks such as question answering, code generation, and multilingual applications. His final goal is that every person in the world should be able to communicate with each-other, and with computers in their own language. He also contributes to making NLP research more accessible through open publishing of research papers, advanced NLP course materials and video lectures, and open-source software. He has previously been the Chief Technical Officer of ARR, and served on the NAACL board for 4 years. He was one of the initiators of several workshops, including the Workshop on Neural Machine Translation.
My major goals as NAACL chair are two-fold:
I believe my past experience as the initiator of several workshops, member of the NAACL board, role in handling the logistics of ARR, and participant in several grassroots NLP initiatives run by language communities (such as Masakhane and AmericasNLP), have left me well prepared to take on these tasks.
Jessy Li is an associate professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin. She received her PhD in 2017 from the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research looks into models for discourse processing, natural language generation, and methods to better understand social discourse. She has received the NSF CAREER award for her work on discourse and text simplification. Jessy has been a (Senior) Area Chair for many *ACL and AAAI conferences, a (Senior) Action Editor for ACL Rolling Review, and an Associate Editor for the Dialogue & Discourse journal. She was honored as an Outstanding Area Chair (EMNLP 2020) and an Outstanding Senior Program Committee Member (AAAI 2020). She was a Program Co-Chair for SIGDIAL 2022, and has served on the SIGDIAL board from 2019–2021 and from 2023–2025. She has also been a co-organizer for the Workshop on Computational Approaches to Discourse (CODI) since its inauguration in 2020, and co-organized the First Workshop on Natural Language Processing for Programming co-located with ACL 2021.
It is the NAACL secretary’s responsibility to communicate within the NAACL executive committee and to the community broadly, e.g., to organize meetings, ballots, and to maintain and update media outlets. As we brace for the changing era we are in now, we have also witnessed an uptick of the frequency of major policy changes at ACL over recent years. Thus it is critical to have more timely and transparent communication than ever before. I will commit to:
As part of the NAACL board, I will additionally work on the following:
Jonathan May is a Research Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department of the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California, as well as a Research Lead with USC’s Information Sciences Institute, where he received a PhD in 2010. He has previously worked at BBN Technologies and at Language Weaver (now SDL Research). His interests include automata theory, machine translation, common-sense reasoning, semantic parsing, and dialogue. He is currently treasurer of NAACL. Jon previously served as workshop co-organizer and task organizer of SemEval from 2016 to 2019, handbook chair for NAACL 2018, social media co-chair for NAACL in 2016, and local arrangements co-chair for NAACL in 2010.
Thank you for considering me for an additional term as NAACL treasurer. The past two years have been fun and productive ones, as I’ve learned more about NAACL’s financial health, implemented changes to improve efficiency, given advice to mitigate risk while supporting interests critical to our community, and weathered the current crisis. I look forward to building on the past term’s learning experience and continuing to keep NAACL financially sound.
Apart from our annual conference, NAACL continues to support NACLO, to promote CL/NLP awareness at the high school level. We provide scholarship funds for the JSALT summer workshop series. And we sponsor initiatives in emerging regions of the Americas via the ERF. As a member of the ERF committee, I am proud that we have been able to maintain funding levels even in a time of uncertainty and have sponsored worthwhile projects in Brazil, Peru, Mexico, and Colombia. And we have innovated our sponsorship payment process to speed up international transactions and reduce international exchange fees.
My goal for the coming term is to expand our support of these and other worthy causes that promote the equitable expansion of research in natural language processing and computational linguistics. Thanks to our hardworking ACL treasurer David Yarowsky and ACL business manager Priscilla Rasmussen, ACL is resolving long-standing uncertainties with regard to its financial health that have necessitated caution in our spending. With these uncertainties resolved, NAACL will be able to expand its support to increase NACLO, JSALT, and ERF participation, which exposes as wide a population in the Americas as possible to our field. When travel resumes, I will suggest we use available NAACL funds to facilitate low-cost conference child support and provide conference travel grants. In this way we will work toward ensuring that lack of money does not equate to lack of access.
Luciana Benotti is an Associate Professor at the Department of Computer Science in the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, in Argentina. Her research interests cover many aspects of situated dialogue, including the study of misunderstandings, clarification requests and grounding. She has a PhD in Computer Science from INRIA, Nancy Grand Est, France. She received an IBM SUR award for her work on robust conversational interfaces, and a Google RISE award for her outreach efforts in developing AI-based technology for education. She has been an invited scholar at the University of Trento (2019), Stanford University (2018), Roskilde University (2014), University of Lorraine (2013), Universidad de Costa Rica (2012), and University of Southern California (2010). She regularly serves under different roles in the ACL community. She has been a volunteer during conferences, a reviewer since 2010, an area chair for dialogue and interactive systems several times, and a member of the executive board of SIGDIAL and SIGSEM. She is currently an elected officer at the NAACL executive board for 2021 and 2022. She is also serving as ARR action editor, ACL 2022 tutorial chair and NAACL 2022 D&I advisor.
