Current Executive Board Members

Term 2024-2026

Article 6 of the ASC By-Laws provides for a set of officers comprising the ASC Executive Board, and Article 7 provides for one or more Ombudspersons. Your current ASC officers and ombudsperson are:

ASC Officers

President — Paul Pangaro, PhD

Visiting Scholar, School of Architecture and School of Design, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
personal website  |  @paulpangaro  |  videos

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Paul Pangaro first encountered cybernetics glancingly via Jerry Lettvin and then deeply via Gordon Pask, whom he met in 1976 in the office of Nicholas Negroponte at the MIT Architecture Machine Group. Pangaro was awarded a B.S. in Humanities/Computer Science in 1974 and a PhD. from Brunel University (UK) under Pask in 1986. He collaborated with Pask for over a decade under contract to the US and UK governments. Pangaro is committed to pairing every generation of practitioners interested in solving global wicked problems with the knowledge and practice of cyberneticians world-wide. With Kate Doyle Pangaro is co-leading #NewMacyMeetings, a renewal of the original Macy Meetings from 1940s and 50s that became the foundation of trans-disciplinary cybernetics, now with 21st-century trans-global and trans-generational constituents. In 2018 Pangaro with TJ McLeish as master fabricator created a full-scale replica of Pask’s Colloquy of Mobiles, displayed at Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2020, which Pangaro has donated to the ZKM Museum in Karlsruhe, Germany. Pangaro has been studying conversation and design, both human-human and human-machine, for over forty years. His design practice, lectures, and writing have centered on designing for conversation and seeing design as conversation. His career spans roles as interaction designer, entrepreneur, researcher, performer, and professor. In January 2019 Pangaro became Professor of the Practice in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, changing roles mid-2022 to Visiting Scholar in School of Architecture and School of Design at CMU. Pangaro recently formed the non-profit Cybernetic Media to help preserve and extend the rich legacy of cybernetics.

Vice President — Claudia Westermann, PhD

Senior Associate Professor at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in Suzhou, China | personal website

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Claudia Westermann, PhD., is an artist and architect, licensed with the German Chamber of Architects, and Senior Associate Professor in architecture at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in Suzhou, China. She holds postgraduate degrees in architecture and media art and obtained a PhD. from CAiiA, Planetary Collegium. Her research is informed by second-order cybernetics, actualising in interdisciplinary projects concerned with the ecologies, poetics and philosophies of art and architectural design. Her works have been widely exhibited and presented, including at the Venice Biennale (architecture), the Moscow International Film Festival, ISEA Symposium for the Electronic Arts, the Center for Art and Media (ZKM) in Karlsruhe, Germany, and the Yanping Art Harvest in Fujian, China. Claudia Westermann is a member of the Editorial Organism of Technoetic Arts: A Journal of Speculative Research.

Secretary — Pille Bunnell, PhD

Royal Roads University, Canada | Ecology of Humanness

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Pille Bunnell is a systems ecologist and second-order cybernetician with a passion for education as her contribution to the sustainability of earth. In particular, she is interested in the implications of acting according to a constitutive ontology and epistemology. She has worked as an international environmental consultant and taught systems courses at several universities. Pille is the recipient of the Norbert Wiener Award for contributions to second-order cybernetics (ASC), and the Kelly Award for outstanding teaching (RRU).

Treasurer — Laura Ehmann, MA

CEO and Student Affairs Director, Midwest Maternal Child Institute
Individual Giving Associate-Major Gifts, PBS Wisconsin

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Laura Ehmann first knew cybernetic play when studying with Dr. Bradford Keeney, author of Aesthetics of Change, Dr. Alfonso Montuori, and fellow student Dr. Jocelyn Chapman who are all cyberneticians extraordinaire and all affiliated with the California Institute of Integral Studies. Keeney and Montuori encouraged students to practice cybernetics always in all ways i.e., a cybernetics of the everyday. Jocelyn and Laura took it to heart and continue to spiral into the heart of cybernetics: deconstructing and reconstructing their everyday realities, recursively subjecting their ways-of-knowing to their ways of knowing, and increasing laughter at and with each other through second-order mischief-ing.

