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New IAEE President and CEO Leads the Way

Marsha Flanagan brings extensive experience and a focus on DEI

By Amy Durham

A professional woman smiles in a headshot portrait.
IAEE President and CEO Marsha Flanagan || Courtesy of IAEE

Marsha Flanagan took on the role of president and CEO of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) starting Dec. 1. With the departure of longtime president and CEO David DuBois, Cathy Breden was appointed IAEE’s interim CEO on Oct. 1. With a focus on pioneering strategies and fostering meaningful partnerships, Flanagan will uphold the association’s fundamental pillars of advocacy, sustainability, and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

Flanagan steps up from her previous role as IAEE’s senior vice president of events and learning experiences, where she oversaw renowned industry designations such as Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM), Certified in Exhibition Management–Advanced Professional (CEM-AP), and CEM Fellow (CEM-F).

Before joining IAEE, Flanagan directed content strategy and development at the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI). Her tenure at Meeting Professionals International (MPI) for 12 years included serving as the executive vice president of professional development. Her diverse career also spans roles in the medical industry, encompassing operations, purchasing, marketing, and business development over six years.

Hailing from a fifth-generation Texan background, Flanagan holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas Christian University and a master’s in education specializing in meeting, tourism, and recreation management from the University of Arkansas. She earned her Certified in Exhibition Management designation in 2021, marking a commitment to continuous professional growth and excellence.

The organization’s annual meeting and exhibition, Expo! Expo!, takes place in Dallas on Dec. 5.