CAATE Executive Director Appointment

As the CAATE Board of Commissioners completed our three-year strategic plan in July, and having reached the one-year mark since the board decided to transition our headquarters, staffing, and operations to an association management model at SmithBucklin’s Washington, D.C. office, we launched a search for the CAATE’s permanent and full-time executive director.

Following a competitive national search process that included vetting more than 40 candidates, and based on unanimous feedback of the Search Committee, I am pleased to announce the selection of Dale West as our new executive director. Dale will officially join the CAATE on November 15 in our D.C. headquarters.

Dale is a Certified Association Executive (CAE), and currently serves as the Executive Director at the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine, an international organization serving highly esteemed academic medical centers and health systems to transform the healthcare system promoting integrative medicine for all.

Prior to joining that organization, Dale spent more than 10 years at SmithBucklin serving as an executive director for several professional societies and associations in their healthcare industry practice. Dale’s combined career experience leading healthcare-focused, volunteer-led organizations, and his proven success as a thought-leader and trusted colleague at SmithBucklin, position him to quickly assimilate with our board, volunteers, professional community, and headquarters team.

Given the timing of the final selection, Dale has graciously agreed to attend this week’s Accreditation Conference, to meet and engage with our volunteers and stakeholders. For those of you attending, I hope you’ll have an opportunity to join me in welcoming Dale to the CAATE, our profession, and our community.

On behalf of the Board of Commissioners, we are incredibly excited to have Dale join our organization as our executive director. He is uniquely qualified to lead our headquarters team and partner with the board to achieve our strategic goals and objectives in the coming years. While he transitions out of his current role, Dale and his husband, Lark, will be enthusiastically planning their relocation to Washington, D.C., and preparing for his mid-November start date. When asked about the appointment as the CAATE executive director, Dale said, “I’m thrilled to join the CAATE team, and I look forward to helping advance the organization’s impact on the athletic training profession.”

Having had the opportunity to spend time with Dale at our D.C. headquarters over the weekend, I am confident that the board has secured a proven leader with a deep understanding of healthcare and a rich history of leading transformational organizational change. His prior experiences will position him to quickly step into this dynamic leadership role to collaborate with the board and lead the staff to achieve our strategic goals and objectives.

I want to recognize and thank Christine Murphy Peck, who has served as our interim executive director, for her steadfast leadership and partnership during the transition to SmithBucklin, and throughout our strategic planning process. Chris will resume her role full-time as Senior Director, Education & Learning Services, at SmithBucklin as Dale transitions into his role in November.

I know you will all join me in welcoming Dale to the CAATE and the athletic training profession.

All the best,


Eric Sauers, PhD, ATC, FNATA