“In everyone’s career and everyone’s life there’s a season, and a while ago it just seemed that it was time for me to move on,” said Susan Sarfati, CAE, executive vice president at the American Society of Association Executives and president and chief executive officer at the Center for Association Leadership, Washington, D.C., on her decision to resign from the organizations effective August 31.

Sarfati, the driving force behind ASAE and The Center’s recent Global Social Responsibility Summit, does not plan to retire. “Going forward my work and career will continue to focus on leadership development, social responsibility, women’s issues, and contributions to the association and meetings community,” Sarfati said in a press statement.

After 13 years as president and CEO of the Greater Washington Society of Association Executives and founding CEO of The Center for Association Leadership, Sarfati joined ASAE in 2004 after GWSAE and The Center merged with ASAE to become ASAE and The Center.

“Susan’s leadership, passion, creativity, energy, and commitment are unsurpassed in the profession,” said Mark Golden, CAE, chairman of The Center and executive director of the National Court Reporters Association. “Susan has been the heart and soul of The Center and will be sorely missed.”

Added John Graham, CAE, ASAE president and CEO: “Susan is a visionary leader and innovator who has taken risks that have shaped the profession, and we have all benefited as a result.”

Sarfati’s contract with ASAE and The Center is not up until September 2009. In a statement, ASAE officials said it was Sarfati’s own “carefully considered decision to depart the organizations.”

Until her departure, Sarfati will direct her attention to moving the outcomes of the Global Social Responsibility Summit to the next step. “I believe that a social responsibility movement for our profession is absolutely the right way to go and will be a tipping point for this profession.”

Sarfati doesn’t have concrete answers about where she will end up, but she intends to keep involved with associations. “I know that I will be working with associations in the future in a different capacity, and I feel very optimistic about our profession,” she said. “From the very first day I was hired to work in an association, I believed in the power of associations to transform society, and I will always feel that way.”