Laura Ehmann holds an MA in Transformative Studies and an MA in Business Communication.

Augmented Officers

Vice President for Electronic Publications — Pedro (Adler) Looks Jorge, MSc, M.Design

Product Manager, Germany | Profile

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Adler’s quest is to enable more meaningful interactions between humans through technology design and collaborative processes. Adler has worked in Europe and Asia as a design researcher, interaction designer, design thinking coach and product manager. His encounter with cybernetics began with Stafford Beer’s book, “Designing Freedom” where Beer provided a new lens for viewing human-technology interaction, which keeps inspiring me on how I develop products as viable systems.

With a background in computer science and design strategy, Adler is currently a product manager for web applications.

Vice President for Membership — Art Collings, MA

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I was raised in southern New Jersey and later Annapolis, Maryland, and earned a BA from in Mathematics from Colgate 1981, and a Masters in Sustainable Landscape Design and Planning at the Conway School (Conway, MA) in 1995. I’ve lived in New York’s Hudson Valley since 1996, when I began working at Dutchess Land Conservancy, a private non-profit conservation land trust in Millbrook, NY. Most of my work centers on the use of  Geographic Information Systems linking digital maps with databases. I live in the small Town of Red Hook, home of Bard College, and my non-work interests include bicycling and conducting ongoing research regarding Spencer-Brown’s Laws of Form and  mathematical logic more generally.

Member at-large — Daniel Rosenberg Muñoz, PhD

Assistant Professor, School of Design, Carnegie Mellon University, USA

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Daniel Rosenberg is an Assistant Professor in the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). Designer, technologist, researcher, and educator, he works to build a more humane technology, through design processes and products that seek to recognize, celebrate, and cultivate people’s values and unique ways of living. Daniel holds a PhD and a Master of Science in Design and Computation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He has taught at RPI’s Center for Architecture Science and Ecology (CASE), NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), and SVA’s Design for Social Innovation Program. He has also conducted over 20 design workshops with students and local communities in the US, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Taiwan, and India. His research work has been published internationally, including CAADRIA, CAAD Futures, ACSA, Dosya, and Footprint. In parallel to his academic background, Daniel has over 6 years of professional experience leading teams and collaborating with clients in the development of real-world projects for the tech industry. He was partner and Head of Design at Midnight Commercial, a design agency developing next-generation technological products and spaces, such as smart IoT devices, immersive art installations, and technology-mediated shopping experiences. In 2018 he also founded Phantasma, a design consultancy specializing in large-scale immersive/interactive environments for the arts, entertainment, and recreational industry. His clients include Target, Cartier, Cadillac, Gentex, the New York Times, and TSG Entertainment.

I have been related to Cybernetics from a design and technology perspective. I am interested in how design and the creative practice can be described as a feedback system involving the designer as an observer. My research and practice is inspired by the work of Humberot Maturana and Francisco Varela. As a Chilean myself, I had the opportunity to collaborate with Humberto Maturana and work with the Matriztica Institute. I have also participated in two ASC conferences and consider Paul Pangaro to be one of my Mentors. We met at MIT while I was organizing a talk series under the topic of Cybernetics & Design. I am currently teaching at Carnegie Mellon University and I see Second-Order Cybernetics as the right framework to address wicked problems and systems-level change through design.

Member at-large — Iannis (John) Bardakos, PhD

Senior Lecturer, Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts, China

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Iannis (John) Bardakos, an artist and researcher born in Athens in 1976, has a multifaceted background spanning Mathematics, Digital, and Traditional Media within Applied and Fine Arts. His career involves co-owning and directing three media studios and participating in various media projects and films as an artist, director, and producer. Mr Bardakos supplements his practical skills with broad knowledge of theoretical aesthetics, narrative, and technical aspects of artistic research.