If I am elected as chair of the board, I will keep working actively towards maintaining the high quality of the *CL conferences, while focusing on supporting diversity and inclusion. As a Latinamerican researcher, I know first hand the serious problems that overlooking these issues provoke. I will coordinate NAACL exec board responsibilities in collaboration with the ACL. I will continue enabling the initiatives I proposed as an officer, which have made good progress in this short time thanks to the work of the current NAACL exec board and the ACL community.
Care about ethics: I will support the continued inclusion of an ethical impact statement for all papers submitted to *CL conferences. Such statements should not only consider privacy, gender and race, but also take economy, power and climate into account. I will work towards improving the ethical reviewing through consensus in the community, serving as one of the Members at Large of the newly-formed ACL Ethics Committee.
Encourage reproducibility: I will continue to explore incentives to encourage the release of implementation code, data, metadata, and trained models required to reproduce the results of all papers submitted to NAACL. These measures would not only improve transparency, but they would help researchers with low computing budgets implement their ideas and help reduce carbon footprint. I will support the publication of reproducibility studies, in particular when applied to languages other than English.
Lower barriers: I will continue to strengthen diversity and inclusion initiatives at NAACL from different perspectives. In particular, I will work towards increasing the amount of fee waivers and strive to get travel grants for those who face financial barriers. Moreover, during the pandemic the organization of virtual conferences has successfully increased participation of underrepresented communities, and I will investigate and measure the impact of hybrid alternatives in the future.
Build community: I will support initiatives that broaden and strengthen NAACL´s community. Many successful community building activities are already rolling (e.g., Birds of a feather, ACL mentoring, WiNLP, RAF, Masakane, Queer and LatinX in AI, among others). The next step is to improve communication lines and coordinate joint efforts so that they benefit from each other.
Greg Durrett is an associate professor of Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin. He obtained his PhD in 2016 from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was advised by Dan Klein. Recently, his work has been recognized by a 2023 Sloan Research Fellowship and a 2022 NSF CAREER award. Greg and his collaborators have been publishing in the ACL community actively since 2011 in areas including textual reasoning, summarization, factuality of generation, question answering, and program synthesis (along with syntactic parsing and coreference resolution during his PhD). He served as Publication Chair for EMNLP 2021 and Faculty Advisor to the NAACL Student Research Workshop in 2019. Beyond that, he has organized 4 workshops for *CL conferences: Deep Learning for Low-resource NLP at EMNLP 2019, NLP for Programming at ACL 2021, and the Workshop on Natural Language Reasoning and Structured Explanations at ACL 2023 and ACL 2024. He has been a senior area chair for summarization and an area chair or reviewer in areas spanning interpretability, semantics, syntax, information extraction, and more.
NAACL has undergone a period of rapid change and growth. The boom period of the early deep learning area, with exponentially-growing paper submissions and conference attendance, has tapered off. We now face the challenges of a new and distinct boom period, that of large language models. While NAACL and the rest of *CL are poised to be leaders in this new era, careful management will be needed to ensure this is successful.
One of the principal new challenges is that the NLP community is losing its status as intellectual leader behind recent advances. For instance, OpenAI’s developments are largely external to the community, and core NLP areas like interpretability are being rebranded and coopted by others. By streamlining the current publication process, NAACL can attract a wider range of submissions and disseminate research to an even wider audience than it currently does.
I propose to support the following initiatives within NAACL, with the eventual aim of propagating such changes to the *CL conferences at large:
Remove the arXiv anonymity period. The results of the recent survey by ACL support a case for taking action here. I agree with the arguments put forth by Michael Saxon (https://saxon.me/blog/the-acl-anonymity-embargo-period-is-exclusionary-actually-an-early-career-researchers-perspective.html). The anonymity period was adopted as a compromise solution that no longer makes the right tradeoffs given changes in the publishing landscape. While I am strongly in favor of a fair review process and preserving double-blind review as an institution, the negative impacts of the specific anonymity policy, particularly on early-career researchers who would benefit from discussing their work, outweigh its benefit.
