The names below and on the ballot appear in a (fixed) random order.
Eduardo Blanco is an Associate Professor at the University of Arizona. He was previously Associate Professor at Arizona State University (2021-2022), and Assistant Professor (2014-2020) and Associate Professor (2020-2021) at the University of North Texas. He received his PhD in 2011 from The University of Texas at Dallas. He has been a reviewer for *ACL conferences for over a decade and currently serves in the standing reviewer team of the Computational Linguistics and Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics journals. He has co-organized multiple workshops collocated with *ACL conferences and has served as Area Chair, Senior Area Chair, Demo Chair, and Workshop chair for several ACL, NAACL and EMNLP conferences. He also reviews for and serves as mentor in the Student Research Workshops organized by these conferences. In 2020, he served as Virtual Infrastructure Co-Chair for EMNLP, where he was responsible for designing and coordinating the caption editing process to improve accessibility of prerecorded presentations.
I was appointed to the NAACL Board in 2022. During my first year on the Board, I served in the committees charged with selecting recipients for the JSALT Summer School Scholarship and the Regional Americas Fund. I am proud to share that these committees awarded more funds to more applicants than in previous years. For example, we awarded scholarships to cover the full travel costs to attend the JSALT Summer School, and the Regional Americas Fund gave support to a larger and more diverse pool of researchers. The community has proposed and implemented several initiatives to improve the reviewing process, ensure high quality programs in conferences, and broaden participation (Student Research Workshops, Regional Americas Fund, WiNLP, etc.). If elected to the NAACL board, I will work on initiatives to broaden participation and improve access:
Allyson Ettinger is an assistant professor in the Departments of Linguistics and Computer Science at the University of Chicago. She received her PhD in Linguistics from the University of Maryland in 2018. Her interdisciplinary work combines cognitive science, linguistics, and computer science to tackle topics of robustness and interpretability in NLP systems, and to study language processing in humans. She has served as reviewer, area chair, or senior area chair for NAACL, ACL, EMNLP, TACL, COLING, EACL, CoNLL, ICLR, NeurIPS, ICML, as well as the Cognitive Science Society and other AI and cognitive science journals and workshops. Since 2019 she has served on the central organizing committee of the Society for Computation in Linguistics (SCiL) Annual Meeting. She also organized the Workshop on Building Linguistically Generalizable NLP Systems (“Build It Break It”) in 2017, and served on the Student Research Workshop organizing committee for ACL 2017 and the Diversity & Inclusion committee for ACL 2020.
If elected as a board member, beyond working to ensure high-quality conferences in terms of reviewing process and conference structure, I would also place particular priority on the following:
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.
Jessy Li is an assistant 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. Jessy has served as a reviewer for more than 30 *ACL and AI conferences, and a standing reviewer for the TACL and CL journals. She has been an Area Chair or Senior Area chair for ACL, NAACL, EMNLP and AAAI, an 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, after serving on the SIGDIAL board from 2019–2021. She has also been a co-organizer for the Workshop on Computational Approaches to Discourse since its inauguration in 2020, and the First Workshop on Natural Language Processing for Programming co-located with ACL 2021.
CL/NLP as a field has been rapidly evolving, not just in terms of research and what is considered cutting-edge, but also how we submit to and participate in conferences. This is an exciting time, yet challenging to navigate. If elected, I would work on several aspects to support our dynamic & diverse community:
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.
Jonathan May is a Research Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department of the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California, a Research Lead with USC’s Information Sciences Institute, and an Amazon Scholar. He received a PhD in 2010. He has previously worked at BBN Technologies and at Language Weaver. His interests include automata theory, machine translation, common-sense reasoning, semantic parsing, and dialogue. He is currently treasurer of NAACL. Jon previously served as a Senior Area Chair for EMNLP and AACL in 2022, workshop 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 put great stresses on all our professional and personal lives, but, remarkably, NAACL has come through in a financially stable state. This is due, in large part, to the changing economics of virtual and hybrid conferences, but also due to fiscally sound leadership. We were able to reorganize our obligations to Seattle (originally ACL 2020, moved to NAACL 2022) and Mexico City (originally NAACL 2021, now NAACL 2024) and after several online conferences are now able to plan for in-person meetings with hybrid components for 2025 and beyond. I look forward to aiding in the financial aspects of those decisions as we transition to a new team of professional conference organization experts.
Apart from our annual conference, NAACL continues to support NACLO/OCLCLO, to promote CL/NLP awareness at the high school level. We provide scholarship funds for the JSALT summer workshop series. We also sponsor initiatives from our Regional Americas Fund support structure. As our account surplus has grown modestly, we are now committing to more in-depth support beyond RAF, including targeted events in the Americas to deepen the exposure of budding researchers across the Americas to NLP.
As your treasurer, I will embrace NAACL’s commitment to continue to increase access to those who wish to join the NLP, linguistics, AI, and computer science communities. We will realize this commitment by balancing the location and nation of NAACL and Americas-based ACL conferences to account for the myriad logistical issues faced by members who value in-person networking and collaboration. We will realize it by taking a balanced approach to conference fees and membership dues. By asking those who are in positions to do so to shoulder more of the financial burden of our conference activities, we can ensure that anybody who wants to attend NAACL can, while also remaining financially solvent and maintaining a capital base to forestall unexpected events. Finally, we will realize our commitment by actively soliciting and responding to feedback from our membership, so that we can organize in a way that is well-suited to all and furthers the goal of promoting computational linguistics research and innovation in the Americas.