Kirsten Olean


Kirsten Olean, CAE, is Director of Meetings at the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), a position she assumed in October 2014 after 17 years at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). As director, Kirsten provides strategic leadership for the programs of ASM’s Meetings Strategy Committee, as well as oversight and direction to a staff of 13 that includes program management, logistics, registration and housing.

Known as a visionary business event strategist, Kirsten is the 2016 recipient of PCMA’s Meeting Professional of the Year Award. Since her arrival at ASM, she has been responsible for merging the society’s two large annual meetings into one meeting, ASM Microbe, a journey documented by PCMA’s Convene magazine in a year-long series of articles.

Kirsten has extensive volunteer service to PCMA, including serving as President of the Capital Chapter (2013) and Chair of the national Achievement Awards and Recognition Committee (2014). She began a three-year-term on the PCMA Board of Directors in January 2015, and served an additional year in 2018 after being selected by the Board to fill a vacancy. She is currently Secretary-Treasurer of the Board. Truly passionate about the industry and PCMA, Kirsten became a member of the PCMA Education Foundation’s Legacy Society in 2015.

Kirsten received a bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish from Bucknell University. She earned her CAE designation in 2010. She completed the US Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Organization Management, earning her IOM designation in 2010.