We are saddened to announce the passing of Michael Haley, Ph.D., who served as the AoIR Conference Coordinator from Fall of 2016 until his death on January 2, 2020. Michael worked with AoIR for the Tartu, Montreal, and Brisbane conferences, following 16 years in his position as Executive Director of the International Communication Association. He died after an extended battle with cancer, leaving his husband Edward, his sister Beth, his niece Kimberly, and his stepdaughters Nicole and Amanda, as well as his many friends. We extend our sympathies to them.
Michael brought unparalleled expertise in conference planning to his consultant position as the first AoIR Conference Coordinator. He served as a consultant to three of AoIR’s Presidents, first working with Jenny Stromer-Galley, who initially recruited him for the position, and then with Axel Bruns and most recently with Lynn Schofield Clark. Michael also worked closely with longtime AoIR Treasurer Kelly Quinn and AoIR Association Coordinator Michelle Gardner and with many host committee members, leading contract negotiations with venues and assisting with on-site registration as well as providing invaluable insights for the many volunteers who have contributed to the organization of AoIR annual conferences. In Montreal, Michael’s magnificent diplomatic skills saved the organization from significant losses. AoIR will continue to benefit from his legacy with the organization. Michael had been eagerly anticipating our 2020 conference in Dublin, and he will be missed there.
To all who had the good fortune to work with him, Michael was widely recognized for his professionalism, kindness, and sense of humor. He invested himself deeply in coming to understand the culture of AoIR as he sought to align his work with the organization’s formal as well as informal mission and vision. Michael provided calm leadership and was deeply committed to fairness, treating all with equal respect.
Prior to working with AoIR, Michael, who was a Certified Association Executive, had provided leadership to ICA as that organization increased its visibility, size, and international scope. He had also steered ICA toward increasing its participation with related professional organizations and government agencies. Before his work in conference administration, Michael had a 25-year history of involvement in public policy debates, and he had served as the Executive Director of both the California Psychological Association (CPA) and the CPA Foundation. He taught in several universities and co-authored public policy research articles.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to GreySave, a Greyhound rescue organization about which Michael cared deeply.