IAFL Officers and the Executive Committee and Regional Representatives

IAFL Officers

The Association has five Officers, each of whom is elected for a term of 2 years. The current Officers are:

President: Janet Ainsworth (Seattle University School of Law, USA)

Vice-President: Isabel Picornell (QED Forensic Linguistics, Channel Islands)

Secretary: Tammy Gales (Hofstra University, NY, USA)

Treasurer: Ria Perkins (Aston University, UK)

Publicity Officer: Rui Sousa-Silva (University of Porto, Porto, Portugal)

The Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is responsible for the routine day-to-day operations of the Association, as well as selecting the venue for the Biennial Conference and arranging meetings of the membership. The Executive Committee is composed of the five IAFL Officers above plus two ‘Ordinary Members’, who are elected for a term of 4 years. The current ordinary members are:

Janny Leung (University of Hong King)

Marilu R. Madrunio (University of Santo Tomas, Manila, the Philippines)

The immediate past president of the Association (currently Georgina Heydon) sits as a non-voting member of the Committee.

Past Presidents of the Association include:

Georgina Heydon (2017-2019)

Tim Grant (2015-2017)

Ed Finegan (2013-2015)

Maria Teresa Turell (2011-2013)

Ron Butters (2009-2011)

Janet Cotterill (2007-2009)

Peter Tiersma (2005-2007)

John Gibbons (2003-2005)

Lawrence Solan (1999-2003)

Diana Eades (1995-1999)

Malcolm Coulthard (1993-1995)

Details of how the Executive Committee functions and the role of the Association’s Officers can be found in the Constitution.


IAFL Executive Committee Roles & Obligations


The president is charged with serving as the public face of the Association. Included in this role is:

  1. Articulating and facilitating the short-term and long-term goals of the Association;
  2. Acting proactively to set the agenda for projects to be considered by the Executive Committee for undertaking on behalf of the Association;
  3. Working collaboratively with the Vice President on projects to be undertaken by the Executive Committee and the Association;
  4. Maintaining and expanding professional ties with organizations and associations that complement the mission of the Association;
  5. Encouraging initiative and leadership on the part of the other members of the Executive Committee and among the membership of the Association.


Vice President

The Vice President is charged with all the powers which are required to perform the duties of the Association’s president in the absence of the president. Included in this role is:

  1. Supporting the President undertake projects as directed by the President, work closely with the President to establish strategies and prioritise the Association’s goals and acting as a liaison with other professional associations and organisations;
  2. Leadership Development: the Vice President, together with the president, seeks out and develops potential volunteers and future leaders of the Association;
  3. Preparing for the role of President: Maintain regular contact with the President and shadow the President so as to have a good understanding of the duties of the role and of the Association’s governing documents.



The Secretary is charged with the organisational duties of the Association. Included in this role is:

  1. Association Matters: Preparing agendas and ensuring that Executive Committee meetings are effectively organized and minutes kept, maintaining necessary records and administrative documents and organizing and managing the General Business Meeting (GBM) at Biennial conferences;
  2. Legal Matters: Acting as liaison with the IAFLL Ltd. Company Secretary to fulfil Data Protection requirements and maintain other necessary IAFLL Ltd. filings;
  3. Membership: Maintaining membership records in accordance with Data Protection regulations and manage all membership payments in cooperation with the Treasurer, act as liaison with Journal publishers including maintaining IJSLL master list and maintain the IAFL website in conjunction with the Communications Officer and website technical manager.

Publicity Officer

The Publicity Officer is charged with the publicity and communication needs of the Association. Included in this role is:

  1. Managing the IAFL website, in particular posting conference announcements, news, and related events and assisting website planning and design;
  2. Managing social media postings, by curating, managing and posting regular news, events and all other necessary information on applicable social media;
  3. Posting announcements, news and events to the FL-Listserv;
    Coordinating the IAFL monthly briefing, in order to establish regular communication to update members on IAFL issues;
  4. Assisting applicants in preparing their proposals to host Association conferences and, when practical, represent IAFL at related linguistics and/or language and law conferences;
  5. Increasing membership base, publicising IAFL and IAFL-sponsored events and activities in all possible outlets, and facilitate membership voting on Executive Committee membership and on other matters in which a membership vote is required or is deemed to be desirable.