He furthered his mathematical and artistic studies with postgraduate work in philosophy and aesthetics, utilizing methods from traditional to digital, including Algorithmic, Virtual, and Interactive approaches. He has taught in diverse environments, such as Athens, Paris, and Shanghai, and joined the Roy Ascott Technoetic Arts Studio in 2017 teaching a variety of subjects related with the broad field of Media Arts applying Cybernetics as a methodology for the research-creation loop.
Currently, Bardakos oscillates between Athens, Paris, and Shanghai, contributing to the Technoetic Arts journal, conducting research, completing his PhD (2023) in fine arts and technology at Paris 8 University. His artistic interests cover interactive/spatial/digital poetics, philosophy, image aesthetics, and narration, all expressed through mathematics, interaction, and traditional and digital art. Artist at Rho & 2⁶ Studio

For the past five years, I have immersed myself in the realm of Technoetic Arts, employing Cybernetics as a key methodology for art creation and conception within academia. My teaching of Cybernetics have spanned institutions such as the Athens School of Fine Arts, Paris 8 University, and the Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts.
The journey started officially in 2013, during my Master of Fine Arts program when I decided to delve into the intriguing subject of self-reference. Through experimental applications of visual, theoretical, and technological media, I crafted an array of art pieces and gained a comprehensive understanding of second-order structures from an artistic-technological (VR and EEG) perspective. This exploration triggered a profound interest in Cybernetics of second order, which ultimately served as a foundation for my doctoral thesis (Abstract Mathematical Structures as Generators of Aesthetic Experiences) and influenced the essence of my scholarly publications over the last decade.

My interests are deeply entwined with the genesis of Forms, specifically viewed from an aesthetic perspective. I am intrigued by how both human and non-human agents, as observers and observed, participate in the complex process of meaning-making when exposed to aesthetic phenomena.

I am passionate about expanding upon this subject within open structures such as extitutions and non-hierarchical educational settings. I aim to foster a dialectical approach, encouraging active interaction and exchange of ideas. Further, I am keen to explore the pivotal role of speculativity and processes in the context of art-tech education and practice.

I envision my journey as an alchemical one, transmuting raw curiosity and creativity into knowledge and innovation. Emphasizing the speculative nature of thought and the fluidity of process-oriented practices, I hope to contribute significantly to the intersection of art, technology, and education.

Member at-large — José Cabral Filho, MArch, PhD

Professor, School of Architecture, Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil

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José S. Cabral Filho is an architect and full professor at the School of Architecture at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil). He received a Master and a PhD degree from Sheffield University (UK) and has been a visiting scholar at the School of Architecture at McGill University (Montreal / Canada), NTNU (Trondheim / Norway) and the Royal College of Art (London / UK). Over the past 17 years his research has been focusing on the liberating potential of ICT, seeking a far-reaching adoption of play into digital design, taking game as framework for the co-existence of determinism and non determinism. His main interests include the philosophy of Vilem Flusser, second-order Cybernetics, as well as architectural performances and electronic music.

What initially attracted me to cybernetics was the potential of implementing structured yet open processes, where outcomes are not necessarily predictable. As an architect, I saw this as an opportunity to bring a fresh perspective to design processes, enabling greater adaptability to unforeseen elements that often arise during the design phase. Embracing such processes can lead to less disruptive outcomes when faced with unexpected events. Additionally, it opens up avenues for architects to engage with future residents, builders, planners, and other stakeholders. Despite the claims made by several contemporary architects working with generative architecture and similar approaches, I believe there is still untapped potential in fully realizing this perspective.

Furthermore, my current intellectual interests center around the intersections between cybernetics and Brazilian culture, particularly the points of convergence between the circularity principles of cybernetics and the informality of Brazilian culture. I believe that understanding and exploring this connection is crucial for addressing the significant challenges faced in the field of architecture in Brazil. Cybernetics, especially second-order cybernetics, with its ability to handle unstable systems, emerges as an excellent tool for embracing and leveraging the informal nature of Brazil, transforming it into a source of creativity.

