World Administrators Alliance : by Terri Mullan

I recently had the pleasure and honor of attending the 13th World Administrators Summit in Wellington, New Zealand.  This was an experience that, three years ago, was not even on my radar.  Let me tell you how this all came to be. A few years ago, early in 2021, I was finishing up the Foundations of Leadership course with the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). We were working on goal setting for the next 6 months, 1-3 years, and 5-10 years.  I chose as my long-term goal that I wanted to be involved in an organization with a global reach where I could continue to advocate for the administrative profession. Little did I know that achieving that long-term goal was only a few months away because of a LinkedIn post I saw.

At the time, I had heard very little about the World Administrators Alliance (WAA), but they were looking for someone to join their Communication Team. I was still discovering networks and associations for assistants—even with 25+ years of experience, I had just gotten involved with IAAP less than two years ago, but I was intrigued about this “World” organization. 

I began my investigation of the World Administrators Alliance and realized that it was a non-profit organization comprised of Associations and Networks for administrative professionals and Industry Partners—think speakers, trainers, and influencers—like an umbrella gathering everyone together, and it was global! One of their social media campaigns, #OneProfessionOneVoice, made complete sense to me! Another campaign is #TheCareerBehindTheJob, and this spoke to my goal of advocating for my profession to be seen.

I applied for the Communications team, and in July of 2021, I came on board – I got involved with the WA-Alliance newsletter and their social media presence on LinkedIn. Before I knew it, plans were being made for the 12th World Administrators Summit, which was to be held in July 2022 in the United States.  Unfortunately, as was the case in 2020 for the 11th WA Summit, COVID restrictions prevented an in-person summit, and everyone met online.  I was able to join the online Summit in 2022 as a virtual participant, and when I heard that the 2024 WA Summit was going to be held in New Zealand, I started planning immediately.

As an Association member (IAAP) of the World Administrators Alliance, I am therefore a member of the World Administrators Alliance, which qualified me to be a Participant at the Summit.  There are also Delegates, who are Association representatives who have voting rights at the Summit.  Each country selects 3 Delegates who vote, distributed among Associations if a country has more than one. There is no limit to Participants by country.

The WA-Summit held online discussions of the topics selected from a survey that went out to as many Administrative Professionals, or Administrators as we are now calling those in our profession.  The three topics were facilitated by Heather Baker (UK), Lucy Brazier (Spain), and Sherie Pointon (NZ).  When the Summit convened, these facilitators presented the results and action items from these earlier discussions on Diversity & Inclusion, The Business Partnership with your Executive, and Artificial Intelligence.  Each of the country delegates voted on the proposed outcomes for these topics, and working task force groups were created from those in attendance who volunteered. If you are interested in learning more and perhaps even getting involved, the WA Alliance will be publishing a Summit Supplement in mid April, and you’ll have an opportunity to learn more then.  If you are not subscribed to their regular newsletter, be sure to do so asap so you’ll receive it. (Join the WA-Alliance newsletter)

The continued advancement of the profession is important, and those who participated – both as Delegates and Participants – at the WA Summit in New Zealand were tasked with a great responsibility and honor.  However, networking between breaks, over lunch, at dinners, or even walks to the local yarn shop is what builds the foundations of friendships that will have a global impact on the administrative profession in the future. If you’re interested in learning more about the WA-Alliance, view their website at; links to their social media accounts can be found there, too.  I would also welcome personal connections on LinkedIn if you would like more information.

Terri Mullan, CAP is a Board Director for the IAAP Foundation and a member of the Communications Team for the World Administrators Alliance.  She resides in New York City where she is an Executive Assistant at the C-Suite level for Two Sigma. She is currently working on a new long-term goal.