The Treasurer is charged with maintaining and monitoring the Association’s financial accounts. Included in this role is:

  1. Ensuring that necessary financial records are maintained properly, are in secure locations accessible to the Executive Committee as necessary, and are maintained and kept for the appropriate length of time;
  2. Reporting to the Executive Committee on the state of the IAFL’s accounts, and to the membership at the general Business Meeting at the biennial Association meeting;
  3. Assisting outside contractors, including a certified public accountant, as necessary for the sound financial management of the Association, and assisting in facilitating any legal matters entailed by the sound financial management of the Association;
  4. Facilitating membership payments and payments of invoices, and disbursing funds on behalf of the Association when necessary.

Ordinary Members

The Ordinary Members are charged with assisting the Executive Committee in their decisions. Included in this role is:

  1. Attending regular online or offline meetings as organised by the President;
  2. Actively contributing to the IAFL’s affairs, represent the views of members, and take on specific responsibilities to forward the aims and objectives of the Association;
  3. Contributing to and respond in a timely manner to IAFL communications on a range of issues;
  4. Acting as an ambassador for the IAFL by promoting membership in the Association, the field of forensic and legal linguistics, and the aims and objectives of the Association;
  5. Performing other duties as may be assigned by the EC President, including serving as chair of special sub-committees when appointed by the President in consultation with the Vice President.

Duties of Executive Committee Members

All Executive Committee members pledge to promote the good governance of the Association by:

  • Selflessness: Put the interests of the Association first and foremost in their deliberations and decision-making as Executive Committee members. Refrain from using their status as an Executive Committee member for personal financial gain.
  • Integrity: Act in good faith in their discussions and decision-making. Exercise reasonable care, skill, and diligence in the performance of their duties. Disclose any potential conflict of interest they might have in the decisions and activities engaged in by the Executive Committee, and recuse themselves from such discussions or decisions. Such recusals will be noted in the meeting minutes.
  • Accountability: Understand their fiduciary obligations to the Association and its members. Refrain from divulging any confidential information gained by virtue of their Executive Committee membership except as required by law.
  • Objectivity: In all Executive Committee decision-making, make choices objectively on the merits without allowing personal considerations to affect that decision-making.
  • Leadership: Executive Committee members should promote these good governance principles on behalf of the Association by the example of their leadership.

Executive Committee members have the following general duties:


  • Understand how the Association works;
  • Keep up to date by reading the minutes, reports, and any other necessary meeting documents prior to meetings;
  • Regularly attend and actively participate in Executive Committee meetings;
  • Be familiar with the Association’s constitution, including the specific roles and responsibilities of the Executive Committee outlined within it;
  • Approve relevant documents, including materials related to the Association’s finances;
  • Endeavour on behalf of the Association to comply with funding agreements, policies, and legal requirements;
  • Conduct Executive Committee duties to promote the effective and efficient achievement of the Association’s mission;
  • Collaborate with other Executive Committee members to delegate management duties when appropriate, including participation in sub-committees as requested;
  • Take an active role in Executive Committee decision making and in planning for the future direction and activities of the Association;
  • Promote developmental continuity in the Executive Committee by assisting new Committee members in understanding and fulfilling their obligations and responsibilities to the Association.


Public representation

  • Promote the mission and activities of the Association to the general public and to professional organizations, institutions, and groups who may benefit from the work of the Association;
  • Endeavour, when practical, to attend Association sponsored conferences, workshops, and activities. When attending functions of other associations or institutions, be an ambassador for the Association and represent its interests in a collegial manner.