Continue to use OpenReview, but rethink ARR. The paper submission process should be simplified and receiving reviews should be tied to an accept or reject decision. We can follow a model of conferences like ICWSM and USENIX Security, which have multiple intakes for a single conference, giving multiple deadlines throughout the year while streamlining the experience for authors.
Continue to expand diversity initiatives. Widening NLP, DEI chairs for conferences, the Student Research Workshop, and more have had major positive impacts on our community. To improve access to our conference further, I strongly support the creation of an “ACLv” (fully virtual) conference, proposed by Barbara Plank and others, to expand access.
Continue the trend of NAACL’s increased engagement with Latin America. I strongly support continuing to host conferences in underserved regions. I am eager to hear input and discuss how to properly nurture such initiatives and grow the *CL presence there further.
Hanna Hajishirzi is a Torode Family Associate Professor at the University of Washington and a Senior Director of NLP at AI2. Her research spans different areas in NLP and AI, more recently on the science of language models and language models for science. Honors include an NSF CAREER, Sloan Fellowship, Allen Distinguished Investigator Award, Intel rising star award, UIUC alumni award. She has received a best paper and several honorable mention paper awards and has served as an area chair and senior area chair at NLP and Machine Learning conferences, including NAACL, EMNLP, ACL, AAAI, and NeurIPS.
As a board member, I am excited to work on these issues within the NLP community:
Modernize the reviewing and archiving process. The imposition of anonymity deadlines by NLP conferences has resulted in authors refraining from submitting some of their most influential papers to these forums. Conversely, a majority of machine learning and AI conferences permit the archiving of papers and facilitate open discussions subsequent to paper submissions. I hope to contribute to the modernization of the review process by advocating for the elimination of anonymity deadlines, thereby ensuring that NAACL remains the focal point of NLP-related research, including rapidly advancing research areas.
Promote open research. With all advances in language modeling, the NLP and scientific community needs access to open models, open data, and open evaluation settings to understand and advance the science of language models. I hope to advocate for open, well-document, and reproducible research papers from the community. Consequently, this bridges the academic and industry research gap.
Advocate for interdisciplinary research. Recently, language models have demonstrated notable efficacy in practical applications. However, there exists potential for substantial enhancement through interdisciplinary research, thereby extending the scientific foundations of language models into diverse domains such as medicine and to scientific discovery. I hope to promote and facilitate interdisciplinary research efforts that integrate various facets of AI and NLP into tangible real-world applications.
AI literacy for public, k-12 students, and undergraduates: It is an exciting time for the NLP field. I am enthusiastic about disseminating knowledge to both the general public and younger generations, elucidating the capabilities and limitations inherent to language models and the broader NLP field.
Dilek Hakkani-Tür is a Professor of Computer Science at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, focusing on enabling natural dialogues with machines. Prior to that, she was a researcher at Amazon, Google, Microsoft, International Computer Science Institute and AT&T Labs-Research. She received her PhD degree from Bilkent University in 2000. Her research interests include conversational AI, natural language and speech processing, spoken dialogue systems, and machine learning for language processing. She has over 80 patents that were granted and co-authored more than 300 papers in natural language and speech processing. She received several best paper awards for publications she co-authored on conversational systems, including her earlier work on active learning for dialogue systems, from IEEE Signal Processing Society, ISCA and EURASIP. She served as an associate editor for IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language Processing, member of the IEEE Speech and Language Technical Committee, area editor for speech and language processing for Elsevier’s Digital Signal Processing Journal and IEEE Signal Processing Letters, member of the ISCA Advisory Council, the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE/ACM Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language Processing, an IEEE Distinguished Industry Speaker, program co-chair of NAACL 2021 and president of the SIGdial. She is a fellow of the IEEE and ISCA.
The past few years have been interesting for language processing in general, with a lot of advancements in the field. If elected, the areas I’d like to focus on include:
Yunyao Li is the Head of Machine Learning, Apple Knowledge Platform, where her team builds the next-generation machine learning solutions to help power features such as Siri and Spotlight. Previously she was a Distinguished Research Staff Member and Senior Research Manager at IBM Research - Almaden, leading the building and delivery of core language technologies to over 20 IBM products and solutions. She also co-led the IBM-Stanford HAI partnership. Her technical contributions span the areas of natural language processing (NLP), data management, information retrieval, and human computer interaction. She is particularly known for her work in scalable NLP, enterprise search, and database usability. She is an ACM Distinguished Member. She was an IBM Technology Academy Member and a Master Inventor. She was a member of the inaugural New Voices program of the US National Academies and represented US young scientists at World Laureates Forum Young Scientists Forum in 2019.
