Debra McGuire, MBA, IOM, CAE joined the American Fire Sprinkler Association in January 2019 as its first female President and CEO. In her three decades of association management, McGuire held a variety of leadership positions. Prior to joining AFSA, she was the Chief Executive Officer of the Michigan Academy of Family Physicians and Executive Vice President for the Family Medicine Foundation of Michigan. Previously, she was Director of Communications and Education for the Michigan Townships Association, and prior to that, Communications Director for the Michigan Manufacturers Association (MMA). In 1999, MMA received the prestigious Gold Circle Award from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) where McGuire was recognized for her lead role in the innovative public relations campaign, “Manufacturing in Michigan.”
McGuire was awarded the designation of Certified Association Executive (CAE), the highest professional credential in the association industry, in 2003. In 2009, she was appointed to the CAE Commission, then elected as its Vice Chairman in 2011 and Chairman in 2012, completing her work on the Commission in August 2014, after serving as Immediate Past Chairman and a member of the CAE Professional Conduct Committee. McGuire also served as a member of the 2014-2015 ASAE Foundation Development Committee and was appointed to the CAE Appeals Committee in 2016. She currently serves on the ASAE Foundation Research Committee, APAC – the political action committee for associations, based in Washington, D.C. – and CAE Practice Analysis Task Force.
McGuire is a proud alumna of the Honors College at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan where she completed her undergraduate studies while on a track scholarship. She also is a graduate of the Institute for Organizational Management (IOM) at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana and Cornerstone University (MBA) in Grand Rapids, Michigan.