ALTA is a membership association governed by its Board of Directors. Directors are recruited and elected to the board by the membership of the association. Each fall, eligible voting members will receive, by email, more information on the elections and deadlines. 

Please see the bylaws and the attached Amended and Restated Certificate of Formation for more information.

From the President

Dear ALTA Friends and Colleagues:

I’m thrilled to be writing to you as ALTA’s president; my two-year term began at this year’s conference in Rochester, NY. Following on the hard work of the past presidents who have laid the groundwork for what we have accomplished so far, I have been given the privilege of exploring what ALTA can become at a time when the annual conference is experiencing record attendance levels, when we finally have a new home, offices, a brilliant staff—themselves fine literary translators—and a committed and hard-working Board.  

I have been working for over forty years as a free-lance translator. True, I have dipped in and out of teaching, but translating is what has centered my life. To my surprise when I started out on the ALTA Board as an at-large member, I actually felt relief at finally being in a position to contribute to our profession, to learn what running ALTA entails, and to help build us forward.

One of the great pleasures of this new responsibility is working with the members of the Board and the Board committees. The Board includes freelancers like me, academics, poets, and members with experience in running non-profit organizations, and all of us thread literary translation through and around all we do. Who knew that hours and hours of meetings would be a joy!

I have many aspirations for ALTA. We have plenty of work ahead of us, creating a welcoming atmosphere on the ALTA Board, in our membership, and at the conference for our newest and our longstanding members, and for translation in its many forms. The lack of diversity is one of the challenges we as a community and an association are thinking about now. This conversation is underway at the conference and among our members in conference panels, keynotes, discussions, and at the AWP on the panels ALTA sponsors there.

ALTA’s programs are exploring to see how we can do better, and I hope all of you will join me as we roll up our sleeves. Perhaps you, too, have, like me, spent your working life as a free-lancer, on the outside looking in at the decision-making bodies that shape the profession. There are many ways you can join our efforts. Renew your membership! Propose a panel or workshop for the conference! Contribute to the work of a committee! Donate to our fund-drives! And please don’t hesitate to contact me with your thoughts, concerns, and wishes for ALTA, at:

Ellen Elias-Bursac

December 2019