Recently, my focus has been on investigating the possibility of expanding home automation by incorporating living organisms and natural ecological systems as regulators for artificial systems. The objective is to systematize the cyclical processes inherent in both nature and domestic life and establish connections between them through the development of physical/digital interfaces utilizing digital and analog sensors, as well as actuators.

Member at-large — Jocelyn Chapman, PhD

Director of the Transformative Inquiry Department at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco, California, USA

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Jocelyn is a transdisciplinarian with a special interest in cybernetics and systems thinking. She is Director of the Transformative Inquiry Department at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco, California. She also teaches in the online Transformative Leadership MA and Transformative Studies PhD programs at CIIS.

Editor of the book “For the Love of Cybernetics: Personal Narratives by Cyberneticians“, 2020

Member at-large — Patricia Ticineto Clough PhD L.P.

Professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies at the Graduate Center and Queens College of the City University of New York, USA

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Patricia Ticineto Clough is Professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies at the Graduate Center and Queens College of the City University of New York. She is author of The User Unconscious: On Affect, Media and Measure, Autoaffection: Unconscious Thought in the Age of Teletechnology, Feminist Thought: Desire, Power and Academic Discourse and The End(s)of Ethnography: From Realism to Social Criticism. She is editor of The Affective Turn:Theorizing the Social, and co-editor with Craig Willse of Beyond Biopolitics: Essays on the Governance of Life and Death, and editor with Alan Frank and Steven Seidman of Intimacies, A New World of Relational Life. Clough’s work has drawn on theoretical traditions concerned with technology, affect, unconscious processes, political economy and experimental methods of research and presentation. She also is a psychoanalyst practicing in New York City where she teaches at National Institute for the Psychotherapies and the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy where she is supervisor and member of the Training Committee, Curriculum Committee, and the Diversity Task Force.

It was in 1971 that I arrived at Biological Computer Lab to study at what was to become the College of Cognition. But it had not been funded and BCL faced its last years at the University of Illinois. Nevertheless, it became a time and place of experimentation and learning. What I learned in those years would come to influence my scholarship and writing. As the focus of study at BCL was less about the engineering aspects of digital media/technologies, and more about an early exploration of the relationship of biology and computation, language and cognition, technology and sociality, information technologies were approached in their complexity both philosophically and in terms of the socio-political technological environment of the times–postmodernity and what later would be recognized as neo-liberal financialization. Studying with Humberto Maturana, Heinz von Foerster, Herbert Brün, Gordon Pask and others who came to visit BCL in those years, gave me great insight into what today is of great concern and promise: the internet, social media, datafication and generative AI. At BCL an easy turning away from technology was not encouraged; instead, curiosity was invited as the potentiality of communicating together held promise.

Member at-large — Juliana Mariano Alves

Professor, Agronomic Engineering, Universidade Estadual do Tocantins, Brazil

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I live in Tocantins, the youngest state of Brazil. It is home to the largest water household in the country — the Tocantins-Araguaia Basin. This background has shaped my professional career.
Since 2006, I have served as a professor of Agronomic Engineering at Universidade Estadual do Tocantins. Throughout my career, I have actively coordinated rural development projects and promoted governance of common resources in Northern Brazil. Additionally, I have provided assistance to communities affected by large hydroelectric projects in the energy sector.
As a consultant to the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment, I have had the honor of contributing my expertise to the development of decentralized systems of organization and management, particularly in the context of policies for small-scale farmers.
My extensive experience has provided me with a deep understanding of the practical aspects of water management, specifically at the intersections of energy and food systems.
I am a professional committed to excellence and to building cross-sector partnerships.

