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ABFM’s in-person conference was held at the Georgetown Marriott Hotel in Washington D.C. from Thursday, September 30 through Saturday noon, October 2. This was the first in-person conference in two years for the Association due to the COVID crisis.

The conference featured an opening plenary session with Congresswoman and former ABFM chair Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-7) and Comptroller General of the United States Gene L. Dodaro. The plenary was hosted by ABFM Chair, Jonathan Justice.

 The conference featured 45 panels in nine sessions with 135 presenters from 90 universities. Thursday’s box lunch was a Town Hall meeting on ABFM’s future initiatives hosted by Executive Council member Whitney Afonso, and presentations by Justin Ross, Kate Yang (ABFM Membership Chair), and Thad Calabrese (ABFM Audit Committee Chair).

Thursday evening’s reception featured a tribute, hosted by the Andrew Young School, to Bart Hildreth on his retirement from Georgia State University.

Friday’s Awards Luncheon, hosted by Jonathan Justice, featured presentations for the Michael Curro Outstanding Graduate Student Paper (2020 and 2021), S. Kenneth Howard Award for Lifetime Achievement (2020 and 2021), Jesse Burkhead Award for the best article(s) in PB&F (2020 and 2021), and the Aaron Wildavsky Award for Lifetime Scholarly Achievement (2020 and 2021).

The business meeting on Friday afternoon featured a robust exchange on ways to assure ABFM’s continued contributions to the field. Friday evening ended with a reception for all attendees.

The CDC’s recommended protocol for large gatherings was in place during the conference including requiring that all attendees be fully vaccinated, masks worn at all times except for presentations and eating, the second floor of the hotel was restricted to ABFM members and their guests, and attendees completed a temperature check daily before entering the conference area. Post-conference monitoring continued for the 10 days following the conference with no COVID cases reported by attendees.