ACNP Update on Annual Meeting Location Decision-Making
August 28, 2023

We are writing to update you on Council’s decision-making process for selecting the location of future meetings.  We hope to provide full and ongoing transparency in this process and have moved forward considerably.

ACNP will be putting its attendees’ safety above all other concerns for future meetings.  Therefore, as previously announced, Council decided that we will no longer contract to have the Annual Meeting in locations with discriminatory laws targeting members of our community at the time of contract signing. This decision is a natural extension of ACNP’s strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, which has guided many of our actions over the past several years. The 2023 and 2024 Annual Meetings will continue as planned because it is too late to find alternative locations.  ACNP Council and staff are working to have security in place for the meeting.  This includes additional security at the meeting hotels and offering shuttle services to and from the airport for those concerned about safety.  More information regarding security will be shared in the coming months. The College is also offering social offsets for the meeting and working with Equality Florida on a “buycott” of LGBTQ+ friendly businesses in the Tampa area.

Based on this commitment, the ACNP Council has decided to cancel the contract and pay penalties for the 2025 Annual Meeting planned at Universal Orlando.  We are working to identify a new location for 2025 and future years that will ensure the safety of our attendees and reflect our values.

To move these efforts forward, the Annual Meeting Task Force has been reconstituted to include representation from multiple committees. Chaired by Dr. Ellen Leibenluft and co-chaired by Drs. Angela Ozburn and Jared Young, the task force includes a diverse group from ACNP (see membership below).

The task force has been given two charges by Council.  The first is to create guidelines for selecting future meeting locations beginning with the 2026 meeting, which needs to be contracted no later than this fall. These guidelines would operationalize Council’s decision to not contract in discriminatory locations and would help to ensure an inclusive meeting. The second charge addresses the fact that, among non-discriminatory sites, member preferences should be taken into account in finalizing sites i.e., date, climate, cost.  The task force will therefore send out a survey to identify these preferences. The survey results, which will inform Council’s decision on location choices, will be made available to everyone.

Please keep an eye out for the survey in September as we appreciate your thoughts on the aspects of meeting locations. Meanwhile, we plan to provide additional information as the work of the task force progresses.

Annual Meeting Task Force Members:
Ellen Leibenluft, M.D., chair
Angela Ozburn, Ph.D., co-chair
Jared Young, Ph.D., co-chair
Jill Becker, Ph.D.
Kathleen Brady, M.D, Ph.D.
Bill Carlezon, Ph.D.
Cynthia Crawford, Ph.D.
Christine Ann Denny, Ph.D.
Faith Dickerson, Ph.D.
Kale Edmiston, Ph.D., ad hoc
Monique Ernst, M.D., Ph.D.
Dawn Ionescu, M.D.
David Jentsch, Ph.D.
Helen Mayberg, M.D.
Victoria Risbrough, Ph.D.
Alan Schatzberg, M.D.
Sade Spencer, D.Phil.