I am pleased to express my keen interest in cybernetics as I aspire to run for the position of Member at-large in the American Society for Cybernetics elections.
In Brazil, I have dedicated myself to establishing and strengthening research in Systems Theories and Organizational Cybernetics. As part of this commitment, I had the responsibility of organizing two editions of the Congresso Brasileiro de Sistemas (2013/2022). In each edition, I have worked towards bringing Brazilian and international researchers together.
During my doctoral studies, I had the invaluable opportunity to work under the guidance of Dr. Markus Schwaninger as a visiting researcher at the Institute for Management and Strategy (IfB) at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. This collaboration significantly enriched my understanding of diagnosis, design and organizational cybernetics. I have been working on applications of the Viable System Model for the governance of common resources. This practical application of the VSM has enabled me to open a powerful new approach of coping with the complex challenges in water management.
I have ambitious plans for the development of organizational cybernetics in my field of expertise. My focus is on sustainable water use. I am deeply committed to advancing water management policies and practices for the utilization of water — the essential resource for people and the environment.
I currently hold the position of professor for the discipline of Systemic Management in the Postgraduate Program in Space Sciences and Technologies at Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica. This role allows me to disseminate the principles of organizational cybernetics within one of Brazil’s most prestigious higher education institutions. I am truly committed to contributing to the advancement of knowledge in this field.
I am immensely grateful for the support I have been receiving from the global community of cyberneticians. During the past year, I dedicated my time to participating in online sessions of the Metaphorum Group and actively engaged in the process of building Metaphorum as a Viable System Model (VSM). This enriching and productive experience enabled me to establish importants partnerships for collaborative initiatives.

Member at-large — Michael Munton, MA

Product Owner, USA

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I’m currently a Product Owner at a software development company, living outside Austin, Texas. I was born and raised in Southern California, but moved to Texas in June of 2023 for work, and to be closer to family. My wife and two young children keep me fairly busy playing pretend, dancing and going on adventures. My favorite pastimes are playing Dungeons & Dragons with friends, rock climbing, printmaking, painting, and writing absurd poetry.

I received my BFA in Industrial Design in 2018, and immediately went into art fabrication, working for the Haas Brothers in Los Angeles until 2020. I was responsible for researching and developing a series of sculptures called “Fairy Berries” – tiny ceramic sculptures with clusters of vibrant 3 dimensional patterns that were meticulously applied using clay slip trailing. The result looked like psychedelic fabrige eggs from across the multiverse.

In 2020, I decided to pursue a Masters in Transformative Leadership at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), which I completed in 2022. It was through CIIS that I became acquainted with Cybernetics, and participated frequently during my two years at CIIS. I earned the Heinz von Foerster award in 2021 for a presentation I gave at the ISSS which explored how patterns – even geometric ones – affect the outcome of conversations. I also participated in various #NewMacy presentations and workshops between 2020 and 2022.

Member at-large — Mateus van Stralen, PhD

Architect and lecturer at the Architecture School of the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil

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Mateus van Stralen is a practicing architect and lecturer at the Architecture School of the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), where he has been a faculty member since 2015. There he heads the Projects Department, is a researcher at Lagear (Graphics Laboratory for Architectural Experience), and at NEXT (Experimentation Center in Digital Technologies), where he investigates the use of digital technologies for training, learning, and design. In his PhD, under the supervision of José Cabral dos Santos Filho, Mateus explored possible ways of designing dynamic architectural systems involving both users and their environment in a mutual, continuous, and circular design process. In his work, the circularity between acting and understanding is structured from a cybernetic perspective, which forms the basis for the general conceptual framework to explore and understand the systemic nature of architecture. Mateus’ research interest addresses design education, architecture, computational design, and Second-Order Cybernetics, intertwining theory and practice.

My first contact with the American Society for Cybernetics was at the 2014 Conference Living in Cybernetics. Since then, the message that cybernetics is a “subject we can live in, not only as observers, but in how we act and the understanding we create of our world, and our place in it”, has been central to my way of acting and understanding.