Yunyao has served the CL/NLP and database communities with distinction. She regularly serves as organizer (e.g., track chair, workshop chair), senior committee member for top conferences (e.g. ACL, NAACL, EMNLP, SIGMOD, and IJCAI) and editorial board member (e.g. TACL and PVLDB). She initiated and co-chaired the inaugural Industry Track at NAACL’18, the first ever industrial track in a major NLP conference. Its success has not only ensured its continuation in future NAACL conferences but also led to the inaugural industrial tracks at other major NLP conferences (COLING’20 and EMNLP’22). She has also given interdisciplinary tutorials (e.g. “Explainability for Natural Language Processing ‘’) and organized workshops (e.g. workshops of Data Science with Human-in-the-Loop) to stimulate cross pollination of research with different research communities. She is an industry advisor for the Master of Science in Natural Language Processing program at UC-Santa Cruz. She received her undergraduate degrees from Tsinghua University, and her masters and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor.
It is an exciting time for the CL/NLP field with many opportunities and challenges. As a board member, I would like to ensure that we work on the following issues:
Bridging academic and industry research: The rapid growth of language technologies and their applications are affecting both the research community and the daily lives of many people. I will continue to advocate efforts to bridge academic and industry research and enable more cross pollination. I hope to help promote better understanding and appreciation of practical issues related to language technologies in non-trivial real-world systems as well as influence fundamental research that leads to next-generation of such technologies.
Promoting interdisciplinary work: One of my goal is to stimulate more interdisciplinary research within the NAACL community, by encouraging more interactions (e.g. invited talks, panels, tutorials and workshops) with other related communities such as Computer Vision, Visualization, Human Computer Interaction, Data Management, Robotics, and Social Science. As a board member, I would like to help formalize mechanisms to encourage and empower such interdisciplinary work.
Supporting growth of the community: With the increasing attention on diversity and inclusiveness of our community, community building activities (e.g. ACL mentoring, WiNLP, etc) are also growing. I would like to strengthen the existing community building activities by supporting efforts to enable more coordination among them for broader impact. In addition, I would like to extend such initiatives to attract more talents (e.g. undergraduates) from a diverse background into the field and provide more support for the growth of junior researchers, from senior PhD students to new faculty members and junior industry researchers.
Wei Xu is an assistant professor in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from New York University and BS/MS from Tsinghua University. Her recent research focuses on text generation, semantics, NLP for social media, and reading/writing assistive technology. She is a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award in 2022 and a Best Paper Award at COLING 2018. She was the workshop chair for ACL 2017 and co-wrote the current ACL Workshop Chair Handbook with Jonathan Berant to help standardize the workshop organization and selection procedure. She has also served as senior area chair and area chair for ACL/NAACL/EMNLP regularly since 2016; co-founded/organized three workshops, including the Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text (WNUT) that has been running annually for the past 8 years.
I would like to focus on listening broadly to the opinions of the NAACL community from researchers at different career stages and regions, preserving institutional memory, and carrying out one well-thought-out initiative (if the NAACL community also thinks it is a good idea) that is effective and sustainable to make the world a better place. The current ideas and priorities I have in mind are the following, for which I will love to hear your suggestions or concerns (email me at firstname.lastname@example.org).
(1) Supporting students to present work at regional mini-NLP conferences: The pandemic together with other factors (e.g., costs, visa issues, etc) has made it difficult in recent years for some students and early career researchers to attend conferences, meet people, and present their work in recent years. I will work to facilitate and coordinate the revival, continuation, and creation of more regional student colloquiums (such as “Mid-Atlantic Student Colloquium on Speech, Language and Learning” and “Midwest Speech and Language Days”), which will be 1-2 day events (no registration fee) where students/postdocs/faculty/researchers can meet and present their work. We can have a more streamlined process and shared organization handbook, and help secure funds to reduce the burden from the organizers; we can also coordinate event dates, and call-for-participation via the ACL member mailing list to reach out more broadly to the NAACL community, etc. If successful, this practice can be extended to more locations, including Latin America and other continents.
(2) Supporting students and early-career researchers to attend conferences: I would like to work towards (a) a better hybrid format to improve conference experiences for both in-person and virtual participants; (b) more spotlight opportunities at conferences for students who are close to graduation as well as new faculty and other early-career researchers to gain visibility; (c) travel grants to lower the cost for students to attend ACL/EMNLP/NAACL conferences.
(3) Stabilizing the reviewing system: The peer-review process is a complicated system that impacts everyone (and can be fragile). I will try my best to help the board to make good and careful decisions if and when any motions/changes come forward.