Member at-large — Shantanu Tilak, PhD

Research Director, Chesapeake Bay Academy, Center for Educational Research and Technology Innovation, USA

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Shantanu Tilak is the Director of the Center for Educational Research and Technology Innovation, the research arm at Chesapeake Bay Academy, the only accredited Virginia institution designed to serve neurodiverse students. He completed his PhD in Educational Psychology at The Ohio State University, with his work focusing on how to synergize informal Internet-influenced learning and formal learning in classroom environments to allow students at varied ages (from elementary schoolers to lifelong learners) to acquire the skills for critical Internet navigation. At CERTI, Dr. Tilak’s research focuses on how neurodiverse students use information technologies to construct new knowledge and project-based artifacts at the collaborative and individual level. His work takes up the ethos of cybernetics through his application of Gordon Pask’s work to designing both technology-assisted curricula, and educational technologies themselves.
Shantanu came in contact with cybernetics while writing his masters thesis titled “Alternative lifeworlds on the Internet”; he saw cross currents between ideas related to trivial and non-trivial machines, and input-output/student-centered formulations of technology-assisted educational practices. This led him to dive deeper into the literature, and discover the work of Gordon Pask, among other cyberneticians, and the links of scholarly work in the field to theories of psychology. Finding explicit cross currents between Pask and Lev Vygotsky’s work led him to write several papers for Theory and Psychology that uncover ways to apply cybernetics to the field of psychology in the age of the Internet. He reached out to Paul Pangaro and Bernard Scott, advisees of Pask, to further this line of work, and has since formed a Paskian lab that studies open-source educational practices and educational technologies. Since then, he has interpreted educational practices such as immersive learning and participatory design through empirical studies applying Pask’s conversation theory. He has also actively participated in ASC Conversations, the #NewMacy initiative, and the Relating Systems Thinking and Design conference, discussing and presenting cybernetics related findings through these avenues. The lab created by Dr. Pangaro, Dr. Scott, and Shantanu is presently working on scaling up the search engine, ThoughtShuffler, designed by Dr. Pangaro, as an educational tool.

Ombudsperson: Allenna Leonard, PhD

Consultant in organizational cybernetics, president of Metaphorum, Canada
Past-president of the American Society for Cybernetics and the International Society for Systems Science (ISSS)

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Allenna first encountered cybernetics as a doctoral student in a class taught by Barry Clemson who was president of ASC at the time and who invited cybernetic pioneers to his Socratic seminars – the entry ticket for students was reading one of their books and/or major articles. She earned a BA from St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD, a MA from George Washington University and a PhD. from the University of Maryland in College Park.Soon after becoming active in ASC she met and began collaborating with Stafford Beer and continued to work with him in Toronto until his death in 2002. Their work together included assignments in Uruguay, Venezuela, England and Canada. She has served as president of the American Society for Cybernetics and the International Society for Systems Science and is currently chair of the Canadian environmental group, Ecologos and is a founding member of Metaphorum, the organization working to maintain and extend Stafford’s work, especially the Viable System Model and Team Syntegrity process, Allenna has been interested in the assessment of soft information, sustainability, and the practice of politics.

Past Presidents of the ASC

  • 1964 – 1966: Paul Henshaw
  • 1967 – 1968: Warren McCulloch
  • 1969: Lawrence Fogel
  • 1970 – 1971: Carl Hammer
  • 1972 – 1974: Roy Hermann
  • 1975: Herbert Robinson
  • 1976 – 1977: Mark Ozer
  • 1978 – 1979: Barry Clemson
  • 1980 – 1982: Stuart Umpleby
  • 1983 – 1984: Bill Reckmeyer
  • 1984 – 1985: Jon Cunnyngham
  • 1986 – 1988: Laurence Richards
  • 1989 – 1991: Fred Steier
  • 1992 – 1993: Rodney Donaldson
  • 1994 – 1998: Frank Galuszka
  • 1999 – 2001: Pille Bunnell
  • 2002 – 2004: Allenna Leonard
  • 2005 – 2008: Louis Kauffman
  • 2009 – 2014: Ranulph Glanville
  • 2014 – 2020: Michael Lissack
  • 2021 – 2023: Paul Pangaro

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